Boy meets grill
G-G’s Mahogany Grill8195 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511
There once was a snail that was unhappy about his reputation as a slowpoke. So he decided to trade in his clunky old shell for a roaring red sports car. He painted a big letter ‘S’ on the side of his new ride and went cruising around the neighborhood, scamming for chicks and showing off his new wheels. And everywhere he went, all the lady snails smiled and waved and exclaimed, “Wow! Look at that S car go!”
Although I’ve been telling this classic joke since I was about 9 years old, I’ve only ever had escargot once or twice in my life. So when my friend Paul suggested we order some as an appetizer at G-G’s Mahogany Grill, I was excited. Their escargot ($9.95) is sautéed in garlic butter and topped with bleu cheese and bread crumbs. It had a dark, mushroom-like taste, but richer and more succulent, and (this was funny to me) it tasted better the slower you chewed. The bleu cheese was a nice complement, almost but not quite overwhelming.
G-G’s occupies the former Heidi’s Family Restaurant location in the “pink Scolari’s” shopping center on South Virginia. The atmosphere of G-G’s couldn’t be further removed from that of Heidi’s. Whereas Heidi’s was bustling, G-G’s is sedate, with pretensions toward elegance. The lighting and atmosphere are very nice, and all the tables and chairs appeared to be fashioned from the titular wood. But the music’s lousy—whoever selects music for these places needs to realize that a smooth jazz bossanova will do a lot to ruin a moment.
G-G’s boasts of its patrimonial connections to The Christmas Tree Restaurant, a former local dining institution halfway up the Mount Rose Highway. The G and the G are supposedly Guy and Gloria Michael, owners and operators of The Christmas Tree. One of G-G’s owners, Sandra Triglia, is their granddaughter, and chef Kawai Garrido was trained by Gloria Michael.
G-G’s, like The Christmas Tree, specializes in a variety of steaks, cooked on the mahogany grill, but neither Paul nor I were in the mood for the digestive tract commitment a good steak requires. I had the mahogany-broiled salmon ($17.50) with rice pilaf and sautéed vegetables. Paul had fettuccine alfredo ($14.95) with grilled Italian sausage ($3). The portions were big, and everything tasted fresh and well-balanced. We were both content, but neither meal quite matched the dazzling novelty of the appetizer.
One thing that struck me as strange was how young the staff looked. Most of them didn’t look old enough to be serving alcoholic beverages. Egads, I thought, can these whippersnappers even drive to work? Perhaps I’m just getting old.
One employee who did look old enough to drive was a man that moved in such way that Paul and I thought he must’ve been one of the owners. He was going around asking all the diners how their meals were, but for some reason he skipped us. Was it because we were engrossed in private conversation? Or was it because we looked like a couple of scruffy nerf-herders probably there casing the joint? Who knows?
Apart from the resplendency of the escargot, nothing truly impressed me at G-G’s Mahogany Grill. However, it’s a nice little place; the goal of carrying on the traditions of The Christmas Tree seems admirable enough, and I certainly wouldn’t mind going there again.