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Reno chowdown: Great Russian/Slavic food at The Aroma Club

SteveTimko | Jun 20, 201504:23 PM

To describe my enthusiasm for The Aroma Club, I’ll start with the summer borscht. Normally, I hate cold soup. I haven’t had a gazpacho I like, for instance. At The Aroma Club, the summer borscht has a purple broth and wonderful fresh beet flavor. With too many borschts the fresh beet flavor gets cooked right out. One member of the group liked it so much she’s ordering it to feed 75 at her son’s wedding reception this summer.
And they have other interesting takes on Russian/Slavic dishes and from places like Georgia and Uzbekistan. I got to try these during the semi-annual Russian Food Festival and again during a Greater Reno Grub and Gripe Group dinner. Everyone agreed the food was exquisite and different.
I liked almost all the dishes but I think for my two favorites I will go with the mushroom appetizer and with satsivi chicken, or chicken in a thick walnut paste. Sadly I didn’t get any details on the mushrooms used in the appetizer or the method of preparation, but I’m a sucker for mushrooms and these delivered the mushroom flavor. I’d say look at my photo.
The satsivi chicken is served cold. It is coated with a heavy, delicious paste of ground walnuts. Again very nice flavors.
Two dishes that rotate in and out of The Aroma Club menu also showed up at our GRGAGG dinner. The stuffed cabbage was delicious. It had a nice tomato sauce on the outside and tender cabbage. The stuffing was a bit softer than the stuffed cabbage my mom used to make but was quite delicious. We also had pelmeni, a dumpling supposedly introduced to the Russians by the Mongols. It’s a cousin to Chinese dumplings. It seems like they’re cooked in a soup but served without the soup. The dough was tasty and the meat filling, I think pork, was also tasty.
We all got a half of a chiburekki or chiburek, a fried meat turnover. This does not rotate on the regular menu but shows up at the Russian Food Festival and special dinners. It was nicely done with nicely seasoned meat and perfectly cooked crust.
The Russian potato salad is a good take on regular potato salad. The eggplant appetizer tasted great when served on their rye bread. I also loved the house-made farmer’s cheese. We got it as an appetizer and again at the end in a blintz served with a semi-sweet blueberry compote.
At the GRGAGG meal everyone was happily stuff. The way The Aroma Club normally works is that the owner will make a batch of food, saying stuffed cabbage, and sell that until it runs out. Then she will make a batch of something else. In winter she seems to rotate among borscht, lentil soup and sometimes sorrel soup.
The owner opened The Aroma Club as a perfume store and coffee shop about nine years ago. She still sells specialty perfumes but the focus of her store behind Round Table Pizza in Reno Town Mall is food. One of our group members proclaimed an Aroma Club latte the best he’s had in Reno.
The food is different and tasty and deserves the attention of foodies in Reno.
The Aroma Club
Reno Town Mall
4001 S Virginia St
Reno, NV 89502
775-432-7963

Stuffed cabbage

Mushroom appetizer

Summer borscht

Pelmeni

Chiburekki or chiburek

Sorrel soup

Meat blintz

Cheese blintz

Kotlety (pan-finished meatloaf)

Latte

Round Table Pizza
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