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Reno Chicago - Logan Square

Reno Chicago - Logan Square
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  • Reno Chicago - Logan Square

    Post #1 - December 15th, 2012, 4:56 pm
    Post #1 - December 15th, 2012, 4:56 pm Post #1 - December 15th, 2012, 4:56 pm
    My apologies if someone already started a thread for this place. I looked but did not see one, even trying the google method.

    Reno is a new restaurant that opened a few weeks ago (i went to a soft open on Nov 25) in the old Ciao Napoli space in Logan Square. The concept is a casual neighborhood spot serving reasonably priced fare from the wood-fired oven through out the day. Morning features wood-fired bagels and assorted savory and sweet pastries, lunch has sandwiches and dinner brings wood-fired pizzas and a selection of pastas and desserts. They have a limited drink menu with some craft beers, whiskey-heavy liquor selection, and wines. All wines are available by the glass, carafe, bottle and also "to go." Not sure if it's a full bottle to-go, since the price is cheaper for that option vs a full bottle in house.

    They also feature coffee from Stumptown Roasters in Portland, Oregon. The coffee is excellent (though I wish they'd gone with a new local roaster like Big Shoulders, Gaslight or Dark Matter but it is good).

    I have been several times already, including the soft open, since my girlfriend lives close by. I'd say 3 or 4 times for breakfast and once for dinner. I guess I'll have to do lunch to round it out.

    The wood-fired bagels are delicious. The bagels have an excellent crunch and great flavor. The white cheddar cream cheese tastes a little more robust than your standard cream cheese. The bagels are thinner than say, NYC Bagel Deli or Chicago Bagel Authority, and the wood-firing really adds a great texture vs. steaming or toasting. I've had an everything with cream cheese, an egg and sausage sandwich on a poppy, and the "Hook" sandwich with togarashi lox, cucumber, artichoke cream cheese, avocado and red onion . I didn't completely enjoy the Hook. It was good and you can taste the quality ingredients. For my taste, he lox was fishier than I am used to, I think there was a bit too much of it, and didn't have the smoky saltiness of Nova lox. Togarashi, I understand, is a japanese spice. I didn't really detect any spiciness.

    The Snickerdoodle muffin is perfection. Incredibly crunchiness on the outside with balanced cinnamon and sugary goodness that surrounds a fluffy, moist interior. Great with a cup of the Stumptown. This could be their signature pastry and I'd say it's one of the best pastries I've had in the city.

    For dinner, my gf and I split the "Combo" pizza and a Rigatoni pasta dish. The Compbo is a red sauce pizza with Fennel Sausage, Crimini Mushroom,Smoked Onion and Mozzarella. Again, you can taste the quality ingredients - the sauce had nice tomato flavor and the mozzarella was creamy, stringy, and balanced. The sausage was crumbled, which is not my preference, but still delicious. The crust was perfectly cooked to a nice crispness with a light doughyness. The center of the slices was a little soggier than I would have liked.
    Caveat here: I am from the East Coast and I love thin crust pizza. To me, the best pizza in Chicago is at Great Lake or Piece (if price is a consideration, Piece wins in a landslide). So my taste may differ. Also, I was extremely hungry - having come out of a terrible hangover from the previous night.

    However, I didn't LOVE the Rigatoni Amatriciana that we also shared. The sauce was tasty and tomatoey but the pancetta was cut too thick and a bit fatty- it almost was like chunks of salt pork in the sauce- giving a cloying oiliness to the dish. The waitress suggested the fusilli with lamb ragu, but my gf doesn't eat lamb, so we got the rigatoni. I'll try the lamb next time.

    Reno is cash only. I am not sure if it's going to stay that way or not. I highly recommend the bagels



