THE LATEST SCOOP
Keeping you informed of local food and drink news.
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL TRAGASH
ILLUSTRATION BY GREG BRADY
The weather outside may be frightful, but that won’t slow down our food-and-drink scene in Reno-Tahoe. We’re still seeing lots of exciting new concepts, ownership changes, moves, and more. Keeping up with all the changes has become quite the task. Fortunately, we’re serving up your Edible Updates on a silver platter.
Midtown as usual
The Virginia Street Project in Reno is charging ahead, with Sierra Nevada Construction making incredible progress toward a more beautiful and pedestrian-friendly Midtown for us all to enjoy. While it may seem daunting to access your favorite local spots, it’s not. There are easy detours and extra parking. Month after month, there’s even more to be excited about in Midtown, and all of these businesses are looking forward to a bright future with you.
Last issue, we introduced you to The Emerson, located in Martin Crossing, on the corner of Martin and South Virginia streets. In October, Pangolin Café also rolled into Martin Crossing, bringing with it loose-leaf tea, locally roasted coffee, handmade Turkish delight, and English-style toffee, all served up in a bright and delightful atmosphere.
Tea at Pangolin Café in Reno
Turkish delight is one of the world’s greatest confectionary treasures, yet it’s largely unknown here in the United States. The Pangolin recipe starts with a soft, supple, and slightly chewy base made from cornstarch and sugar that’s naturally gluten free and flavored with natural ingredients such as rose and pistachio. The candy is traditionally rolled into shape, which is what inspired the brand, as the pangolin is actually a small anteater known to roll itself into a ball when threatened. Pangolin Café offers those traditional flavors of Turkish delight as well as an array of others, including sweet and sour fruit flavors, such as grapefruit and lemon, and new combinations including the Moscow Pangolin (ginger and lime) and the Hawaiian with macadamia nut. According to co-owner Joel Stewart, most first-time visitors have either never heard of Turkish delight or know of it from The Chronicles of Narnia, but they’ve never tasted it, so each beverage includes a sample of the treat, and it’s bringing guests back again and again. Pangolin’s confections are available in one-eighth, one-quarter, half, and full pounds, and with online ordering, adorable gift tins, and nationwide shipping, this is a great locally made treat to share with friends and family across the country.
Turkish delight at Pangolin Café in Reno
And when it comes to all Midtown businesses, young and old, remember that Reno started as dusty dirt roads. Embrace our pioneer spirit and make your way to Midtown, where, regardless of construction, it’s business as usual.
New faces on Fourth Street
Reno’s Brewery District, also known as East Fourth Street, continues to come together as business owners breathe new life into its historic buildings. Many in the community still consider this area a risky proposition, yet it’s changing in the blink of an eye, and the businesses are banding together to give us all new reasons to explore the Fourth Street Corridor. The neighborhood already boasts traditional Basque dining adjacent to craft beer and spirits, four urban wineries, a boutique hotel, a bar and taqueria, and a meadery, all saddled up to and sandwiched between industrial warehouses and operations. What’s next? It’s Ferino Distillery, Nevada’s only distillery focused on amaro, an Italian style of spirit known for its bitter flavor profile. Owner Joe Cannella moved Ferino to Reno in 2018 and opened this past October.
Cocktail at Ferino Distillery in Reno
Ferino’s staff encourages the community to “Keep Reno Feral,” a motto that encapsulates both the spirit of Nevada and the spirits the business produces. Ferino means wild in Italian, and amaros can be flavored with a wide range of aromatic botanicals, herbs, and spices, many occurring wildly around the world. Ferino’s amaro, fernet, and cinnamon cordial products have distinctive flavor profiles that are both classic and reminiscent of the wilds of Nevada.
The distillery is a warm and industrial space with painted brick, cool wood accents, concrete floors, and a large ornamental mural depicting the ancient process of making these spirits. By day it’s a coffeehouse, serving pour-overs from top regional roasters that can be enjoyed by themselves or paired with any of Ferino’s spirits.
The bar at Ferino Distillery
At night, the distillery shines, with craft cocktails that highlight the spirits, designed by a team of Reno’s best bartenders, including Michael C. Moberly, Ferino’s national brand ambassador; Annalisa Suarez, one of the city’s first craft cocktail creationists; and Joshua Berreman, a trained chef turned mixologist.
Each of these rock stars has made a mark on the menu, which is downright fun and filled with surprises. Classics such as the Toronto, combining rye, lemon, and fernet, mingle with fernet Jell-O shots served in tiny Mason jars; the Kitchen Sink, which marries all three of the house spirits with coconut-infused Egan’s Irish whiskey, coffee, lime and pineapple; and the Maple Boi Old Fashioned with Canella Cinnamon, bourbon, maple syrup, and house-made orange bitters, giving us new ways to enjoy old favorites and entirely new cocktail experiences at the same time. There’s even an entire section with drinks that support The Holland Project in Reno and its mission to promote arts, music, and culture by young people for young people.
