Room with a view
Skyline Cafe3005 Skyline Blvd.
Reno, NV 89509
I apparently don’t get out of the house much, because when I saw an ad for La Bella Vista that read, “It’s not the same old Skyline Café,” it was the first I had heard that there had even been a change. However, the change happened several years ago, a clear sign that I might need to venture to different neighborhoods once in a while.
I decided to take my friend Sam, since he’s fun to dine with, because he likes to eat and drink a lot, especially when I’m buying. La Bella Vista is a quaint little place, tucked away in a corner of the Skyline shopping center. It has a bar/lounge area in the front and restaurant in the back. There’s a long window with a fantastic view of the city, and a balcony on the front for outdoor dining. The walls are painted a light gray with a yellowish accent wall; otherwise, the décor is pretty sparse. The whole place looked like it could use a facelift.
Our table shared a wall with the bar and had an opening, so the bar’s TVs were visible. This worked for me since Sam and I don’t find one another very interesting. There’s also an area in the restaurant with lights on the ceiling that looked like either a dance floor or a stage. When we visited, there was just a family sitting near those lights, which wasn’t nearly as entertaining, as none of them burst into song or anything fun like that.
Our waiter appeared quickly and was friendly and knowledgeable. He brought us warm, soft bread and moved about unobtrusively. He was like a Ninja Waiter: I never saw him, yet my glass was always filled. The menu is what’s expected from an Italian restaurant—pizzas, pastas and meat and fish dishes. We started with the polenta al gorgonzola e parmigiano ($9.50), which is baked polenta with melted gorgonzola, parmigiano and cream over the top. The polenta came out in a perfect square, but the cheese and cream sauce was bland, which was disappointing as I hoped the gorgonzola would add some strong flavor.
For entrées, I ordered the mushrooms ravioli ($16.50) which came with porcini mushrooms and Marsala wine cream sauce. The serving was large, and the raviolis were stuffed full of delicious mushrooms, and even more mushrooms floated in the rich sauce. Every bite was a mushroom explosion. This dish was a win.
Sam ordered the veal parmigiana ($20.50), which arrived with a side of bowtie pasta and green beans. The veal was great, with a thick coating of parmigiana and a light crust, though the sauce was again a little bland for my taste. Unfortunately, the green beans didn’t taste fresh, and the pasta was rather blah. For 20 bucks, frankly I expected more. Luckily we ended on a high note with tiramisu ($8), which was light and flavorful without being overwhelmingly syrupy.
Overall, La Bella Vista has a great staff, a great view, and the entrees are pretty darned good. I hope they update the interior a little and work on the side dishes, but there’s something about the place that makes me want to like it, so when the summer comes, I know I’ll be back to sit on that patio.