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Reno dining--Sezmu and ??

Nancy and I will be in Reno at the end of June for three days. Last year we dined at Sezmu and really enjoyed it. We are going back to Sezmu but I would like some advice from Reno hounds for two other dining options that would be Sezmu quality. I was thinking of Charlie Palmer Steak or Fin, his fish house. However, the reviews on this board have been mixed tending toward the negative. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Fourth Street Bistro
    Peony, which is probably the area's best Chinese restaurant
    LaVecchia has been turning out some great Italian food.
    What kind of food do you like?

    3 Replies
    1. re: SteveTimko

      Steve: We really like fish and French. Modern American is good also. We are open to anything except Asian as we live in the Bay Area and have plenty of that here.

      1. re: John Lowrey

        My favorite French-type restaurant is Z Bistro in Carson city. They're open for lunch Monday through Saturday and dinner on Friday and Saturday.
        Fourth Street Bistro falls into a category of a restaurant you'd like.
        LuLou's is another, but it's more expensive.
        The Stone House probably fits the modern American category. Chowhound Nancy has had good meals there. I love it for breakfast but can't seem to find good things for dinner. Maybe Nancy can suggest something.
        I'd still suggest giving La Vecchia a try.
        Fish. Uh, don't come to Reno for fish.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          I think I will try Z Bistro in Carson City--its a nice drive from Reno. You are not the first person to knock Reno for its fish selection. It is not because it is in the desert. You can get great fish in Vegas but you pay for it.

    2. I would rate 4th St Bistro over Z Bistro in Carson City. Sorry Steve, but I thought Z Bistro was a bit uneven. I would stay away from Charlie Palmer in Reno. I love his cooking at Aureole and Dry Creek Kitchen in Sonoma, but he's dumbed down his menu in Reno. My second choice would be Lulou's, which is cutting edge. Living in San Francisco with Italian restaurants like A16, you'll be disappointed with La Vecchia. If you really want to drive from Reno towards Carson City, I would head to DW's, at David Walleys Hot Springs in Genoa. It's a beautiful, historic setting and they cook excellent game. They are certainly catching more game than fish around these parts. By the way, Sezmu is an excellent choice!

      2 Replies
      1. re: RevrendAndy

        The dinner we had at Z Bistro wasn't the best, but I've had several lunches there that were better.
        I love A16 and I love La Vecchia too. It's not mutually exclusive. In fact, I'd want John to be the tie-breaking vote on La Vecchia.
        Oh, I spaced out on one French place. Beaujolais Bistro on West Street in downtown Reno. I haven't eaten there yet but I've heard lots of good things about it.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          I ate at Beajolais 3 years ago and enjoyed it. I was hesitant to recommend it since it's been so long. I haven't been to La Vecchia in a few years. I guess I should give it another try. I just don't get down to Reno very often for dinner so I should try it again.

      2. Okay, my turn to pipe up...actually, I've dined at A16 and except for the burrata and pizza, I was disappointed. I'm not crazy about La Vecchia and would opt for La Famigilia instead, if I were going the Italian route. I am a big fan of Stonehouse and have had some pretty decent fish there, however, with that being said I was extremely disappointed in my last visit - I ordered a lobster fish combo thingie and it was smothered in some sickeningly sweet sauce, and to top it off I was in for a huge shock when the bill came and the dish was $50! I HATE when they don't tell you the price when they're announcing the specials! Anyway, I think Sezmu and LuLou's are your best bets, I can't speak for 4th Street Bistro because i haven't been, but I've only ever heard great praise for it. I know this thread has put the kabash on Fin Fish, but what about Dolce in GSR? I've heard good things...

        1 Reply
        1. re: nancyhudson

          Well, its been awhile since I ate at La Famigilia (about a year) but although the food was delicious I don't think I would go back. It was SOOO noisy and crowded that we couldn't hear ourselves think, much less talk.

          And I am the negative one about 4th St. Bistro...admittedly its been awhile but my one dinner there was a disappointment.

          OTOH, I think La Vecchia is going up in quality, so if you haven't tried it lately you should. My kids love their early bird specials; they are a good deal. Of course, maybe I'm not qualified to give Reno recs anymore...since I don't live there now....

          (Miss you guys!)

        2. I highly recommend LuLou's. It's been around for a long time, I've eaten there several times, and it's never disappointed. I would describe it as Modern American.

          Chapel Tavern is also across the street; the best place in town to get a quality cocktail.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chris Walker Versus

            Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I have reserved at LuLou's and Sezmu. The other day is left open for whatever I see that looks good once I am there. I will also go to Chapel Tavern.

            And, I will report back.

            1. re: John Lowrey

              I want to encourage you to also try 4th Street Bistro. It is my favorite "special" Reno restaurant. It is wonderful. The duck confit is so good that it is hard to even share one bite with anyone else!

          2. I second Barbara's encouragement: 4th Street is excellent. Quite intimate, too. You might need a reservation.

            Also, just a recommendation: if Dave or Duncan is behind the bar at Chapel ask for "Black Manhattan." It's incredible.

            1. Maybe your answer for fish will be Sezmu, LuLou's or Fourth Street Bistro.Just ate at Sezmu again last night. It was a fabulous dinner. Two of us got the swordfish as part of the four-course tasting menu and it was great. A native of Wisconsin got the walleye and said it was excellent.
              Although I have to say the only thing I didn't like all night was a raw fish course they brought to our table as an extra. Tasted too fishy.

              1. Based on recommendation of fellow ‘hounds, I gave LuLous a try on a Friday night. Wow, were we glad we did. My wife said it was the best steak she ever had and her goat cheese app was great also. I started with the foie gras and it was the best (out of maybe 15 times) that I have ever had. My Ahi Tuna was delicious also. The bill with wine and tip was about $230 which is expensive for Reno but worth it. After I told the waiter how much I enjoyed the food and how it compared favorably with the Bay Area and Las Vegas, he suggested that I visit Sezmu. I told him that I had already reserved.

                We also, based on the advice of Chris Walker Versus on this site, tried the Chapel Tavern right across the street from LuLous. We loved the bar—low key but fun. Both place are on the must do list for the next Reno trip.

                We had an excellent meal at Sezmu on Sunday night. My only problem with the place (our second visit) was that after 8:30 we were the only patrons. I guess Reno is not a Sunday night dining type of town. Both my fish and Nancy’s steak were very good but not as good as LuLous. It was cheaper however.

                We had another couple of interesting dining experience. We had Kobe beef sliders and pulled pork sliders at the bar at Fin, Charlie Palmer’s place at Grand Sierra. Both were excellent although the reviews of both of his restaurants at the GS have mixed at best.

                The other place is the Pneumatic Dinner near the Truckee River. What a joint! It is a hole in the wall and most definitely unique. We went for waffles on Sunday morning. They were just OK but I was still glad for the experience. If you live in Reno give it a try on Sunday morning, the only day they serve waffles.