THE LATEST SCOOP
Keeping you informed of local food and drink news.
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL TRAGASH
ILLUSTRATION BY GREG BRADY
Growth is a good thing, but ensuring that our food community continues to advance is the key to our future success. With all the momentous openings and announcements in the food and drink world here, we certainly are headed in the right direction. The past few months have been marked by a number of great new investments in our food culture. As readers of edible Reno-Tahoe, you’re invested in the success of our food community, too, and we are happy to share the latest crop of local food and drink business accolades and accomplishments.
Take to the sky
In March, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno opened the Fred W. Smith Penthouse, a $6.2 million development that houses the 4,800-square-foot Nightingale Sky Room and the Stacie Mathewson Sky Plaza (with 5,000 square feet of outdoor event space). Reno’s beloved, historic Mapes Hotel Sky Room — a nightclub that hosted such notables as Frank Sinatra and Sammie Davis Jr., and was demolished (along with the hotel) in 2000 — inspired the project’s design. The Nightingale Sky Room is one of Reno’s premier event venues, boasting bird’s-eye views of Sierra sunsets, state-of-the-art amenities, a new banquet kitchen, catering from talented chef Mark Estee and chez louie restaurant, and capacity for 250 to 700 guests. The space is available for events, private parties, community activities, and corporate retreats year round.
University area offerings
As the University of Nevada, Reno and downtown Reno forge a stronger connection, the offerings available near campus continue to improve. Laughing Planet Café — a popular Midtown restaurant focused on fast, fresh, funky, and responsibly sourced food — and The Mill Juice Shop — an organic, non-GMO cold-pressed juice bar from Truckee using 90 percent local produce — each recently opened adjacent to the new Hub Coffee at Tenth and North Virginia streets.
It’s been a busy month for Reno brewery and restaurant Brasserie Saint James’ owner Art Farley. He opened the second Brasserie location in San Francisco’s Mission District and recently opened The Saint on South Virginia Street in Midtown Reno. The Saint is a live music venue, bar, and barrelhouse (where Brasserie Saint James beers will be stored and aged for future release). This facility will enable Brasserie to make experimental beers available to the public, as well as produce variations of favorites on a much grander scale.
The Sticks development in Midtown also received a new resident in March, The Mustard Seed, specializing in downhome Southern cooking. The restaurant was quietly operating inside the Club Cal Neva hotel-casino and had racked up some rave Yelp reviews in its year there, many of which mentioned the fried green tomatoes (see the recipe featured in edible Reno-Tahoe’s 2015 COOKS! issue).
Downtown and beyond
Downtown Reno has seen some exciting additions as well, with more to follow. For the last 10 years, Wild Garlic owners Dean and Elena Christopher have looked for a place to reopen their business downtown after losing the original location in the Mizpah Hotel fire in 2006 (their second location is on Mt. Rose Street in Reno). Finally, they found a downtown space next to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. In November 2015, Wild Garlic’s owners began offering their big crust, signature side of honey, and super slice (a quarter of a large pie with one topping and a drink for about $6) to the neighborhood.
Nearby (on Sierra Street), a non-gaming, non-smoking sports bar called The Stick opened at the beginning of March. With 25 screens, local brews on tap, craft cocktails, and some delicious bar food, this is a place to watch a game. The Moroccan-spiced pork shanks, bourbon bacon sliders, and crisscross chips (waffle-cut potato chips similar to the French gaufrette) are not to be missed.
Carson City welcomed a new fine-dining option earlier this year when Yvette Barrett opened Mystique Restaurant & Lounge. Chef David Stern (formerly of Centro, SoDo, and Charlie Palmer Steak in Reno) is manning the range there, creating crowd-pleasing dishes such as his signature stuffed pork chop and perfectly seared salmon.
Awards and accolades
IMBIB, a Reno brewery turning out tap selections that span the spectrum of malty, hoppy, and barrel-aged/sour-style brews, has a lot to celebrate. In January, the brewery’s owners took home three medals at the Best of Craft Beer Awards, an international brewing competition held in Bend, Ore., that celebrates and promotes the best of the best in craft brewing. IMBIB’s Berliner Weisse took gold, its Brett No. 4 took silver, and the Apricot Berliner won a bronze medal. This is the first competition the brewery has entered since opening in May 2015. So when you stop by to try these award-winning beers, make sure you wish the owners a happy birthday to their business, too.
Congratulations to Chris Garrison, owner of Old World Coffee in Reno, for his impressive performance at the U.S. Coffee Championships in Kansas City in February. After finishing strong in the regional competition, Garrison was invited to the U.S. Brewers Cup competition, which celebrates the art of manual brewing, such as using a V60 or Chemex. Garrison intensively practiced with help from his team members and Hub Coffee Roasters staff members, who loaned their space and palates to ensure Garrison was in top form. Garrison supports smaller and regional roasters at his shop, and for the competition he chose to brew a coffee from Ninety Plus Coffee, a leader in sustainable coffee production in Ethiopia and Panama, which fits right in with that ethos.
Scott Yorkey, award-winning executive chef at Jake’s on the Lake in Tahoe City, needs our help. His daughter, Kyla, recently was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. As of the end of February, Kyla had completed her first round of chemotherapy but still had a way to go on treatment. Scott and his family have set up a Go Fund Me site to assist with the medical costs. You can find out more about Kyla’s fight and help the family directly by visiting http://www.Gofundme.com/kylastrong.
Project MANA, an Incline Village hunger relief agency that aims to make adequate nutrition accessible, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Aug. 2. Project MANA provides food to community members in need on the north shore of Lake Tahoe and Truckee communities through four main programs, including weekly food distributions, food and companionship exchange, emergency food bags, and Let’s Talk Turkey program (a Thanksgiving food distribution effort). For details, visit http//www.Projectmana.org.
Until next time, remember to eat, drink, and buy local!
Michael Tragash is a senior community manager with Yelp.com. He’s passionate about connecting people to all the useful, funky, and cool businesses and happenings in the Reno-Tahoe region. You usually can find him exploring the local food and drink scene or the natural beauty that surrounds us. </p