Reno: A new Chowhound destination with Rawr
Reno has another great restaurant in Rawr. How impressed am I with Rawr, which opened about four months ago in the West Street Market? Not only do they have fresh seafood, which is no easy trick in Reno, but they make vegan food that tastes good. At other Reno restaurants, vegan seems to be a code word for “flavorless.”
As the name implies, they serve uncooked food. A good portion of the menu is vegan. The restaurant is set up like a sushi bar with seats along a counter and the chef on the other side. There's also seating in a common area of the West Street Market. It looks like they deliver food to the West Street Wine Bar as well.
For my meal, I got beet ravioli with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and pine nuts, fettuccine made out of asparagus with prosciutto and an arugula pesto and an oyster dish with lavender on top. All were excellent.
The beet ravioli were the vegan dish. Chef Brett Kendall uses golden beets to simulate the pasta part of ravioli and the tomato and pine nuts were delicious. I can't remember what he used to represent the cheese in the ravioli. The asparagus fettuccine was great combination with the tasty prosciutto and I liked the crunchiness of the pine nuts on top. The oysters were fresh and delicious and the lavender was a nice addition on top.
Service was good.
Rawr is a project of Larry Dunning, who started the much missed Sezmu, and as at Sezmu he has one of the areas better wine lists. I saw Baudry and Rawr is the first place I've seen Brick House pinot noir from Oregon in Nevada. The mark ups are better than most restaurants, which may come from his days working at Plumpjack restaurant at Lake Tahoe, which is owned by the Plumpjack winery. I'd say the menu skews more towards white white and rose, though.
I also got a bottle of root beer. With a tip, dinner came to $40. Not overpriced given the quality, but also not something I can do every day. I look forward to exploring the menu at Rawr.
It is open Thursday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. To 9:30 p.m.
148 West St
Reno, NV 89501
As Steve knows (since he was there:-) a group of us had dinner at Rawr last night based on his recommendation...and it was wonderful! No atmosphere at all, but with such good food and company who cares? My only regret was that DH had to cancel at the last minute when work took him to Vegas....he would have LOVED the flavorful vegan food at Rawr (just an excuse to go back!). My favorites were the prosciutto/asparagus dish he described above and the scallop ceviche, which was just transcendent. The chard poppers were also great!! I also agree with Steve that the seafood is all very fresh. I didn't have a bad bite all night.....
The Greater Reno Grub and Gripe Group gathered at Rawr for what may be the best GRGAGG meal yet. All eight of us gave the food at Rawr enthusiastic thumbs up. One of the group called during the meal and scheduled a get together there next week with a fellow foodie friend.
Rawr serves food that has not been cooked. It may have been cured or pickled, just not cooked.
With a group of eight of us there was much sampling going on among all the small plates we ordered. Just about everything was delicious, so the quantity of good food plus all the wine consumption makes it hard to remember the details.
A couple of things stood out for me, though. One was the scallop ceviche. I'm usually indifferent to what is considered good ceviche by others, but this was tasty. The scallop had great flavor and it was complemented by peppers and a cilantro sorbet. Another excellent dish was the Van Norman beef carpaccio. Rawr found some especially tasty olives to go with it and it made the whole thing full of interesting flavors.
The quality of the ingredients seem to be the key here. There was another dish, a vegetarian dish, that had these black things on top. Again, everything else on the dish tasted good, but the black things were just a nice kick. Linda decided it might be fennel and I can't say she's wrong. But this not like ordinary fennel, It's like fennel with the good flavor squared.
Over all, Rawr is the kind of place where you could throw a dart at the menu to order and you'd get good food.
There was one thing I didn't like. The smoked “sturgeon” nigiri had too strong of a fish flavor to it, even though there was no fish in it. Maybe that's others might like it, but I didn't.
I'd say there was one other minor misstep. The last dish brought out for Linda and Bill was wonderfully prepared, but it was probably one of the more delicate dishes of the evening. It should have been brought out first instead of following the intense flavors of many of the other dishes.
We pushed three tables together in the common area of the West Street Market for our group. One group member noted it's not the best atmosphere, but it worked well. If you're interested in innovative, fresh, tasty food, Rawr is the place to go.
We just had lunch with someone who is very, VERY involved with the local food movement in Reno. She's eaten there a couple of times and also raves about it. She suggests sitting at the counter where he prepares each thing right in front of you. If we can stay home long enough, we really need to check this out.
As usual, thanks to Steve for putting together another great GRGAGG meal at Rawr. Steve has terrific taste in food and Lana and I are always excited about his food finds. I've had some underwhelming experiences at a couple of other raw food restaiurants so I had a reservation at In & Out for later this night. It wasn't necessary as this was such a good meal I could almost become a vegetarian(almost being the watchword).
The decor is underwhelming but this midtown neighborhood seems to be fast becoming a very hip spot. The food was masterfully inventive, perfectly executed, and beautifully presented. We agree with Steve and Janet's assessment of the dishes we all shared however not mentioned was a tasty beet ravioli with sunderied tomato vinaigrette and pinenuts and french kiss oysters with lavender granita and pink peppercorn mignonette.
After dinner Janet introduced us to the bonus round-amazing craft cocktails at Z Bar, formerly Zephyr Bar. All their cocktails use fresh fruits or juices and was a great way to finish the evening.