IN THE PINK
The Pink House in Genoa blends historic preservation with dining innovation.
WRITTEN BY SUE EDMONDSON
PHOTOS BY ASA GILMORE
Co-owner Lois Wray waits to greet guests at The Pink House in Genoa
When Lois Wray and her husband, Dan, moved to Nevada’s eldest town, Genoa, they never imagined buying and restoring one of its most aged landmarks, an 1855 Victorian-era, Gothic Revival home known to locals as The Pink House. Even less imaginable was opening a combination restaurant and cheese/charcuterie shop in it. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what they did in October 2015.
“My background is human resources, and neither my husband nor I had any restaurant experience,” Wray says. “But I knew what I wanted to do with the house from the beginning, so I researched, asked experts for advice, and hired a great staff.”
Historic preservation fans will appreciate the Wrays’ careful attention to detail in every aspect of the restoration, down to the wallpaper. In fact, the integrity of the work garnered the house a Historic Preservation Certification by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“People stop in just to see what we’ve done,” Wray says. “We love to share the history.”
While curiosity may draw people into The Pink House, that’s not why they stay. First, it exudes a feeling that you’re a welcome guest. The front door opens into a spacious parlor, the furnishings are elegant yet comfortable. Each room is similarly furnished and equally inviting.
“We wanted an intimate, relaxing environment where our customers feel they can linger — a step back in time when people weren’t so rushed,” Wray says. “Whether customers come in for date night or after hiking, everyone feels comfortable.”
Then, of course, you have the food and drink. In the heart of the house is the Mercantile, where cold cases feature 75 artisanal cheeses selected by The Pink House’s cheesemonger, as well as a wide array of charcuterie (including homemade sausages), craft and other beers, and natural sodas. Locally sourced condiments fill shelves and china cabinets, and a rack displays upmarket wines. Sandwiches are made to order, and freshly prepared small bites, hot dishes, soups, and salads feature the season’s best, supplied by local farmers and ranchers whenever possible. Naturally, desserts are made in house. The menu also includes two daily specials, often centered on seafood.
The atmosphere and offerings are unlike those found in Genoa’s other eateries, and that’s by design.
“When we decided to buy The Pink House, we wanted something different that would complement what the other local businesses have going on,” Wray says. “I believe we’ve accomplished that goal.”
Freelance writer Sue Edmondson has written for various publications in Northern Nevada and Northern California. One of her greatest pleasures is restoring old houses. She felt like a child at Disneyland when touring The Pink House.
The Pink House
193 Genoa Lane, Genoa • 775-392-4279 • Thepinkhousegenoa.com
Hours and menu vary seasonally
Butternut Squash and Sage Soup
(courtesy of Lois Wray, co-owner, The Pink House in Genoa. Serves 6 to 8)
“Enjoy with a glass of Italian Terlato Vineyards pinot grigio or Argentinian LLAMA bonarda/malbec,” Wray suggests.
1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds), split and seeded
2 shallots, roughly chopped
⅓ cup chopped Nevada white sage
⅛ cup brandy
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream (if dairy free or vegan, omit and add 1 cup additional stock instead)
Balsamic reduction or glaze for garnish (purchased or homemade)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place split and seeded squash in shallow pan. Add enough water to fill pan to halfway point and place in oven. Roast squash 30 to 40 minutes until easily pierced with fork.
Thinly coat bottom of small sauté pan with olive or other cooking oil and sauté shallots at medium-high 3 minutes. Stir in sage, then add brandy (step back, as brandy will ignite). When brandy ignites, turn off heat and set aside.
Allow squash to cool, then scoop out flesh. Place squash, sautéed shallots, and sage in food processor. Add spices. Purée while slowly adding stock and cream.
Ladle soup into bowls or cups. Finish with drizzle of balsamic reduction or glaze, if desired.