Reno, NV 89523
I’m a working class guy with somewhat dated and entirely uncool clothing. My hair is always mussed, and I rarely shave. For these reasons, I rely on my wife’s incomparable beauty and grace to lend me some credibility in classy restaurants. However, when I took her and my brother to Roundabout Market Bistro in Somersett last Tuesday evening, they both looked as bedraggled as I did. The server recognized our shame, and in spite of ample front row seating, quarantined us to a remote and empty corner booth by the bathroom.
This was not a timely welcome, as we’d just spent the previous 30 minutes trying to find the place. Google Maps sent us on a wild goose chase, and from the street we couldn’t distinguish the Roundabout Market Bistro, which looks just like a fancy apartment building in a large apartment complex. If our server hadn’t been so lively and chipper, we might not have stayed. In the end, I’m glad we did.
Imagine shocking, exhilarating oranges when picturing the interior at Roundabout Market Bistro. If you go, don’t stare directly into the piercing yellow lamps suspended above each table. If you find yourself overstimulated, make a quick retreat to the bathroom. It’s a very calm, comfortable place that’s beautifully appointed, with scented candles burning.
Kat, Eric and I were saddened to find the wild mushroom cheesecake with grilled brioche toast ($8) appetizer completely sold out. We persevered and moved to entrees with Kat ordering a salazza: “salad meets pizza,” topped with smoked chicken, brie, caramelized onion, greens, dried figs and white balsamic vinaigrette ($12). The salazza comes beautifully presented on a slab of flagstone. It’s sauceless and rich with a pleasing sweet-fig finish. And now I know why I’ve never seen an encounter between salad and pizza. Because those two are extremely fickle and don’t get along. I immediately removed all greens from the piece I tried.
Eric chose the Italian sausage sautéed with mushrooms, garlic, and chili flakes and tossed with baby rigatoni in a spicy tomato sauce ($14). The tomato sauce was thin, just a touch spicy, and pleasantly oily from the sausage drippings. This is exactly the kind of sauce I like best.
I ordered the organic half chicken, spit roasted with natural rosemary pan jus mash and brocolini ($16). From the height of the rosemary sprig stuck in my mashed potatoes, to the size of the bird, to the depths of the pan jus, this plate was profound. I truly enjoyed the tender breast, leg and crunchy skin. The wing, I didn’t eat because I was full. The chicken comes resting in an ample pool of its own wonderful juices—a time-tested accompaniment to mashed potatoes.
For dessert, we went with the server’s favorite: Godiva chocolate tiramisu ($7). I’ve only eaten tiramisu a handful of times, with this being the best in memory. The chef used coffee liqueur and cake sparingly. The custard topping was very sweet and sprinkled with chocolate. After the large meal, it was enough for the three of us to share.
Our entire meal was very good, and their new gourmet pizza menu looks fabulous. And despite of the current economic troubles, and our visit being on a Tuesday, there were quite a few people enjoying the Roundabout Market Bistro. If I lived out there, I’d probably be starving for some creativity too.