Archive for October, 2010

We were in Reno for a basketball tournament a few weekends ago. On Friday night, we had a little time to have dinner by ourselves before the team festivities / requirements started for the weekend. Since we were staying at the Grand Sierra resort, home to three Charlie Palmer restaurants, I thought we’d just stay “in” and eat. Jim insisted that we go out into Reno and find something less touristy.


We picked 4th Street Bistro randomly because it seemed to have pretty solid ratings and reviews on Google. It seemed to be a locals type place that focused on serving fresh food in a French style. The bistro is on the edge of Reno downtown, next to a large cemetery, perched on the hill. You don’t realize that you’ve arrived unless you look up the hill to see the warmly light house in the middle of s pitch black industrial area. Maybe that’s why they only open after 5pm, so you can’t see the lack of scenery.


We got a charming table on the deck on an unseasonably warm October night. We started with a three cheese plate. After our experience touring through France three years ago, no visit to a French bistro is complete without ordering the cheese plate. I don’t remember exactly what cheeses we had, but it wasn’t anything that really blew me away. What was really good was the local honey comb that they provided to go with the cheese. Yummy.


Jim had entree that could have passed for a large salad: duck breast on a bed of wild rice and field greens. The field greens were punctuated by jewel-like figs and raspberries. All of the ingredients were extremely fresh. The duck was well cooked, but the meat itself was a little on the chewy side. I had a shortrib dish with yukon gold mashed potatoes and a side salad with roasted carrots. The shortribs were well cooked, however I thought the seasoning was a bit inconsistent. For some reason, some of the pieces were a little saltier than others.  The Yukon Gold mashed potatoes were lovely, creamy, and perfect. The salad was predictable and the roast carrots in various colors provided a good contrast that was very tasty. For dessert, we selected a Scharffenberger chocolate mousse pie with pecan crust over caramel sauce. I thought I wouldn’t like the crust, but that ended up being the best part. Combined with the expertly prepared caramel sauce, it was absolutely to die for. Ironically, the Scharffenberger chocolate mousse was much too bitter against the caramel sauce.


Overall, I’d definitely go back there. It had a great feel and good food. Service was friendly and sociable. Definitely an unexpected find in Reno.


4th Street Bistro

3065 W 4th Street

Reno, NV 89523




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Summer time isn’t the same without a proper New England lobster roll.  I haven’t had a good one since my Boston days, so I was pretty excited to find out that I can get a taste of the New England treat in Redwood City. Old Port Lobster Shack carries a full menu of seafood delights, but I only go there for the lobster rolls.

The decor can only be described as kitschy. They have a bunch of New England themed appropriate paraphernalia decorating the walls: old buoys, maps, etc. But remember you’re not here for the decor.

Lobster rolls are lobster meat (claws and tail), prepared in two styles on a split top white bread. There’s a “naked” roll and a “regular style”. Naked is just as it sounds: lobster meat with no frills. Regular adds mayonnaise and chopped green onions. I’ve tried both, but I prefer the regular version. It has a better flavor without being too overpowering. Each roll is served with a small side of fries and coleslaw. When it arrives on the little red plastic basket, it doesn’t look like much, but there is something about the richness of the lobster and the bread that fills you up quickly. I’m still trying to figure out what the raisins are doing in the coleslaw, but I guess that’s how Lobster Shack prepares their coleslaw.

For those looking for an accompanying beverage, Lobster Shack also carries several microbrews on tap: Shipyard from Maine and Devils Canyon from Belmont, CA. I can’t remember exactly what I’ve had from these two companies, but I’ve never been disappointed.

Old Port Lobster Shack

851 Veterans Boulevard

Redwood City CA 94063



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