New chow

The decor at Bistro 7 certainly lends itself to a brunch or dinner rush.

The decor at Bistro 7 certainly lends itself to a brunch or dinner rush.

Photo By Nick Higman

Bistro 7

7111 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511

(775) 851-9463

Bistro 7, formerly known as Ciao, has revamped its menu and is trying a new approach to the Reno dining scene. It resides in the southern part of Reno, has a modern, elegant style and a menu that emphasizes small plates paired with wine.

This restaurant has a ton of potential—when you walk through the entrance, you will be lured into the huge lounge/bar area. Smooth architecture accompanied by contemporary lighting creates an easygoing, fashionable atmosphere—beautiful people belong here. The dining room is highlighted by a luxurious bead wall that shimmers in the halogen lighting—stimulating, to say the least. This restaurant’s design is beautiful—once you are seated, you might just want to stay for a while. The luxurious interior is complemented by warm and friendly service.

It was Mother’s Day, so I was dining with my mom and my friend Julie. We were going to get a table in the dining room, but we got sucked right into the bar, which was attended by a stunning bartender. We pretty much had the entire lounge to ourselves—I guess everyone had already taken their moms to brunch. Our server/bartender Kristen was handling the room by herself. I could tell the staff was still trying to iron out a few details with the menu and the kitchen, but the excellent service drew my attention away from any glitches they may have been experiencing. It is amazing how a warm smile and attentive service can pacify me.

My mom and Julie treated themselves to a couple nice glasses of wine, and since I was the designated driver, I enjoyed my ice cold liter of Pellegrino ($6). Julie ordered the $9.50 Black Chook Shiraz, and my mom enjoyed the Argyle Pinot Noir for $8.50.

We started ordering our small plates, and Kristen staged our courses perfectly. First, we had the spinach salad with sieved egg, jicama, nine spice croûtons and warm Chinese mustard vinaigrette ($6), the spring greens with candied walnuts, dried berries and white balsamic vinaigrette ($6) and the wedge salad with iceberg lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, bacon and buttermilk blue cheese dressing ($7). The salads were the highlight of our meal. They tasted fresh and crisp, and the dressings had a good balance of sweet and spice.

Next, Kristen brought out our second course: mussels ($12), popcorn shrimp ($11) and a spinach, garlic and Parmesan pizza ($11). These dishes were under the ‘small plates’ category of the menu and they were indeed small, but good. After that, we had the steak frittes ($17) and the fish and chips ($10). By this time, we were getting full, but we had to end our evening with a sweet taste in our mouths, so we ordered the strawberry shortcake ($6) and the banana cream pie ($6). Hey! It was Mother’s Day! That did us in. As I said earlier, the salads were the highlight of our meal, but the desserts were close runners-up for deliciousness.

We had a pleasant experience at Bistro 7, and I can see that, over time, this place ought to become one of Reno’s premier hot spots for wining and dining. The bar has a DJ stage for some sweet nightlife, the enclosed side yard is a perfect place to chill on a windy Reno evening and the cozy, elegant dining room is sure to impress. I hope the second time around is a hit with this location.