4th St. Bistro is the 2nd restaurant I’ve found in Reno with San Francisco quality cooking. Ciao Pizzeria and Wine Bar, my first discovery, is more casual whereas 4th St. Bistro could be considered a more formal dining experience, albeit in a relaxed setting. Carol Wilson, the manager/owner works the room and seems to attend to every table, making sure each diner’s experience is perfect. Chef/cowner Natalie Sellers produces exciting, market fresh cuisine in the kitchen. Chef Natalie got her start at Chez Panisse, where Alice Waters influence appears in Natalie’s fanatic use of the finest, freshest ingredients possible. I inquired about a salmon entrée and was told they have their own fisherman with a small boat on the west coast who ships the fish twice a week. The wine list is small but has some unusual and interesting items and is fairly priced.
We started with Ambrosia melon, Black Mission figs, arugula, and Fra’Mani Salame. A very light dressing adorned the arugula. A dish this simple could only work because of the extraordinary sweetness of the fruits. The arugula tasted hand picked from a garden. Our 2nd appetizer, sunchoke soup, was delicious.
My entrée was seared Maine sea scallops with roasted white corn, pancetta & radicchio risotto, and white truffle oil. Our server almost apologized because the chef barely cooks the scallops so as to keep them moist. I could have kissed her, although MsRev may have taken exception to that. In this area, you have to beg to have the seafood medium-rare. This dish was perfect. We also enjoyed Roasted breast of Sonoma County “Liberty” duck with dirty French red rice, Tuscan kale and fig relish. The duck was cooked perfectly, medium rare, and was thoroughly enjoyable.
Desserts by pastry chef Jeff Barnard were no less wonderful. Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Meringue with raspberry ice cream and fudge sauce was delectable. Even better was Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate ganache torte with a pecan crust and caramel sauce. Ganache is normally rich and dense but this was unusually velvety and sensuous. How does he do that? We ended the meal with the housemade Limoncello, no less delectable and fresh tasting than everything else. I've experimented with that myself, unsucessfully. Carol offered to send me the recipe. I love this place.
Has San Francisco come to Reno?
We will be back here soon!