Lamp of luxury
The Gas Lamp Cafe & Bar101 E. Pueblo St.
Reno, NV 89502
The Gas Lamp Restaurant & Bar offers upscale dining in a great atmosphere that is posh without being stuffy. This is a good thing, since the only time I’ve ever seen my husband in a tie was at our wedding.
He wore shorts to the restaurant, as did my dad. They didn’t feel out of place, and neither did I in my little black dress. The Gas Lamp has struck a good balance. Our server was friendly and formal when leading us to a beautiful, large table for four. The room is inviting, with lovely dark wooden pieces of furniture matching the tables that look to be on loan from Professor Digory Kirke’s house in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The effect is class without pretense.
And then there’s the menu. The choices are few on any given night, but that is because the menu changes often—every two or three weeks—depending on what is fresh and in season. On the night we visited, we had a bit of everything, enjoyed it all, and intend to return at least a few times a year to discover what new culinary machinations await.
We began with two appetizers, the ahi tuna tartar with avocado and wonton crisps ($9) and salmon carpaccio with parmesan, celery, dijon caper aioli truffle ($9). From the first bite, all four of us agreed that this is certainly one of the best restaurants in Reno.
The soup and salads were the closest thing to a letdown. The insalata caprese (mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic glaze, $7) was good, but the tomatoes, to be honest, were not as good as those in my parents’ backyard. My husband and I both had the golden tomato soup and, while tasty, it was a tad tangy. We couldn’t put our finger on the problem. We even asked our server, and she listed off the ingredients, but nothing clicked. Still, we ate up.
Then the entrees came. All I can say is wow. My mom had the 14 oz. grilled pork chop with Yukon gold mash, grilled nectarines, honey Dijon ($18) and, had she been home, would have eaten right off the bone. The meat was so tender it fell apart with barely a nudge from her knife. And the grilled nectarines were a gorgeous accompaniment. My dad, as usual, ordered the grilled rib eye steak, with corn, red pepper, zucchini, potato succotash, and bleu cheese garlic butter ($19), although he asked for the Yukon potatoes instead. The substitution was made without fuss and the meat itself, besides being genuinely medium-well-done as requested, was “perfect.”
My husband had the grilled prawn and linguine pasta with zucchini, cherry tomato and herb lemon olive oil ($18) and loved it. The pasta was ordinary but—get this—in the end, his pasta ran out before his shrimp did. I had the peppered seared salmon nicoise with green beans, roasted potatoes, tomatoes, olives, capers, red onion, Dijon vinaigrette ($19). I was very full but managed half simply because it was so good. My husband insisted on boxing up the rest for a midnight snack. (It didn’t even survive the drive home.)
Regrettably, we left no room for dessert. Next time, we’re thinking of going just for the sweet stuff. I can’t say it enough: The Gas Lamp is one of the best new restaurants in town. For those looking for a very nice but not overly pricey night out, this might be your place.