edible updates

THE LATEST SCOOP

Keeping you informed of local food and drink news.

WRITTEN BY MICHAEL TRAGASH
ILLUSTRATION BY GREG BRADY

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The explosion of Midtown Reno, traditional Chinese cuisine’s entry to Downtown, and quick-serve healthy eats hitting the streets are just a few of the bites in store in this rendition of Edible Updates. Our local food community is bursting at the seams with exciting new openings, awards and accolades, anniversaries, and celebrations, with no end in sight.

Openings

Under The Rose Brewing Co. expanded into the burgeoning Midtown District in April with the opening of its new taproom and brewery. The taproom can seat 75 and offers 20 beers on tap, one cider, three wines, and a full bar. Dining options also have been added, featuring craft sausages created by chef Justin Longroy. The move to Midtown was prompted by ever-increasing consumer demand for Under the Rose’s beers, which had maxed out the capacity of its original location on Fourth Street. According to co-owner Jesse Kleinedler, Midtown’s five-barrel brewing system will serve as a test kitchen, out of which the owners expect to produce one to two new beers per week once at full capacity. That may sound ambitious, but the Midtown brewery is under the direction of Andrea Keil, who comes to this team from Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co., which is highly regarded for its seasonal, sour, and barrel-aged beers. Many of these are new styles for Under the Rose, and you can expect them to hit the taproom in short order. To meet increasing consumer demand, the original Fourth Street brewery underwent an expansion in December, effectively doubling its capacity. That location now will serve as the main production facility where Under the Rose’s core brands, including Porterbeer and Saisonbeer, will be produced for distribution. With the addition of Andrea Keil, the business now has the expertise of four brewers on staff, which means even more exciting happenings are coming in the near future.

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Under the Rose Brewing Co.

Vegans, vegetarians, and locavores rejoice. The Food Shed at the Great Basin Community Food Co-op opened this February, bringing with it made-to-order burritos, soups, toasts, paninis, fresh juices, baked goods, and coffee drinks, all made with organic and local ingredients. The co-op defines local food as coming from farms within the watersheds of the Truckee, Carson, and Walker rivers. These are the lifeblood of our community along with the farmers who provide us with local food and the markers by which our foodshed is defined. Hence, the café, located on the co-op’s second floor, was named the Food Shed, and it’s open seven days a week to serve you on the way to work and home.

The aromas of freshly roasted duck and handmade dumplings have been filling the air in Downtown Reno since the opening of Kwok’s Bistro in March. Kwok Chen, chef/owner of Kwok’s, left his longstanding role as the executive chef of South Reno’s Jazmine restaurant to bring more authentic Chinese cuisine to our community. Together with his son, general manager Danny Nguyen, they transformed the former China Diner space on West Street into Kwok’s Bistro, serving a concise menu of classic Cantonese dishes that pay homage to Kwok’s birthplace of Guangzhou, China, along with several authentic daily specials such as fresh Chinese greens, suckling pig, and steamed abalone.

“We want to bring a taste of real Chinese food culture to our community, but no one should feel intimidated dining here,” Chen says. “We want everyone to be comfortable exploring and learning with us, and you’ll still find a few Americanized favorites on the menu — done our way, of course.”

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Kwok’s Bistro

With 30 seats and dishes made entirely from scratch, this restaurant is the epitome of tiny but mighty, and the father-son team has even bigger plans for the future. Be sure to follow Kwok’s Bistro on social media for daily specials and events coming soon.

Making moves

After more than 20 years, the iconic Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee has a new executive chef at the helm. Chef Donovan Webb brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to Cottonwood, and after taking over the kitchen in April, Webb already has rolled out a new menu. Chef Webb’s menu does more than change up the restaurant’s offerings, though. He’s bringing a new philosophy to the kitchen and customers, placing locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, along with their producers, center stage. The goal is to create a restaurant that reflects the incredible bounty of our local foodshed, highlighting seasonality and making Cottonwood a restaurant that seems new each time you visit. Old is new again at this longstanding local landmark, and this summer is the time to make a trip or plan to revisit soon.

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Chef Donovan Webb

A brief experience at a friend’s French café in Las Vegas sent Nathalie Atwell right back to memories of her time spent in Parisian cafés while growing up in France. She quickly realized that nothing of the sort existed here in Reno and convinced her husband, Tim Atwell, to embark on a journey to bring one to our community. Phase one involves learning the ins and outs of a from-scratch bakery and a small café, and as entrepreneurs, the couple decided to buy the successful House of Bread in Reno in April. A small franchise, House of Bread offers the Atwells structure, training, support, and the opportunity to expand on a proven concept. It didn’t hurt that this location came with a clientele baked right in, including loyal regulars and a host of high-volume commercial customers such as Süp, GourMelt, and Old Granite Street Eatery, all in Reno. The Atwells take pride in the fact that House of Bread products are made with minimal, high-quality ingredients and are excited that the company supports their desire to innovate. The couple already has added new cookies and focaccia pizzas to their offerings and even adjusted the croissant recipe to be more true to the style Nathalie grew up enjoying in France. But their ambition doesn’t stop there. First, the two are focusing their efforts on expanding the catering program, and their future plans include a remodel that would open up more space for seating, brunch service, and even baking classes. While some people consider the bakery business a crummy job, the Atwells are loving every second rolling in the dough.

