Pine dining

While dishes like New York steak and strawberry spinach salad are tasty, the service and scenery really make the Lodge at Galena stand out.

While dishes like New York steak and strawberry spinach salad are tasty, the service and scenery really make the Lodge at Galena stand out.

Photo By David Robert

The Lodge at Galena

17025 Mount Rose Hwy
Reno, NV 89511

(775) 849-2100

The Lodge at Galena, formerly Galena Forest Inn, has new owners and a new groove. My friend Paige and I were wondering what had become of the place, so we tried to look it up. After no luck, we just took the drive out to Galena. I’m glad I went.

Eric Roth (former general manager of Bully’s in Galena) and his wife, Corin, bought the place on Jan. 1 this year and re-opened in April. They toned the place down, making it less posh and friendlier to locals, families, skiers and snowboarders—a smart business move.

The Lodge at Galena is primarily a bar, with a medium-sized dining room attached. I sensed a fun, relaxed environment when I walked in. The two young hostesses were all smiles and giggles and having a great time. All the employees were very nice and welcoming. This is a great place to go on the way home from work when you don’t feel like cooking, or after an epic day of skiing or mountain biking around Tahoe. The neighborhood locals are the main clientele, and with all the new homes popping up in the area, more places like this are needed. When I was there, I ran into a friend of mine from Montrêaux; he and his family are thrilled to have a laid-back restaurant nearby so they can pick up some good food for dinner without spending a huge wad of cash.

The menu is casual, with prices ranging from a reasonable $5-$25. It offers appetizers, hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, salads and standard entrees like steaks, chicken and pasta. The burgers looked killer. I was tempted to order one, but I was in the mood for a steak, and the 14-ounce New York ($24.95) looked exactly like what I was craving. It was huge and cooked perfectly. It came with a salad, so I had the Caesar. I also ordered the bruschetta ($5.95): diced tomatoes, thin strips of chiffonade basil and pine nuts with mozzarella cheese melted on top of the bread. A small ramekin of balsamic reduction for dipping was in the center of the plate; for five bucks, the appetizer was good.

Paige ordered the Daily Special Shrimp Appetizer ($7.95), a combination of Blue Moon beer-battered, coconut-almond crusted and plain-breaded shrimp with cocktail sauce and orange marmalade. She also had the Strawberry Spinach Salad ($8.95), which came with big sliced avocados and a champagne vinaigrette—yummy.

The food was delicious, but it was not the highlight of the experience. The scenery, atmosphere and service stand up a mile high here. The eager staff was friendly and helpful, not pretentious and pushy—a little of that goes a long way with me.

The views of the Galena forest were beautiful. Even in the back of the dining room, you can see pine trees—something we Renoites are deprived of. It really feels like you’re in another part of the world when you drive up from the hot Reno desert and enter the cool, lush pine forest.

Overall, I’d say that the Lodge at Galena is a great place to go for a family dinner, a quick getaway or a watering stop on the way home from a day in the mountains.