Pleased to meat you
Reno, NV 89501
I waited one long month before I reviewed 275 Hill. When I first saw the menu featuring an upscale collection of foods, from seafood to Kobe burgers to wild game, all sourced locally whenever possible, most items had me proclaiming, “Oh, that sounds good.” Everyone I know that has visited 275 Hill had something negative to say about their experience, mostly regarding slow and inattentive service, but read on, and you’ll see my experience was nothing of the sort.
275 Hill sits on the corner of Hill Street and Ridge Street in a newly renovated building painted sylvan green and brown with windows for walls, an outside seating area made from oxidized metal and its name in huge white letters over the door. The restaurant’s look reminded me something in Portland or Seattle. The view from 275 Hill is of a restored Victorian home and Reno’s skyscrapers looming large, which gives it a cool, mixed-residential sort of feel. Inside, it’s dimly lit with abstract, contemporary paintings—more on the classy side, but not so much that the gentleman next to us in a hoodie and tennis shoes would’ve felt uncomfortable.
Our server was fantastic. Maybe we got 275 Hill’s best, but all the others seemed to be pulling their weight. He was incredibly soft-spoken and leaned in close when talking to us. From a chattier, smarmier server, this would be off-putting, but from him, I got the feeling that he was giving us 100 percent of his attention all the time.
My wife, Kat, and I started with the empanada madness ($9): three dainty semi-circles of flaky dough, one stuffed with spicy chicken, one with a three-cheese blend and one with pork, all around a spoonful of vibrant pico de gallo. While living in South America, I ate hundreds of empanadas, and while 275 Hill’s were a third the size and about 10 times as expensive, it was a pleasure to see how a chef’s touch can improve a classic street food.
For entrees, Kat picked the pork chop ($18), stuffed with a blend of wild mushrooms and goat cheese, topped with a cabernet demi-glace and served with sautéed vegetables and a mushroom risotto. I ordered the chicken roulade ($16), a breast stuffed with smoked wild boar bacon, spinach and gouda cheese, topped with a parmesan cream sauce and plated along with sauteed vegetables and sundried tomato mashed potatoes. The carrot, zucchini, mushroom and green and red bell pepper vegetable medley was buttery and full of minced garlic, exactly how I like it.
The starches were not so enticing. Kat’s risotto was undercooked and flavorless. My mashed potatoes were equally as underwhelming, the only flavor coming from three really inelegant strands of a sundried tomato concoction haphazardly laid across the top like red toothpaste on a toothbrush. Kat took particular joy in noting that her risotto and mashed potato recipes utterly shame those of 275 Hill.
Then we tried the pork and chicken, and all was forgiven. It’s so decadent to stuff meat with cheese, and while all the lofty attributes traditionally bestowed upon meat like “juicy,” “tender” and “expertly seasoned” apply here, I’m going to risk being overly gushing by calling 275 Hill’s meats life-changing.