    Reno
    http://renochicago.com/
    2607 N Milwaukee Ave
    (between Logan Blvd & Kedzie Ave)
    Chicago, IL 60647
    Neighborhood: Logan Square
  • Post #2 - December 16th, 2012, 2:41 pm
    Post #2 - December 16th, 2012, 2:41 pm Post #2 - December 16th, 2012, 2:41 pm
    i had a memorable time at Reno recently. the food was excellent, but what made it special was the way the staff treated me as i waited for a friend to join me for lunch. i was desperate for a cup of tea, as i'd missed my usual morning 'cuppa'. but Reno didn't have any tea (this was 2 weeks ago, and they'd opened less than a week before) and i don't drink coffee. my disappointment was apparently so obvious that the host mentioned it to the cashier who told a staff member, who brought out the pastry chef's personal stash of tea bags for me. later, katie wyer, the pastry chef, came over to chat with us. she's an impressive young woman with an incredibly high energy level; passionate about her baking and her bagels. we had come expressly to try the 'montreal style' bagels that we'd heard Reno was making in their wood burning oven. but the oven inherited from the pizza place that had been there before wasn't conducive to montreal style bagels. katie was aggravated that some members of the press are referring to them that way. instead, she's taken montreal style as her inspiration but seems to have created a style all her own. she soaks her bagels in 208 degree water for 30 seconds and then bakes them. as far as i know, bagel makers all boil bagels before baking. the bagels are fantastic- which is what counts. her most innovative one is a pumpkinseed and curry bagel. she also makes the rolls used in the lunchtime sandwiches. i've tried 2, and enjoyed them both.
    and i'll agree with the OP that the snickerdoodle muffin was delicious. katie was so eager to introduce us to Reno, that she sent us home with a box of 5 bagels, and a box of pastries. her pistachio brownie was, for me, the standout, along with the snickerdoodle muffin.
  • Post #3 - December 23rd, 2012, 12:21 pm
    Post #3 - December 23rd, 2012, 12:21 pm Post #3 - December 23rd, 2012, 12:21 pm
    We had a lovely breakfast at Reno this morning.

    - I give the bagels two thumbs up-- they have a larger-diameter hole in the center, resulting in a higher crust-to-crumb ratio, and therefore a more flavorful bagel to my taste. The crumb had an excellent chew, but was a tiny bit lighter than the usual bagel (Kaufmann's being my standard for comparison), and the crust was darker with a nice finish-- not exactly crunchy, but tasty. Abundant seeds too. I've seen other reviews that criticize the bagels for being too skinny-- "hipster bagels". I totally disagree-- each bagel was quite substantial.

    - The cream cheese they use is quite soft, so if you try to eat your bagel as a sandwich, the cream cheese will be pressed out the sides. I recommend separating the halves and eating them individually-- that's physics for you.

    - I had the "Hook" sandwich with lox, avocado, red onion, and artichoke cream cheese. The combination was quite delicious-- however, I wish they had sliced the lox thinner and trimmed it slightly better-- even eating this sandwich by halves, it made for difficult (albeit rewarding) eating experience.

    - The service was friendly, helpful, not intrusive, but quick with requests such as for more napkins (see cream cheese, above). Coffee refills were offered at good intervals, even when we were just relaxing at the table after having paid. The waitress even brought us a dinner menu upon request. Also, Reno is very kid-friendly. At 9AM on Sunday, every table had a small child.

    - Stumptown coffee is okay-- Intelligentsia might have been better, not sure why they went all Portlandia. Can't wait to return for dinner to try the pizza and extensive whiskey menu.

    Jen
  • Post #4 - December 25th, 2012, 8:55 pm
    Post #4 - December 25th, 2012, 8:55 pm Post #4 - December 25th, 2012, 8:55 pm
    I am glad that other people like Reno.

    I will be sure to ask them what makes them different from "Montreal-style."

    Agree on the Hook sandwich, the lox isn't sliced right and kind of overpowers the whole thing in one bite and then is not present the next. Needs a tweak.

    I disagree, and this is a matter of taste, on Intelligentsia. I think Intelligentsia is too much of the default roaster in Chicago. I find some of their roasts too acidic. If like if they went local, I'd prefer Dark Matter or Gaslight or Big Shoulders. Newer roasters with less ubiquity.
  • Post #5 - December 26th, 2012, 4:12 pm
    Post #5 - December 26th, 2012, 4:12 pm Post #5 - December 26th, 2012, 4:12 pm
    Do they offer espresso or just brewed coffee? I know someone who is jonesing for a Hair Bender....
    Leek

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  • Post #6 - December 26th, 2012, 7:01 pm
    Post #6 - December 26th, 2012, 7:01 pm Post #6 - December 26th, 2012, 7:01 pm
    Haven't been to Reno so unsure of their style bu Montreal style bagels are sweeter than New York - they do not have salt typically and are boiled in water with honey prior to baking - always! - in a wood fired oven. I grew up on Zabars then discovered Montreal and adore both. Montreal bagels are also a slightly different size than NY - skinnier and somewhat flatter usually, often a bit more handcrafted in look at least in my experience.

    Sounds like I need to try this hybrid version too!
  • Post #7 - January 1st, 2013, 3:16 pm
    Post #7 - January 1st, 2013, 3:16 pm Post #7 - January 1st, 2013, 3:16 pm
    Pie-love wrote:
    - I had the "Hook" sandwich with lox, avocado, red onion, and artichoke cream cheese. The combination was quite delicious-- however, I wish they had sliced the lox thinner and trimmed it slightly better-- even eating this sandwich by halves, it made for difficult (albeit rewarding) eating experience.