Ferino is a phenomenal addition to the ever-growing Brewery District and our community, and a brand that is poised to put Reno on the map in a big way as it expands distribution across the country this year.
Beefing up Sparks
As our population grows, Sparks is investing a lot in making itself a destination for locals and visitors alike, and no one is putting more into revitalizing Downtown Sparks than Marnell Gaming. Marnell Gaming bought the Nugget Casino Resort in 2016 and almost immediately began necessary renovations to position it as an attractive place for meetings and conventions. While internal improvements began, the company turned its attention to the surrounding properties, acquiring the former Bourbon Square Casino in 2017 and ultimately constructing the Nugget Event Center in 2019.
With the convention space updated, the property began to attract new business travelers who were looking for better dining options than the property had to offer. To satisfy this new demand, in August 2019, the company opened Anthony’s Chophouse, a modern steakhouse with impeccable service in an exquisite and refined atmosphere. Guests can enjoy a classic steakhouse experience in the magnificently appointed dining room, with a menu featuring expertly sourced, fresh seafood as well as prime cut filets, rib eyes, and New York strip steaks, paired perfectly with a classic cocktail or one of the 200 wines, including French, Chilean, Spanish, Australian, Italian, and Napa Valley selections.
Anthony’s rack of lamb
24-layer cake at Anthony’s Chophouse in The Nugget in Sparks
For a more casual experience, guests also can dine at the bar, and larger parties of 20 to 180 can be accommodated in semi-private, private, and large dining areas in one of the two private dining rooms.
Sand Hill Dairy chocolate milk named the best
Perry James, author of Afoolzerrand.com, is on a mission to find the world’s greatest chocolate milk. He’s sampled 1,300 types of chocolate milk across 51 countries and rated each of them on his blog, only giving a perfect 10 to 26 of them. And Sand Hill Dairy in Fallon now is one of them! As the state’s only farmstead dairy, its workers produce, package, and distribute the fresh milk and use it to create dairy products such as cheese and chocolate milk. Isidro Alves, Sand Hill Dairy’s owner, attributes the perfect score to his special recipe, which combines non-homogenized whole milk, cane sugar, and premium chocolate to create a rich, buttery, creamy product with a salty sweetness that everyone can enjoy.
Sand Hill Dairy products are available at a number of Northern Nevada retail outlets. For the complete list, visit Sandhilldairy.com.
Local customers are always right, and thanks to the love you’ve all shared in your Yelp reviews, two local businesses received national recognition for their locally made treats and placed Reno-Tahoe on the map for foodies across the country at the same time.
The Pizzeria You Need To Visit in Your Lifetime
It has been four years since Walter and Judy Gloshinski opened the doors of Smiling with Hope Pizza in Reno, and four full years of five-star Yelp reviews have followed. We could attribute that entirely to their incredible social cause, but we all know it’s just as much about the insanely delicious, truly perfect, East-Coast-style pizza they’re cranking out of the small storefront just off Lakeside Drive in Reno. It’s easily one of the most beloved businesses in our community, and as of late October, the entire country. Business Insider released a list of the Top 25 pizzerias in the nation that you need to visit in your lifetime, according to the local love shared in Yelp reviews, and Smiling with Hope took the No. 1 spot! The recognition arrives just after Smiling with Hope reopened following Walter’s double hip replacement, and it’s the perfect way to celebrate this couple’s passion and commitment to perfect pizza and creating a more inclusive community.
Walter Gloshinski, owner of Smiling with Hope Pizza in Reno
Best Doughnut Shop in Nevada
There’s something about a DoughBoys doughnut that just makes you smile. Crunching through the delicate, crispy exterior gives way to a delightfully fluffy interior that melts in your mouth, and you’ll remember each bite all day long. While there’s no doubt they’re delicious, it’s how those doughnuts have helped make our community a better place that has earned DoughBoys high praise on Yelp, firmly placed it in our hearts, and, now, been recognized as the best doughnut shop in the state of Nevada. It seems not a month goes by that DoughBoys isn’t churning out a new shape to support some important community cause. Whether it’s backing the Pack with wolf paws or supporting the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada and celebrating World Down Syndrome Day with blue-and-yellow specials, the people behind DoughBoys show they care about all of their customers in Reno-Sparks and our community with everything they do.
DoughBoys Donuts’ innovative offerings
Our patronage at longstanding local institutions and all of the new concepts and cuisines that have arrived supports the growth we’re seeing in Reno-Tahoe. Sharing these stories and your own experiences with others will inspire them to show their support, too. We’re all an active part of putting the Reno-Tahoe region on the map, and in so doing, we’re helping our food community thrive.
Until next time, remember to eat, drink, and support local!
- Michael Tragash is a local food influencer and a local community director 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.