Flying in for dinner

One of the first restaurant jobs I had was as a waiter at the Clarion hotel in Sacramento. Pilots, flight attendants and weary travelers relaxed and dined in the restaurant while waiting to leave for the airport or before they retired to their room in the hotel. I always enjoyed the wide range of people from all around the United States who dined in this restaurant.

Since I had never been to the Plaza Court Restaurant, located inside the Airport Plaza Hotel across from the airport, I was curious to see how Reno’s airport restaurant caters to its travelers.

When I entered the Plaza Court, I was told that smoking was allowed only in the bar area, so I chose a table that was directly in front of a television screen showing a New York Knicks-Indiana Pacers NBA playoff game.

The waitress approached me immediately and offered me a drink. I looked over the wine list quickly and selected a glass of Gallo-Sonoma Cabernet ($5). Plaza Court offers a nice range of wines by the glass.

Plaza Court’s appetizer list is small. Chicken wings ($5.75), chicken on a skewer ($5.75) and lettuce tacos ($6.25) are the only items to select from. Traditional greens such as spinach salad, ($8.25), Plaza-style Cobb ($7.95) and chicken Caesar ($6.25) compose their salad list.

For an appetizer, I selected the chicken skewers. I ordered the spinach salad for my second course.

I asked the waitress what the evening specials were, and she told me she had to check with the chef. This honesty was refreshing; at least she didn’t try to dance around the issue as many servers would. She was back immediately and informed me that a blackened prime rib ($16.95) and crab-stuffed ravioli ($8.95) were the selections.

I decided on the tuna sandwich for dinner ($7.50).

The restaurant wasn’t very busy. One couple sipped Corona beers in the corner of the bar area. Two businessmen discussed what was going on with their company in Dallas. And a lady sat alone with warm brandy in a snifter, drinking the golden liquid as she waited for her guest to arrive from her flight.

The chicken skewers were good. Five pieces of chicken breast drizzled with a sesame sauce sat atop a bed of fresh greens. The chicken was tender, and the sauce had a nice bite.

I love spinach salads, so I was anxious to see how Plaza Court’s chef created his version of this classic dish. It was very tasty. The hot bacon dressing complemented the fresh spinach and wild mushrooms. The only thing that needed improvement was the quantity of mushrooms; I would have preferred more.

The entree selection is a bit slim. Burgers—garden or beef ($5.95)—a steak sandwich ($8.95), a teriyaki chicken sandwich ($7.25), shrimp on a skewer ($6.75) and a pasta of the day ($8.95), along with the tuna sandwich, are the only items offered for dinner. I would have preferred more of a selection.

My tuna sandwich was very good. The six ounces of yellow fin tuna steak served on grilled sourdough with a lemon pepper remoulade sauce was delicious.

For dessert, I choose the lemon cheesecake ($3.50). The cheesecake was set on a bed of raspberry sauce and lined with whipped cream. It was outstanding.

The service at the Plaza Court was fast and friendly, and the food was delicious. I was impressed, especially since I was in the lounge and was served by a cocktail waitress. The well-trained staff and relaxing atmosphere the restaurant creates is a good addition to the Reno restaurant community.