Chow: 4th Street Bistro

Oct 30, 2012 by

Chow: 4th Street Bistro

by Super G

Are we really in Reno? Is all we could ask ourselves as we sat outside in the open evening air enjoying a decadent meal with Edible Reno-Tahoe editor Amanda Burden and her girlfriend Jaci Goodman, and Girl Farm ventures sisters Channelle and Wendy Baroli’s partner, Jill Heaton, Ph.D. It wasn’t just the good company or the beautiful August weather, the ooohs and aaaahs we received from locals who asked us where we were going for dinner that evening is well deserved at 4th Street Bistro, Reno’s premiere restaurant.

Beyond the casinos and major resorts, tucked away off the side of 4th Street before McCarran Boulvard heading into the Reno hills, 4th Street Bistro is a whole other world that could be somewhere anywhere in the world. The simple and sophisticated elegant atmosphere of the restaurant isn’t lost on anyone, not even the dogs that are allowed to join their owners. Time comes to a standstill, moments seem to stretch on and are savored, and enhancing the richness of the experience is the food … or is it the other way around?

Chef Natalie Seller’s deft ways with ingredients and the stove cannot compare with many celebrity chefs: it is otherworldly in a way that it is out of reach to many chefs.

Our excitement grew as we passed around every dish that came out of the kitchen sharing in a harmonious and meditative yummm as we dug into each delicacy our mouths watering wondering what delight might be served up next.

Duck Confit (Photo: Courtesy of 4th Street Bistro)

Duck Confit (Photo: Courtesy of 4th Street Bistro)

We started with duck rillettes, apricot mostarda, cornichons, grainy mustard and crostini, the artisian cheese plates, and the local greens salad with white nectarines, goat cheese, glazed red walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette. Four our main course, Babes enjoyed the grilled Moroccan spiced organic chicken breast over garbanzo beans, couscous, braised greens and harissa and I had the grilled Niman Ranch filet mignon paired perfectly with broccolette, potato-gruyere graitin and cabernet-shallot butter. We sampled the crispy leg of duck confit , grilled wild king salmon, and seared porcini dusted sea scallops that others ordered. For desert we shared the TCHO organic bittersweet chocolate ganache torte topped with a pecan crust and caramel sauce. Each bite brought us closer to heaven.

There are so many excellent selections to choose from the cocktail and wine menu, but the list isn’t overwhelming.

TCHO organic bittersweet chocolate ganache torte topped with a pecan crust and caramel sauce (Photo: Courtesy of 4th Street Bistro)

TCHO organic bittersweet chocolate ganache torte topped with a pecan crust and caramel sauce (Photo: Courtesy of 4th Street Bistro)

In between the dishes coming and going and our glasses being filled with wine. Jaci and I shared our adventures on the golf course earlier that morning, while her girlfriend, Amanda, went cycling and Babes explored Reno’s art scene by bike that morning. But it was clear as the night went on that Jaci was a one woman show entertaining us all with story after story. I can’t remember enjoying a meal so much or laughing as much as Babes and I did that night.

We were having such a good time that we didn’t notice the hours pass as the restaurant filled up with regular dinners that completed their meals long before our group sauntered out into the parking lot satiated from great company, conversation and food. Each moment is lived fully at 4th Street Bistro.

It delighted Babes to no end that the finest restaurant in Reno is owned by friends and business partners, Natalie, the chef, and Carol Wilson, the general manager, and that the restaurant isn’t only award-winning, but that it forever changed the landscape of Reno’s dining scene.

Former San Franciscans, the two women returned to Reno, where they lived for a time in the 1980s, and opened 4th Street Bistro in 2000. Natalie is a California Culinary Academy alumnae, who completed an externship at Chez Paniesse. She quickly went on to Stars and Stars Café before becoming executive chef at the Warwick Regis hotel for four years. Carol, is a veteran in the restaurant industry with more than 30 years experience, including working many years at Bix, a high end bar in San Francisco.

4th Street Bistro is top notch, not an everyday dinning affair. It is the spot to pop the question to your girl or simply to have a romantic dinner or to celebrate something worth celebrating.

Deck dinning (Photo: Courtesy of 4th Street Bistro)

Deck dinning (Photo: Courtesy of 4th Street Bistro)

The Dirty Dish

4th Street Bistro, 3065 West 4th Street, Reno, Nev. 89523; 775-323-3200;

HOURS: Dinner services Tuesday – Saturday, 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Reservations suggested, but not required.

TYPE OF RESTAURANT: Women-owned, California and world cuisine, but mostly European influence using foods produced by local organic farms.


AMBIANCE: The moment is all that matters.

SCENE: Dress up to only impress yourself and your friends or partner, but no one else. The simple elegance elicits a casual and cozy atmosphere.

SERVICE: Perfection, servers are seamless bring each course and pouring every glass of wine like friendly spirits making the food appear magically and all needs are taken care of without any hovering or pain of wanting and waiting.

NOISE LEVEL: You are the only diners in the world.

THE EAT: There isn’t a dish that isn’t good at 4th Street Bistro, but they are known for the duck confit, which is exquisite.

SIP: We enjoyed bubbly and red wine, the list had excellent selections and wasn’t overwhelming.

CHECK, PLEASE: $$$ = $50 – $80
(price of average dinner/lunch/breakfast/brunch bill for an individual dinner)

WORTH THE NIGHT OUT?: Yes, this was delicious!

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