Lunch Date 2 – The Cheese Board
|Truckee River, Reno, Nevada
Imagine sparkling sunshine, fresh powdery snow and a bucolic river scene in the middle of casino town. After a delightful turn on the Truckee River Walk in Reno, Nevada, we headed to California Street for our lunch date. Today’s discovery is a hidden gem just a short walk away from the hustle and bustle and has nothing to do with “all you can eat” smoky casinos or jingling slots.
The Cheese Board, American Bistro and Catering has been around since 1981 and you might imagine you were in California for all it’s eco-friendly, seasonally fresh take on their bistro menu offerings. In a quiet neighborhood, the red brick building with a sun room warmly welcomes patrons and tantalizes passers-by with the colorful chalkboard menu at the entrance. Crisp white napkins and fresh Gerber daisies on the tables provide a cozy feel to the dining room. They have a thriving dine in and take out business that is very popular with the week-a-day lunch crowd, and even on a late Saturday afternoon the place was packed. Their service system is simple and fair, order up, then go to your table. Don’t be tempted to send a member of your party to stalk an open table. They are fairly rigorous about making sure the ordering and seat taking process is fair — no cuts. The procedures are even written in big letters on the chalkboard above the display cases. To the right of the cashier they have a nice wine selection both domestic and international available by the glass or bottle.
We decided to sample a combination of cheeses, salad and sandwich accompanied by a bottle of 2009 Layer Cake Malbec, Argentina. The 2008 vintage had a 91pts rating from Robert Parker, Wine Advocate 1/06/10. I found it fruity, but fully textured and tastes more for its moderate price. The Warm Brie was creamy and just the right consistency topped with a sweet savory apple garlic jam. Pretty and crisp fresh apple slices offered just the right crunch and palate cleansing bite. The Artisan Cheese Plate had a nice mix of white cheddar, parmesan and herbed goat cheese with a truffle drizzle. Served with toasted garlic bread slices, fig jam, almonds and fresh grapes. I like the balance of this with the Malbec, although I would have preferred a non-seasoned bread with this combination of cheeses. The garlic toasts overshadowed the delicate flavors. The Baby Spinach salad with toasted pecan dressing hit all the right notes. My dining companions raved about the Chicken Salad Croissant with fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. The addition of the smoked mozzarella, and sliced almonds sent them to yummy mutterings.
This is a place I would happily return to for additional menu sampling. The Cheese Board is reasonably priced, seasonally fresh, inventive, and has a cozy dining room with very friendly and attentive service.
|Warm Brie with Apples
|Artisan Cheese Plate