I recently celebrated the third anniversary of my 29th birthday with a trip to the new Gas Lamp Café and Bar in Reno. The comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff immediately put me at ease, until I looked at the menu. With nary a single vegetarian entrée listed, my concern for my dining companion who lips haven’t touched animal flesh in over 16 years, arose.
My worry was needless, our attentive server immediately sent out chef/owner Danny Augello who discussed my companion’s dietary restrictions and assured us he could create a custom meal. Indeed he did. The roasted vegetable, artichoke heart and mushroom ragout with mashed winter root vegetables would have even met with the approval of a devout meat lover.
The flexibility of the kitchen impressed me, because even in the short time I’ve been with the vegetarian I’ve been to finer restaurants unwilling (or unable?) to deviate from their printed bill of fare.
We began our meal sharing two baskets of the bleu cheese garlic bread, a tasty twist on a classic favorite. I split a caprese salad with firm tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and a nice balsamic reduction, neither too sweet nor too acidic. Two other dining companions shared a Caesar salad which they proclaimed adequate.
I enjoyed the rib eye served perfectly medium rare accompanied by the same mashed winter root vegetables that graced the vegetarian plate and the pork chop. The pork chop connoisseur of the group raved about the tenderness and flavor of the thick-cup chop.
The fine dining menu, which routinely changes based on availability of ingredients, will be a delight to foodies while the casual atmosphere and reasonable prices are welcoming to all. The establishment also boasts a full bar.
The interior décor is befitting of the establishment’s name and upscale yet comfortable. I would only suggest upgrading the exterior signage to better represent what awaits within the dining room.
Hopefully Reno’s midtown renascence can sustain this hidden gem.
The Gas Lamp Café and Bar
101 East Pueblo Street
Reno, NV 89502-2907
Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight daily; restaurant open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday \
(Photos by Josh Simmons)