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Santa Fe Hotel in Reno has started offering Tapas

SteveTimko Mar 20, 2010 06:20 PM

I've always thought the dinners were better here than at Louie's Basque Corner. Now they've started offering small plates they call tapas in the bar.
I'm not sure many people would recognize meatball sliders as tapas. But I liked them and overall the idea worked.
My favorites were the lamb chops and the chorizo. They get the chorizo through a distributor from a Utah company and it's good, but I think I'd like ti better if they got the fresh chorizo from Vila Basque Deli in Carson City.
The fried calamari was also tender and not overcooked.
They have a big basket of fries and I think they're still lard cooked.
A peron in my group liked the sardines with garlic, but they were a little too fishy tasting for me.
It's a good idea and I'm sure I'll be hitting it again.
The price is right, too. No small plate is more than $5.

From left to right in the photos are the meatball sliders, the fried calamari and the lamb chops.

Santa Fe Hotel
235 Lake St, Reno, NV 89501

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  1. c oliver RE: SteveTimko Mar 20, 2010 06:43 PM

    This sounds terrific. Do you know if they serve lunch? We live at the lake but MIL is in Reno and we're there almost every week. What about ambiance? MIL is a total snob when it comes to lighting and "ambiance." My husband grew up in Reno through undergrad but has never mentioned this. We WILL be checking it out. Thanks alot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      SteveTimko RE: c oliver Mar 21, 2010 11:00 AM

      Two strikes. No lunch. They were serving it on Fridays for a while but I guess I have stopped.
      It's an older place. It's clean and the kind of bar I like a lot but unless people like the well worn look I wouldn't give it points for ambiance.

      1. re: SteveTimko
        c oliver RE: SteveTimko Mar 21, 2010 12:44 PM

        Not a problem. MIL is so old and frail now that we usually only take her out for breakfast or lunch. We'll save this place for US! Bob and I met in a "dive bar" in SF and they hold a special place in our hearts :)

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      nvcook RE: SteveTimko Mar 22, 2010 01:21 PM

      A friend of mine who now lives in Boise is related to the owner of Villa Basque in Carson City. He isn't licensed to sell to restaurants other than his own and the fee to get that type of licensing was very high. I agree they have the very best chorizo and everyone that knows me knows to bring me back some when they are in Carson. I love places like the Santa Fe. There was one many years ago in Carson City called Toki Ona's. You walk in and there at the bar is the owner eating his split roasted lamb's head.

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        nvcook RE: SteveTimko Mar 29, 2010 03:11 PM

        Was in Reno these last few days. Didn't have the tapas but the dinner was wonderful. Huge platters of food (best tongue ever!) and endless carafes of house red wine (pretty decent). I was with mid twenties kids who had been working very hard all day and really enjoyed the quantity and quality.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nvcook
          MikeDAngelo RE: nvcook Apr 1, 2010 10:41 AM

          The Tongue is awesome at Santa Fe, will have to try the tapas one of these days.

          1. re: nvcook
            nvcook RE: nvcook Aug 18, 2010 04:34 PM

            Gotta update - had dinner there last night and it was only so-so. The soup tasted of the flour used to thicken it. The beef stew was ok (a side), the paella was very dry and skimpy with protein. The solomo was ok, I've had better. There wasn't much garlic. SIL said his steak was only ok. We love the atmosphere at the Santa Fe, but the last dinner I had at Louis' Basque corner was better.

          2. StayAtHomeFoodie RE: SteveTimko Apr 26, 2010 08:19 PM

            I have been going to the Sante Fe since I was a little girl, and it has always been wonderful! Love the Lomo and the fries are to die for! I love the old time atmosphere too! Always feels like family and home when you walk in! If you friend them on Facebook, they offer drink specials!

            1. c oliver RE: SteveTimko May 15, 2010 11:53 AM

              We had tapas here last night and had a great time also. I'd forgotten that you'd mentioned they served them at the bar and, although I told them that's what we wanted, it was VERY loud and they seated us at the end of a table with a party of probably 30 people celebrating a graduation. Before we knew what was happening, they'd put down the big "cauldron" of fantastic vegetable soup and a half bottle of the house red. When we explained to the server, she was totally accommodating and said no problem with the tapas and to just enjoy the soup no charge. We ordered the lamb chops and agree with you that they are really good. Also had the chorizo which we liked second best and the shrimp in garlic which we liked but didn't love. The price was $12 for 3 plates; can't beat that. My husband is a Reno native (through undergrad) but had never been there for which he was given all sorts of grief by other customers:) Steve, you'll hopefully chuckle when I tell you that I went over to a second good-sized party and asked if anyone there was Steve Timko!!! They weren't but I made some MORE new best friends. We thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the experience and will be going back soon and probably often. Afterwards we went to Harrah's and made our "donation to the local economy." Thanks for a great rec.

              1. c oliver RE: SteveTimko May 25, 2010 08:39 AM

                We tried to go there last evening and discovered that they're closed on Mondays. We were so set to have the lamb chops, calamari and sliders. Next time.

                1. c oliver RE: SteveTimko May 31, 2010 08:24 PM

                  We went back a few nights ago. The lamb was even better. Tender and medium rare. Got the sliders and the calamari. The calamari tender but thought the oil could have been a little hotter to brown it up a bit. Really liked the "sliders." Not typical and not Spanish but those meatballs were very tasty and it "ate" better than I thought it would. Three tapas for $12 is hard to beat, isn't?

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                    Nv.Zephyr RE: SteveTimko Aug 27, 2010 10:04 PM

                    Havn't been on CH for quite awhile and it's glad to hear Sante Fe is serving up good food again. Have had many a Picon punch there and had our wedding party there 25 years ago. We'll have to go back and enjoy the character & food .

                    1. nancyhudson RE: SteveTimko Jun 5, 2011 07:35 AM

                      Four of us finally made it over here last night for the tapas (we've had the basque dinner here prior). They were great and it's a terrific bargain. We had the lamb chops, fries, calamari, chorizo, sliders, and the hard cheese, procciutto tapas. 6 plates for $24 - can't beat that. Lamb chops were the overall favorite, but everything was tasty, too. This will probably become a staple in our Reno dining. ps: staff was really great.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: nancyhudson
                        c oliver RE: nancyhudson Jun 5, 2011 08:19 AM

                        Glad you liked it also. We were there Thursday. Actually when we're in Reno, which is quite often these days, it's unusual if we don't go there. We get two lambs and fries and carry fries home to reheat. One time we swapped out for their salad but it was just iceberg and lacked any crunch. We found out that they buy their lamb from Sierra Meats and we'll check them out one of these days. They SO tender, aren't they? We've worked our way through the choices and occasionally get the prosciutto and cheese. The prosciutto seems more like just ham but tasty nonetheless. Was Erica, the blonde bartender, who waited on you? She's terrific.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          nancyhudson RE: c oliver Jun 5, 2011 05:22 PM

                          That's funny re the prosciutto-it wasn't the best I've had...I wouldn't say "ham-like" tho, since it was pretty dry. My husband and I agreed that next time, if it's just the 2 of us, we'd do the chops, the fries, and the calamari.

                          No, our waitress had dark hair with bangs and lots of beautiful tattoos.

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