Accolades and anniversaries

Washoe Public House chef and owner Brett Moseley celebrated his Reno restaurant’s one-year anniversary in April. Moseley started working in restaurants at the age of 14 as a busser at Diamond Peak resort in Incline Village. A year abroad allowed him to experience cuisines from around the world, which inspired him to pursue a culinary career upon his return to the States. Following culinary school, Moseley was introduced to farm-to-table cooking and learned the value of connecting with your food, as well as how to be a flexible and knowledgeable chef. As executive chef of the exclusive Martis Camp Club in Truckee, his flexibility was put to the test. Catering to discerning and picky palates, dietary preferences, and allergies forced him to be humble and accommodating. And he wrote menus that were inherently dairy free, gluten free, and vegan friendly, too. When he opened Washoe Public House a year ago, he built the menu so everyone could enjoy the experience. Moseley says this flexibility is only possible because of his scratch cooking, and there’s no order too tall for him. Washoe Public House celebrated its first anniversary with a four-course menu featuring its greatest hits, including rock candy short ribs, Korean-inspired sticky Petaluma chicken wings, and a Berkshire tomahawk chop.

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Washoe Public House

Family owned and operated since 1978, Jake’s on the Lake celebrated 40 years of serving up California- and Hawaii-inspired fresh seafood, quality meats, and seasonal produce on the Lake Tahoe waterfront in June. Since its opening, Jake’s has been sharing with every guest its brand of “mountain aloha” — a term owners coined to combine the Hawaiian word for love with the beautiful environment that surrounds them. Here’s to 40 more years.

Moo Dang, which means red pork in Thai, celebrated three years in business in May. Moo Dang takes a new approach to Thai food, with a menu filled with dishes made famous on the streets and in the cafés of Thailand. This kind of food pairs perfectly with beer, and to celebrate the restaurant’s third anniversary, owners John and Opal Rahm put together a craft beer dinner in May. The menu featured moo ping (grilled pork skewers), som tum (spicy papaya salad), and crispy pork belly kra pow (spicy basil stir fry), all paired with beers selected by John. Moo Dang continues to be a favorite of locals and visitors alike, and we wish the Rahms many more years of success ahead.

INSERT PHOTO: Moo Dang

Nickel by nickel, The Reno Rebuild Project fund is growing to make one-of-a-kind loans to local, small Downtown Reno businesses. Every time a guest enjoys a drink or meal at Sierra Tap House, Ole Bridge Pub, or The Brewer’s Cabinet, a nickel per item sold goes into Reno Rebuild Fund at Community Foundation, and, in March, the project provided a $40,000 loan to the Derby Supply Co., a Reno barber shop. It’s a low-interest loan with all principal and interest returning to the fund to help it grow, so more ideas can be funded each year.

Vinnie Gravallese, owner of Derby Supply Co., said, “This project has made it possible for my original dream to become a full-picture reality.”

The Reno Rebuild loan will help Gravallese expand the already bustling 800-square-foot location into the suite next door, adding room for four more barber stations, as well as a spacious retail area and speakeasy lounge for patrons to enjoy. If you would like to support The Reno Rebuild Project, you can purchase a beer or a meal from the restaurants listed above. Your nickels add up quickly. For more details, visit Renorebuild.com.

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Derby Supply Co.

Tributes

In January, Reno’s culinary community lost a great friend: chef Michael Woodall. Woodall started his culinary career at the age of 15, barbecuing for the hundreds of bikers who visited Los Angeles Harley-Davidson of Anaheim each weekend. Later, he relocated to Reno to be closer to his family. Here, he made his mark on some of our area’s best kitchens, including the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and Wild River Grille. Ultimately, Woodall became the executive chef at Bistro 7 in South Reno, wowing diners for more than four years with his miso-crusted sea bass, wood-fired pizzas, and inventive appetizers. During that time, he shared his passion for cooking and our community in a variety of high-level competitions, joining comrades at the Reno Bites Chef Showdown and the Big Chefs Big Gala benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada. You’ll undoubtedly cross paths with many photos of his smiling face from these events in our community. They stand as a lasting memory of this passionate chef and loyal friend.

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Chef Michael Woodall

If you’ve been to The Grill at Quail Corners over the past decade, you undoubtedly met Marisa Francovich. Her big, beautiful smile often was waiting to greet guests as they arrived and thank them for visiting on their way out. She truly loved and appreciated every customer for the love they showed her family each time they chose to dine there. Francovich was incredibly proud and devoted to her parents, Sam and Diane Francovich, friends, and community. She gave generously of herself in every way possible, sitting on boards for nonprofits, aiding in fundraising efforts, and advocating in the community. Tragically, Marisa passed away this April after losing a two-and-a-half-year battle with liver disease. Out of everything for which Marisa was known and loved, it’s perhaps her genuine regard for others that will be missed most.

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Marisa Francovich

Michael and Marisa, rest easy knowing you’ve made an indelible mark on this community. You’ll be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Our support for longstanding local institutions and the new concepts and cuisines that seem to arrive daily continues to fuel the explosive and exciting growth in our city. Sharing these great stories and your own experiences with friends and family will inspire others to show their support, too. We’re all an active part of putting the Reno-Tahoe region on the map, and in so doing, we’re helping our local food community thrive. Until next time, remember to eat, drink, and support local! Michael Tragash is the local community director with Yelp.com. He’s passionate about connecting people to all the useful, funky, and cool businesses and happenings in the Reno-Tahoe region. You usually can find him exploring the local food-and-drink scene or the natural beauty that surrounds us.

The Grill at Quail Corners
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