The Cheesiest

Can’t decide if you want a sandwich, soup or salad? Have all three, with The Cheese Board’s Tri Plate.

Can’t decide if you want a sandwich, soup or salad? Have all three, with The Cheese Board’s Tri Plate.

Photo By Nick Higman

Cheese Board & Wine Seller

247 California Ave.
Reno, NV 89509

(775) 323-3115

The doctor told us we should take our malaria pills with food. We thanked him, and, rubbing our sore upper arms where the needles had poked, we headed for The Cheese Board & Wine Seller. The day was bright, and we were in the mood for a classy kind of lunch and an atmosphere that would adequately observe the swallowing of that bright pink pill which heralded the start of our vacation.

In addition to being a specialty cheese and wine boutique, The Cheese Board is also a stylish American bistro that offers fabulous soups, grilled and cold sandwiches, gourmet salads, hot entrees and delicious desserts. There are also several daily specials, making the choice even more difficult. Only open during the brunch and lunch hours, the atmosphere is relaxed even when bustling.

Upon entering, we picked up menus at the front door and perused them. The staff greeted us and waved us over to the register when we knew what we wanted. The massive front counter is made of dark wood, and delectable desserts are displayed tastefully in glass cases. The line at the register moves quickly, as customers order and move on to the dining area, which is a large, bright room with dark wooden tables and white cloth napkins. The ceiling is high, and the walls are a pleasing yellow, adorned with stylish prints that remind me of the work of Alfons Mucha. Our server, wearing a clean white apron, told us to have a seat in the dining area—our food would be out shortly.

Indeed, we had hardly settled in at our cozy table near the window when a waiter arrived with two plates piled high with luscious-looking sandwiches. We were delighted, and the food was good. It should be said, however, that our sandwiches probably weren’t anything we couldn’t have made ourselves at home.

My husband dug into his albacore tuna salad sandwich ($7.85). It was tasty and the bread fresh, but it was also just a tuna sandwich. He also quickly ate up his “pickle on the side.” Distressed, he asked our server if he could possibly have another. We were promptly served a heaping plate of pickles—the fresh, crunchy, juicy kind that we can never seem to get at home. That shut us up.

My veggie focaccia sandwich ($9.50) with eggplant, onion, tomato, Swiss and basil pesto, was yummy, but it wasn’t overly flavorful. The focaccia was grilled to perfection, and the pesto the perfect touch. The eggplant, however, was a bit bland. Perhaps this is the inherent flavor of eggplant, and I should have known better. Maybe. I only know I used quite a bit of salt and pepper. Still, I ate every bite and was content afterward.

The Cheese Board offers full-service catering anywhere in the city and in-house catered dinners after hours at the restaurant. Wine and gift baskets, among other things, are also available, as are corporate catered meals, both staffed and self-service.

After finally popping our pill, we split a dessert my husband had spotted in the front display case: a chocolate-caramel brownie ($2.50). Actually, I only managed one nibble on the scrumptious little thing. The rest disappeared somewhere between my husband’s swiftly moving hand and mouth. I told him my typhoid-shot-swollen arm put me at a disadvantage, but he was too busy chewing to hear me. No matter—we’ll certainly be back, and next time I’ll get my own brownie.

Editor’s Note: Unbeknownst to this reviewer, another freelance writer who contributes restaurant reviews to the RN&R, Dave Kidder, works at the Cheese Board & Wine Seller.