Less taste, more filling

After reviewing mostly Reno restaurants these past few months, I felt a visit to a Carson City restaurant was due. So my friend Eddy and I traveled to the Station Grill & Rotisserie to taste some Capital City cuisine.

We were seated immediately and handed menus by the hostess. I was impressed when she removed the extra settings from the table. Unfortunately, this was the last time the service shone at this restaurant. We waited almost 10 minutes before even seeing our bus person, which gave us enough time to memorize the menu.

The appetizer list featured onion rings ($3.50), quesadillas ($5.50), Winnemucca skins ($4.95) and spicy chicken strips ($4.95). Nothing was special about any of these appetizers. I thought the Winnemucca skins would be a house recipe, but it consists of potato skins, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions ($6.95). You can get the same thing at any Carrows-type restaurant.

When our waitress finally arrived, we selected two glasses of the house Pinot Noir and ordered appetizers. We asked about the specials, and she told us they were listed on the board by the hostess’ stand. But she added that she had them written down on her notepad. The specials sounded good as she recited them from her paper, so we selected the cioppino ($13.95) and the lamb shanks ($12.95).

In addition to the swordfish and salmon specials that the chef had prepared for the evening, many other items are offered by the Station Grill: a full selection of oven-baked pizzas ($5.95-$7.95), gazpacho salad with smoked salmon quesadillas ($7.50) and other salads are offered for those with light appetites. Crab cakes ($10.95) and grilled prawns Italiano ($14.95) are listed, along with other pastas for those in the mood for something with an Italian twist. A roasted leg of lamb ($11.95), a T-bone ($19.95) and other steaks, along with chicken and salmon, comprise their entrée selection.

Our appetizers were good. The Spanish shrimp ($6.95/$10.95) were a handful of rock shrimp sauteed in olive oil, garlic and crushed red peppers. The chunks of garlic made the dish great. The jalapeño mayonnaise served with the artichoke fritters ($4.50) was delicious. The calamari, ($5.95), dipped in beer-batter, was OK, but it could have been better. The salad dressings were a bit thick, especially since mine was supposed to be a vinaigrette, but the mixed greens were good. The presentation of the entrees was better than the flavor of the food.

When my lamb shanks were set in front of me, I thought the dish would be good, but the gravy poured on the lamb was bland. The garlic mashed potatoes weren’t bad, though. Eddy’s cioppino wasn’t good. All the seafood was de-shelled, which was nice, but the sauce tasted like a tomato pasta sauce. Like the gravy, it didn’t have very much flavor.

Although the appetizers were tasty and the food at the Station Grill & Rotisserie was filling, the specials lacked in innovation and quality. If this is an indication of what the rest of the menu items are like, then some things need to change in the kitchen.