King of the hill
Hill St. Grill opened about six weeks ago in the location once occupied by a restaurant called 275 Hill. I like the location between California Street and downtown Reno. I hadn’t had a chance to eat there since it opened, so on a scorching Saturday, I met my friend Katherine to try it out.
Hill St. Grill is separated into two areas, with a bar in the front, and the restaurant area along the side and in the back. The restaurant has a modern, upscale yet relaxed feel about it. Concrete floors, slate blue and tan walls and floor-to-ceiling windows add to the class. The wooden tables are well-spaced and give diners some privacy. There is also a patio area, with tables, umbrellas, plants and a water feature. If it hadn’t been so hot, I would have loved to sit out there.
I had come for lunch but learned that, on weekends, brunch is the only thing served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, after reading the brunch menu, which included things like lemon soufflé pancakes and frittatas, my lunch visions seemed unimportant. When the friendly waitress came by and told me about bottomless mimosas for $10, I couldn’t remember why I would even bother with lunch.
I ordered the crispy salmon ($14), with asparagus and an egg sunny-side-up. When the plate arrived, I was delighted by the pretty presentation. The salmon was piled on top of asparagus with the egg on the side. The salmon was some of the best I’ve had in Reno, as it tasted fresh, crispy on top and was perfectly cooked. The grilled asparagus spears had a light layer of salt. A grapefruit hollandaise was drizzled over the plate. I had never had grapefruit hollandaise, but the citrus complemented the salmon perfectly, and I’m starting to think it should be served on nearly everything. Katherine ordered the quiche of the day ($10), which came with corn, red peppers and cheddar and was served with a side salad. The corn gave this quiche richness, and the pepper added some kick. There were flakes of herbs in the crust of the quiche, so while simple, this quiche had a unique flavor. The salad had an amazing lemon dressing, and the greens and tomatoes tasted fresh.
The meals weren’t huge or over-filling, which I prefer for brunch, especially when I’m trying to get my money’s worth out of my mimosas. This turned out to be an easy task, as our waitress had her eagle eye on my glass and would reappear anytime the glass started to look a little low. Since we weren’t stuffed beyond belief, we decided to try the cantaloupe ice cream ($4). It was amazing—light, refreshing and creamy. Unlike me, Katherine has manners so it was easy to eat all of the ice cream out from under her since she’s too nice to jab my hand with silverware, which is pretty much the only way to make me stop.
I enjoyed the meal so much I asked for a dinner menu to see what else was offered. With choices like blue cheese-stuffed mushrooms rolled in bread crumbs and pan-seared scallops, I’ll be going back to Hill St. Grill.