Reno chowdown: Great dinner at SoDo
The Greater Reno Grub and Gripe Group gathered at SoDo Restaurant in Reno for a chowdown and generally we rated it an excellent meal.
I liked everything, from the appetizers through dessert. With corkage and a tip, my share of the bill came to $80. It's not something I can do often. But the food and service were great. So I felt my money was well spent.
Our group of eight started with appetizers of calamari and scallops. Both were noteworthy. The calamari pieces were huge and tender. The scallops were fresh and flavorful. At one point SoDo offered a discount on appetizers during the afternoon or during happy hour. I don't know if they still do. But if they do, this could be a real deal in Reno.
For my main course, I ordered the hangar steak, medium, and a house salad without croutons. The salad came with croutons, a minor misstep. It was large and had a nice mix of vegetables. The hangar steak was also excellently prepared and was tender and flavorful. One minor issue, and I may be to blame because I didn't read the item properly on the menu, but it
seemed to have some sort of vinegar applied to it. I brought a 1976 Chateau Montelena zinfandel to drink and the vinegar clashed badly with the wine. But it didn't overwhelm the meat and in the end I was fine.
RevAndy got beef brisket. I sampled some of that and it was good.
Several of us ordered dessert. I got a brownie with pretzel crust and ice cream. We ended up passing the desserts around for everyone to share and all tasted delicious.
Service was attentive.
Only one of us did not like the meal. Fred said the plate and the lamb on his entree were cold and the couscous was ice cold. His opinion was that it was premade and chilled and they served the plate without warming it. He didn't raise this complaint until after the meal. I believe if he had mentioned it right away they would have fixed it.
The group had a good time. It was a Thursday night and the restaurant had a good crowd, suggesting this is the business that will succeed there after two others did not.
SoDo Restaurant and Bar
275 Hill St
Reno, NV 89501
I loved the dinner at SoDo. It's wonderful how many new, stylish, hip places with creative food are popping up in Reno. I agree with Steve that everything was quite enjoyable. The next big step for Reno is serving real calamari with bodies and tentacles, as opposed to pressed steaks. SoDo did a pretty good job with theirs, but why is it so difficult to find the real thing. The sea scallops were perfectly undercooked and served on a bed of purple potato puree that was rich and satisfying. Steve, I had the Icky Braised Short Ribs, that were anything but(not brisket). Icky is a beer from Great Basin and was incorporated in the sauce, which was complex and deeply flavorful. Rather than being served on your standard mashed potatoes this came with a delicious malted barley salad, carrot puree, and red onion marmalade. These were some of the best short ribs I've ever had. I thought the other dishes were equally well executed except for the lamb-although it was a winning entree if served at the proper temperature.
Steve, thanks again for organizing a great meal. Well done!