Twist of fete
Feast is located in a brick building that was originally home to a family grocery—circa 1927. The service is very professional and the ambiance is old-school classy, dimly lit with table candles and decorated with window garlands, photographs of Reno, both old and new, and a metal sculpture-panorama of the city and its natural environs.
Our hardwood table—sans cloth—was quickly adorned with a basket of locally sourced rosemary sourdough slices and whipped butter. Yum. Although there is a full a la carte menu featuring all manner of enticing items—including ostrich, kangaroo, elk and wild boar—I wanted to try the signature prix fixe “Feast” ($65), featuring five courses—appetizers, salad, soup, entree and dessert. For an extra $10 the meal was paired with three wines: California sparkling, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. My wife went with the day’s special, a plate of surf and turf ($65) with a glass of server-recommended cabernet sauvignon ($15).
My first course included a quail egg shooter in a ornate vessel of pewter and glass, a couple bites of rabbit/rattlesnake sausage, and a smattering of steelhead trout sashimi paired with the bubbly. The egg was drowned in shoyu and vinegar, nearly obliterating the richness of the yolk. Not bad—but it could have used less sauce. The sausage was spicy, savory and quite tasty with a touch of mustard and arugula. The bit of trout was nice and left me wanting more, though the dousing in lemon juice came across as more ceviche than sashimi.
My salad was a basic Caesar with chopped Romaine, shaved Parmesan and fresh ground pepper. The chardonnay paired well with the flavors of garlic and veg. Up next was a pair of soups—beet for my wife and seafood bisque for me. The beet was served with a pinch of horseradish sprout on top, and the flavor was satisfying. The bisque was rich and served with sprigs of lemon balm on top.
My wife’s entree featured a larger-than-average lobster tail and a smaller-than-average filet. However, both were cooked to perfection, with drawn butter for the shellfish and bearnaise adorning the beef. A mix of sauteed veggies and a nice portion of potato au gratin completed the plate. Classic surf and turf.
My entree was a wild game double feature, showcasing a venison chop and a quarter of chukkar, with the same veggie mix of cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and a healthy serving of split fingerling potatoes and wild rice pilaf for the starch. The partridge was essentially a stuffing-delivery system with plenty of carbs, cranberries and figs—delicious, but not a lot of meat. The chop was tender and luscious, but I couldn’t get into the blueberry sauce. For me, it was a distraction from the perfectly cooked game, and its main effect was to purple-stain the potatoes.
My meal’s last course was a slice of chocolate bundt cake drizzled with fudge and caramel sauce. It was a bit dry, but the sauce swirl did the trick. To my satisfaction my wife ordered crème brûlée ($12). The creamy, crunchy delight was topped with a single blackberry and exactly what I want from a dessert.