Thursday, July 31, 2008

4th Street Bistro - Reno, NV

I'm going to say I've never thought to write about a restaurant in Nevada before. I still don't think to write about it, because let's face it Nevada is about as shitty of a shitfest that a Supreme Being or Science ever shat out onto this planet. And I've driven through the whole crappy state.

That does include Las Vegas. Just because every muscular celebrity chef rock star has stuck his dick in it doesn't make it a good place to be (c.f. Pamela Anderson). Las Vegas is a culinary destination in the same way that Heidi Klum is attractive.

It's (she's) not. It (she) just offers a creepy and overly made-up version of something you can find on any street corner in a major metropolis. Especially the corner of Highland & Santa Monica.

That being said, every now and then you'll catch Heidi on a good day and you'll actually remember why you briefly masturbated to her in the late 90's.

Point being, there might actually be a good restaurant in Nevada. And that restaurant is 4th Street Bistro in Reno.

In this instance, a restaurant might actually be benefiting from its pissbucket location in the armpit outskirts of Reno. In another part of the country its fresh, seasonal, and expertly cooked cuisine would blend in on the block with the various contenders and pretenders to the Cal-Cuisine throne. But in Reno, a city known best for bunny ranches and second-rate casinos (I mean really, the Silver Legacy?), 4th Street Bistro stands out as sharply and distinctly as Klum's prominently augmented breasts.

I was picked up at the Reno Airport by the extended family for a sojourn in South Lake Tahoe. Not wanting to have driven all over to the lame side of the lake for no reason, we decided to enjoy what fine dining Washoe County has to offer.

Was 4th Street Bistro great? Hardly. Was it good? Absolutely. Really freakin' tasty actually. A survey of the menu and a survey of the farmhouse-chic dining room and you just might think you're in Rivoli or Chez Panisse Cafe. 4th Street Bistro features all the heavy hitters, including "Liberty" duck, Niman Ranch beef, pork, and lamb, and "Heavenly Organics" mushrooms. The wine list is predictable but solid and the service is amateurish and overly-trained, but very friendly.

I started with an appetizer of pork belly on a bed of caramelized peaches and some vegetables or something. It was tasty, but the piece of pork belly was about the size of my thumb. And my thumbs are pretty small. Still, it was good.

Entree was a duck confit salad. This was also solid. The confit leg was as well prepared as any I've had. Crisp skin, juicy fat, and moist meat. The accompanying wilted salad was tasty and complimentary. The only fault was too much of an overly-vinegary dressing. And that's not really a fault, just a matter of taste.

Good, solid, tasty food. It's very well made and uses some of the best ingredients around. Without knowing too much, I'd say it's the last really good restaurant before you hit Denver (with the notable exception of Sweet Melissa's Vegetarian Cafe in Laramie).

Check it out when you're up in the mountains. Or, rather, when you leave the beautiful majesty of the mountains for the barren, sprawling, empty empty desert plain that is the great state of Nevada.

4th Street Bistro
3065 West 4th St.
Reno, NV 89523

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fuck you.