Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This is for enquiring minds like Mel who wanted to know what I ate on my quick get away to Reno Nevada. We go to Reno frequently since it is only about a couple hour drive from Sacramento. It's not Vegas but it has gambling and a the dining scene is becoming more than the $2.99 breakfasts and endless buffets. This trip was especially scenic since it had just snowed a few days before and the snow was fresh and clean and everything was beautiful. The only draw back was the temperature. It was freezing!We usually only go to Reno when we get our rooms comped and this year it's been far and few between that we got a free room. We were staying these couple of days at the Peppermill which is one of my favorite hotels in Reno. It's way from downtown so it's pretty much self contained and we didn't go to any other casinos other than to eat.

As far as eating Sunday evening we decided to try Chi the newish Chinese restaurant at Peppermill. It was a toss up between here and the barbecue place at the food court. Chi is located where the old steak house used to be. It is glizty modern Chinese decor...pretty in a Vegas sort of way. The menu is your typical "American Chinese". The appetizers run the usual spring rolls, pot stickers, spareribs, spicy fried calamari. The calamari is what we tried. It was nicely crispy fried with two dipping sauces. I thought it was going to be like salt and pepper style with jalapeno peppers but it was just regular fried calamari so I don't know where the spicy comes in. Together with the dipping sauce it was good.
Our entree was the Peking Duck and the Whole Steamed Fish with ginger and scallions. The duck was great with the crispy skin but instead of being served with the customary steamed buns we got what I called "tortillas". When I asked the waitress about it she said they did have the steamed buns but you have to ask for them and it was her fault that she didn't mention that. When I asked about the "tortillas" she said they really weren't tortillas but the wrappers they serve with the Mu Shu Pork. Whatever it was it was cold and not very appealing.
The whole steamed fish was good, perfectly steamed and fresh. I wish I could speak Chinese because I could see that the Chinese diners were not eating off the menu which I think would be a lot more fun and probably a lot better. The food was good, not fantastic. The disappointment was the desert. I had the Chocolate Mango desert, it was Mango ice cream atop a chocolate brownie. The brownie was really good but it just didn't go well with the Mango ice cream which had a funny taste like it was just mango flavoring rather than made with real mangoes.
All in all dinner was good but I don't think I'd go back.

Next time I'll try the barbecue joint. Actually I was going to try it for lunch on Monday, but they were closed!
After a little gambling and loosing we decided to go to one of the lounges in the new Tuscan Towers area and it looks out onto the pool. The Terrace Lounge is my favorite, it has over stuffed leather couches and chairs and is kind of clubby looking. It is a very comfortable place to end the evening. Settle into one of the couches, kick back and have a couple of cocktails... life is good.
Monday, after checking out Cabela's sports store and hitting the mall for a little Christmas shopping we were back at the Peppermill and I was getting hungry. We were going to Charlie Palmer's for dinner so I didn't want anything too filling. We went to the Deli and I got a Chili dog. I was huge so Charlie and I split it. It was a good chili dog!! That and a beer and it was a perfect lunch.
Dinner tonight was at Charlie Palmer Steak in the Grand Sierra Resort.
This is my all time favorite steakhouse.
We come to dinner here every time we are in Reno. It has a modern decor that is clean and sleek. The service is always spot on and the servers know what they are doing and are friendly without being intrusive.
It's funny to say but they have the best butter I've ever had. I asked one time and they told me it was from Vermont. It's hard not to eat too much bread (which is also very good) with that butter. For our first course I started with the Crispy Pork Bell ... YUM! Two large pieces of the pork belly that was crispy, rich, fatty, porky on a bed of frisee. Charlie had the Cesar salad his standard. He says they have one of the best.
Charlie had the New York Steak, blue. Blue means that it is quickly seared on either side and is still cold in the center. Me, I have to be different. One of the specials that night was the Pasta de Mare..lobster,clams, mussels, shrimp and scallops over spaghetti in a lobster saffron sauce. This was delicious!!! All the seafood was perfectly cooked and the sauce was to die for.
There was one little accident. As the server was clearing off the table he knocked over a water glass and it shattered. No harm done but I think half the wait staff came over to clean it up and make sure we were OK. Instead of just changing the table cloth and cleaning up the table they moved us to a new table. After we settled in at our new table we were ready for desert. Charlie had the berries and cream. I had my favorite- the Chocolate Peanut butter Bar. It is chocolate and peanut butter mouse. Plus it's cute the way they make a little island on top of the bar.
We also had an after dinner drink of Remy XO which was perfect with the chocolate. Also for our trouble of having to change tables after the spilled water insident they comped us both deserts.
No, this is not an inexpensive dinner. This is fine dining..the best and worth every penny.
We will be back again when we get back to Reno.
That was our culinary adventure.. it was all good and we always have fun eating.
I have to apologize for the pictures, I know they were horrible. I only had the camera on my phone and takes crappy pictures. Next time you go to Reno, go to Charlie Palmer Steak, a must. Try the Romanza Italian Restaurant at the Peppermill or go try Chi or the steakhouse or the barbecue or the deli. For old school go the Steakhouse at Harrah's.

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