The golden voice
Lexie’s On the River1 South Lake St.
Reno, NV 89501
For my husband’s birthday, we went to Lexie’s On the River, inside the Siena downtown. Before dinner, we sat in the lounge and toasted to another year of life. We had martinis ($11), which were large, if not especially tasty. The chairs and sofas were fat and cozy, and the music catered to our age group—generation Xers, now much older, who still tap our toes to campy tunes about angst and despondency. We sipped our drinks and gazed at the general mauve tones of the place, the spare, cream walls and the tasteful signs promising good wine and food. While Lexie’s isn’t unique in its style, it’s still comfortable and soothing after a long day.
When ready, we headed into the restaurant and were seated immediately by a gracious hostess. We were given a window seat that looked out over the river at the blinking lights of the city, and were soon offered drinks by a young man fresh on the job. He spoke a bit like an automaton but got the job done. When he came by to fill our waters, he edged behind me, forcing me to scoot up slightly. Instantly, a man was at his side, whispering that he is never to ask a customer to move. Rather, he is to reach gracefully across the table for the necessary glass. The man who instructed him thus turned out to be our waiter, and what a waiter he was.
I can safely say that I have never had such good service in this city. This fellow was professional, polite and very wise when it came to helping us choose a wine. We settled on a bottle of a Napa Valley wine, dubbed BV ($33), which was extremely good, and we were grateful he had recognized in us a keen desire not to spend all of our money on alcohol. Also, his voice was golden. We told him he should look into working for NPR, and he smiled courteously before taking our orders. Later, when we were finishing up our meals, he seated two women near us who noticed the same thing. “Do you work for radio?” they asked. “You should, you know. That voice!”
And it was his voice that recommended to us the special of the night, crab-stuffed orange roughy ($28), which my husband ordered. It was delicious. The spices were just right, and the creaminess made it melt in our mouths. My husband ate every last bite. I chose the ocean ravioli ($29), with crab, lobster, scallops, clams, fresh herbs and lobster nage, and was also pleased with it, although it was quite a bit of work. I don’t know what I was expecting, but all those shells took some getting used to. But I managed and ate as much as I could. The meal was so rich, however, that I soon had to stop and let my husband finish it off for me, which he did with zeal. In all honesty, he was more taken with the food than I was. It was, well, just too much for me, all of it: the cream, the richness, the salty flavors. It was good, and, yes, probably worth the money, but thinking about it now leaves me a bit queasy. It’s not something I would—or could—go for on a regular basis.
Now, dessert was a different story. Our waiter came by with a cart of delectables and convinced my husband, on his big day, to go for something, anything on the house. We had the Casablanca chocolate mousse and entered a tiny corner in heaven every time we took a bite. It went perfectly with the wine, too, I might add, which was red, full-bodied and without much tannin, just the way we like it.
Lexie’s is a tranquil place in a pocket of downtown Reno I rarely venture into. It was worth it though, for a birthday dinner. I can’t say for sure whether I’ll make a habit out of visiting, but the mousse alone might be worth one more trip.