Friday afternoon. “Let’s go see Trouble with the Curve.”
Turns out we had waited too long and it was playing in only one Reno Cineplex, the Century 16 Park Lane, south of Downtown, not our regular Riverside on Sierra by the river.
We left early, hoping to find a place for a bite before the film. Yelp said there were a few places nearby. We knew nothing about any of the places mentioned, so we had to go by name and curb appeal. We passed by Lulou’s on Virginia, which looked very modern and colorful, and opted for The Gas Lamp, a homey looking place, just off Virginia.
Wow! What a find. We walked in before the 6:30 end of Happy Hour, and sat at the bar, so all appetizers and drinks were half price. Better yet, the menu was creative and the food delicious; well prepared and presented.
We each ordered two appetizers — not because they were half price, well maybe — they looked great and we weren’t up for actual dinner-dinner.
I started off with the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio, thin slices of smoked salmon garnished with lots of capers and shaved parmesan, just enough to play a supporting role to the salmon. It was dressed with a non-assertive cream dressing. The grilled breads are very thin slices of baguette, “grilled to perfection.” I stretched those lovely things over my entire meal.
For my second appetizer or first salad, I chose the Small Ceasar Salad and sprung for Shrimp to go with. It is what you think it is, expertly prepared and as Carol said, “They aren’t afraid to let you taste the anchovies.” (C had the small Ceasar as her first course.)
Carol’s ‘main’ appetizer course of Steamed Clams. I always think of steamed clams as “longneck or soft shell clams,” but these were cherrystone (littleneck). C said the juice was divine, and besides using her ample supply of bread, begged for my last piece of grilled bread to soak up the sauce. All in all, an extra-fine pre-film repast.
We’re learning that Reno offers many, many good local restaurants outside the casinos. I suspect we’ll be back to the Gas Light and pay a visit to Lulou’s, as well.
As for the film; we loved it. I’m the right age to relate to Clint Eastwood’s “old man” routines (the pissing, the dropping things, the tripping over something and getting so mad at yourself you kick it). And the story is about baseball and good guys and bad guys and there’s some swell romance, so there’s not much not to like. As Roger Ebert put it, “Any Eastwood film is notable above all for its professionalism. If the story here has certain foreseeable moments, that’s not to say they aren’t set up well and deliver right on time… to find a sound story this well told is a pleasure.”
And to find a great bite to eat in a new place, is a wonderful thing in itself.