About ten days ago, while staying in Reno during a white water rafting trip, we went out for dinner at about 9 pm. We didn't want to do a buffett again (did that the night before at the Atlantis Casino; was very good) but many of the local restaurants in Reno close fairly early on weeknights. Looking through one of those promo brochures, I stumbled upon the ad of something called Anna Maria Italian Ristorante at the Silver Club, a casino in Sparks. They advertised a $6.95 steak dinner (Wednesday through Sunday only) and said they were open till 10 pm. So we went there.
I never even heard of the Silver Club. It happened to be a second-tier casino in Sparks on the Victorian Square, a block away from the big Ascuagas casino that dominates Sparks. The Anna Maria restaurant turned out to be a very dark room (maybe they think that darkness adds intimacy, coziness and class but it just made it hard to read the menus and even see the food) with only two other parties having dinner at that late hour. The decor was of the mini-Caesar Palace variety: several plaster Roman sculptures and some sort of a fountain.
Their menu was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill Italian offering that every Reno casino seems to have. However, the special steak dinner offer sounded good and it was heartily recommended by our enthusiastic waiter. So we ordered three steak dinners (for the four of us), with two of us splitting one dinner.
I expected disaster but it turned out to be great. The steaks were about a pound each and of excellent quality. They were grilled just right. I haven't had a steak this good in a restaurant in a long time. The dinners came with a huge spinach/lettuce/hearts of palm salad (or the usual minestrone soup if you prefer). The side dish were a choice of baked potato, pasta or wild rice. Way too much food (we ate only about half the steaks; the rest we took home and had steak sandwiches for lunch the next day).
They have a decent wine list. Again at the suggestion of the waiter, I had a glass of a '99 Chianti (can't remember the name, but it was from the Siena area) for $4 a glass (and it was a very full 9-ounce glass). It was a good, ripe, very aromatic, Amarone-like wine. Didn't taste like a Sangiovese-based wine at all. My wife had a glass of '00 Indian Springs (from the Sierra foothills) Cab for $4.50. I like Indian Springs wines but this Cab was OK but not great. At these prices, though, I can't complain.
I don't know how long they are going to have this promotional $6.95 steak dinner offer, but it sure is a fantastic deal right now.