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Choose your own adventure at Liberty Food & Wine

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Liberty Food & Wine Exchange—one of Mark Estee’s local establishments—is a little bit of everything. Located on the busy intersection of First and Sierra streets, its prime location offers it up for a variety of occasions. 

Inside, a bar beckons social groups to gather and dine or have a pre-dinner drink. Or you can take a seat in the front or back of the restaurant, in the latter with views of the ornate brick oven where pizzas are turned out. 

I personally like the stop for a weekday evening, when the crowds are a little thinner and you may be able to slip in without a wait. It’s also great after a nearby activity such as axe throwing or escape rooms, located on the same street. Its proximity to the Riverwalk makes it an easy dinner before going out downtown, strolling the waterfront strip or catching a movie at the Riverside Theater.

Regardless of what your evening entails, the food and drink experience will likely be a highlight. We can’t get enough of their shareable options for date night or a group dinner with family and friends. 

The Grand Tasting is a collection of salumi, charcuterie, cheese and accouterments that can be ordered in two sizes. The careful mix of crackers and hard breads with cheeses including Manchego and a collection of meats is, in our opinion, the perfect way to start a meal. 

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The Apple Pie, a pizza so tasty it was easy to forget to stop and take a photo first, at Liberty Food & Wine in Reno, Nev. Image: Nora Tarte / This Is Reno

Other starters include veggie-heavy options like the cauliflower (served with Calabrian chili oil, garlic and bread crumbs) and the wood roasted Brussels sprouts (topped with maple-mustard glaze, artisan pancetta and toasted cashews). The meatballs are tasty and warm, served in a small fish and covered in Nonni’s sauce, herbs and Grana Padano cheese.

The majority of the remaining entrees fall into three categories: pasta, salad and pizza. With a centerpiece oven like the one at Liberty, we think it’s best not to skip the line-up of pies. The dough is organic, fermented for 72 hours before it’s baked and you can make your dinner match your dietary restrictions with simple substitutes including gluten-free crust and vegan cheese. 

The Apple Pie is like dessert and dinner all rolled into one—a decadent option heavy on fresh apples and caramelized onion. Bacon, chili oil, a mix of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, fresh herbs and balsamic vinaigrette create a sweet-meets-savory dinner we’ve never had anywhere else. 

If you like it hot, the Spicy Spud is calling your name. Made with ‘nduja (a spicy pork sausage), it has a kick, but that spice is balanced with black garlic cream sauce and a mix of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Red onions, Sicilian oregano and garlic molasses finish it off. 

Those who prefer the classics can play it safe with a Margherita or pepperoni, while other creative options don fun names such as the Fun Guy Pizza, Lamborghini and Bee Sting.

If you’re in the mood, a line-up of signature cocktails show off Liberty’s carefully curated bar—we can’t recommend the pomegranate margaritas enough, equal parts sweet and boozy, served on the rocks with a lime-salted rim. 

The current menu plays to the strengths of the talented staff’s skills and is also inspired by Bently Heritage Ranch. And, if the name didn’t give it away, the wine list is impressive, too.

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Details

100 N. Sierra St., Reno, Nev. 89501
775-336-1091
Monday – Thursday 4 to 9p.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Nora Tarte
Nora Tarte
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor's in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.

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