    I tried the "Hook" on Friday while overlooking the square. It is one of the best breakfast sandwiches I've had in a long time. I had to go back the next day, and bring one home for my wife. The lox is thick, but the texture is so soft that I don't mind at all. I would not change anything about this sandwich. The bagel had a nice crust and soft chew, while the components worked in harmony to highlight the house-cured salmon.

    Image
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #8 - January 1st, 2013, 5:23 pm
    Post #8 - January 1st, 2013, 5:23 pm Post #8 - January 1st, 2013, 5:23 pm
    Sweetbread wrote:I tried the "Hook" on Friday while overlooking the square. It is one of the best breakfast sandwiches I've had in a long time. I had to go back the next day, and bring one home for my wife. The lox is thick, but the texture is so soft that I don't mind at all. I would not change anything about this sandwich. The bagel had a nice crust and soft chew, while the components worked in harmony to highlight the house-cured salmon.


    Great photo, I am ready to go back to Reno for one right now. Also, I love your phrase "the components worked in harmony to highlight the house-cured salmon"... reminds me of something that would be said during the tasting panels on the old Japanese Iron Chef....

    Cheers, Jen
  • Post #9 - January 8th, 2013, 9:13 pm
    Post #9 - January 8th, 2013, 9:13 pm Post #9 - January 8th, 2013, 9:13 pm
    And some well-deserved love for Reno from Mike Sula of the Chicago Reader:

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/mi ... id=8381469

    Cheers, Jen
  • Post #10 - January 9th, 2013, 11:40 am
    Post #10 - January 9th, 2013, 11:40 am Post #10 - January 9th, 2013, 11:40 am
    I enjoyed my 1st visit to Reno earlier in December; went with a few friends for a weekend breakfast and was happy they were serving their lunchtime sandwiches already (it was probably close to 11am). On the menu it said those sandwiches were not available until noon but the server let us know they plan to update the menu as they are open to serving those earlier than noon.

    Unfortunately, my sandwich was a bit tricky to eat (the "Dip"), though the components were enjoyable. The menu item is listed as:

    Dip
    Spinach & Artichoke Spread / Pecorino /
 Red Onion / Frisée / Brioche
    —7.5

    They were open to sub a different bread option (I went with a bagel instead of brioche) but the issue was the spread overwhelmed the sandwich. It was on both sides and just way too much. I couldn't eat the sandwich in one piece due to the spread, so I switched to eat half open faced and then took the 2nd half home. There was still enough "dip" that I could eat it with some chips and then finally the rest of the sandwich later that afternoon. I would hope they tweak this presentation as it was not very enticing but sounded so good (much more of a heavy spinach dip, entirely green and not what I pictured in my head).

    Either way, this order did not sway me and my 2 dining partners were very happy with their orders (the "Hook" and "Basic") and the bagels overall.

    Excited to go back and try breakfast again and the pizza/pastas at dinner.

    Cheers!
  • Post #11 - January 10th, 2013, 12:14 pm
    Post #11 - January 10th, 2013, 12:14 pm Post #11 - January 10th, 2013, 12:14 pm
    Went there for the second time last night. As my GF is a vegetarian, it was also the second time we had the butternut squash pizza. Both times it was excellent. Now one of my favorite pizzas in Chicago. The prices are extremely reasonable for the quality of the food. The place was packed with a wait to be seated.
  • Post #12 - January 10th, 2013, 12:27 pm
    Post #12 - January 10th, 2013, 12:27 pm Post #12 - January 10th, 2013, 12:27 pm
    october271986 wrote: For my taste, he lox was fishier than I am used to, I think there was a bit too much of it, and didn't have the smoky saltiness of Nova lox.

    I did not ask but I'd venture Reno serves gravlox not Jewish deli style belly/nova lox. I'd further venture they make the gravlox, which I liked quite a bit, in-house. Bagel was terrific but at $2.25 per or $27/dozen the most expensive bagel I've ever eaten by a couple of multiples.

    For no reason I can hang my hat on Reno put me in mind of the tv show Portlandia, my lunch there also made want to visit its sister restaurant Telegraph. Friendly engaged staff, real attention to detail. I'll be back.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - January 10th, 2013, 6:48 pm
    Post #13 - January 10th, 2013, 6:48 pm Post #13 - January 10th, 2013, 6:48 pm
    I made a 2nd visit to Reno yesterday. I really like the place a lot. It's a little taste of Portlandia right in Logan Square (not just becasue of the Stumptown coffee, either). Service is quirky, friendly and efficient and the breads especially are great (I didn't really care for the tough crust on a small pie/tart thing that I had last time I was in). This time I ordered a Hook for myself and we split an order of hummus for the table.

