Moxie’s Spirits & Dining4792 Caughlin Pkwy.
Reno, NV 89509
There are two locations of Moxie’s. My friends Paul, Heather, Sara and I visited the Caughlin Ranch one, which has an underwear-wetting view of the city. Moxie’s aspires to casual but bourgeois elegance, with low, warm lighting, a big, lush bar, a separate dining room and outdoor seating, which seems like a great idea for warmer evenings.
We were dining late and had the back dining area more or less to ourselves. The wall by our table was adorned with a Toulouse-Lautrec print. The presence of an image of 19th century Parisian nightlife encapsulates what this place is all about: a little decadent, a little classy, with just a touch of snootiness. But our waiter was friendly and the food impressive.
We started out with the very good baked brie appetizer ($8.25) with garlic bread. It was a good opener, the cheese warm and deliciously melty. For the mains, I had the fettuccini Alfredo with grilled swordfish ($16.95). The pasta was just al dente enough, and the sauce was creamy and tasty without being obtrusive. It was a nice piece of fish that made my mouth sizzle pleasantly. Sara had the special—a similar plate of fish resting atop a nest of pasta: Ahi with marinara pasta ($14.95). It looked like my fettuccini, but I’ve never been able to discern the endless variations of Italian pasta.
Paul had the angel hair pomodori ($13.95): angel hair tossed with olive oil, tomatoes, basil and pine nuts. He huffed it down in a manner of seconds. I was still savoring my first bite, and his plate was licked clean.
“How was it?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I didn’t even chew it.”
Breaking the pasta trend, Heather had the portabella burger ($7.95), which the menu proudly claims is “MEATLESS,” just like that: “MEATLESS.” With all caps for emphasis and quotation marks so you’re not sure if they’re lying. Heather said it was a top-notch, juicy portabella, but that there were way too many onions. She picked off a stack of onions bigger than the rest of the burger. I say it’s better to have too much than not enough. The finicky can always pick off what they don’t want, but there isn’t always enough for the hungry. ’Tis better to err on the side of excess.
Speaking of which, we ended the meal with a piece of decadent chocolate cake. We split it four ways, but it was huge enough that we all got our chocolate fix. A nice end to a good meal.
Though there are video poker machines and televisions airing sporting events in the bar area, the place still has an air of sophistication, especially in the dining room. Somebody said the place was pretty classy for a sports bar.
“I wouldn’t call this a sports bar,” said Paul. “It’s more like a ‘dark wood’ bar.”
Heather, eyeing the affluent crowd, added, “I feel like if you were 40 and had just gotten divorced, this is where you would go to meet people.”
A tip or a warning? Take it as you will.