    Reno Hummus & Bagel Chips
    Image

    The hummus was a little bean heavy for my taste...and it was the consistency of Spackle. It's doubtful that I will be ordering that again, but he hook was an excellent sandwich. It's been described before, but I never realized the lox was actually gravlox and not smoked at all. It was a lovely consistency and subtle in taste.

    Reno Hook
    Image

    I really enjoyed everything about this sandwich, from the sesame bagel to the artichoke cream cheese, although I would have traded the later for some plain cream cheese in a heartbeat.

    Reno would be a nice place to hang out and work. I appreciate the creativity and quality of their offerings. My only wish would be that in addition to all the fancy ass bagels, I'd love to be able to go in and order a plain bagel with some cream cheese (sans fancy additions). The quality of the bagels speak for themselves and sometimes the more simple the preparation, the more the ingredients shine.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - January 10th, 2013, 8:36 pm
    Post #14 - January 10th, 2013, 8:36 pm Post #14 - January 10th, 2013, 8:36 pm
    the bagel looks LEGIT. not that hummus though!!!
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #15 - January 10th, 2013, 10:07 pm
    Post #15 - January 10th, 2013, 10:07 pm Post #15 - January 10th, 2013, 10:07 pm
    The hummus was an abortion. Should say though that the sesame bagel w/the gravlox were excellent.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #16 - January 21st, 2013, 12:46 pm
    Post #16 - January 21st, 2013, 12:46 pm Post #16 - January 21st, 2013, 12:46 pm
    I had dinner at Reno last night with 3 other people and thought that, while some items were good and the service was great, the pizza was just mediocre. We started by sharing two salads: the escarole (says mizuna on the website, but was escarole on the menu at the restaurant) and spinach/frisee. The escarole salad has a baccala dressing, which was interestingly fishy and not overpowering, but might not be everyone's thing. The spinach salad was basic and good, although very vinegary. I liked it, but again, might be too much for some. It was a lot of salad for the price and was plenty to share for 4 people.

    We ordered three pizzas to share :a plain reno pizza (just sauce, mozzarella, and basil), a pizza with smoked onions and mushrooms, and one with sausage. This was also plenty for 4 people and we had a good amount of leftovers to take home. The most delicious part of the pizza was the smoked onions. They added a lot of flavor and were a great addition. But overall I was disappointed. I could barely detect the basil on the pizzas. I thought the crust was just meh, nothing special. It wasn't especially crispy or flavorful, but nor was it especially wet and floppy in a more neapolitan style. The sauce was a little different and maybe tasted of roasted red peppers? Not a huge fan of the cheese either.

    I really wanted to like Reno, but I would probably not go back for pizza. This was agreed upon by everyone at the table. I would still like to try the bagels though, since that seems to be what people love there. I'm certainly no pizza expert, so I'd love to hear more opinions on the pizzas.
  • Post #17 - January 21st, 2013, 2:56 pm
    Post #17 - January 21st, 2013, 2:56 pm Post #17 - January 21st, 2013, 2:56 pm
    LauraS wrote:I'm certainly no pizza expert, so I'd love to hear more opinions on the pizzas.

    What I really like -- no, love -- about the pizza at Reno is the crust. It's fantastic. The flavor of the crust is as good as any I've had in town. It tastes like a properly-risen dough and has a complex flavor that develops and evolves throughout the chew. Texture-wise, it has a light exterior crustiness and a tender tug. It's substantial and light all at once. You can see inside the crown that the crumb is uneven, which is also a sign of a properly risen and kneaded dough -- one that is risen slowly, so more lactic acid develops, which produces more flavor.

    The toppings are also quite tasty (I've had a few different combinations) but it's the crust that makes Reno's pizzas truly special.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #18 - January 21st, 2013, 10:32 pm
    Post #18 - January 21st, 2013, 10:32 pm Post #18 - January 21st, 2013, 10:32 pm
    just returned from a fantastic dinner at Reno.

    warm space, good service, really good pizza

    a note to start your journey: parking is difficult; however, the blue line CTA lot is just across the street - with normal street parking rates...not sure how full it gets during the day, but tonight the lot was empty. Being an expanded 6 corner/circle/parkade, there isn't a lot of street-pay parking available, with numerous loading zones occupying much of the street parking - and all of the neighborhood street parking is permitted 24/7. Parking in the CTA lot was convenient, and will be my direct go-to next time, as I drove around the block 5 times prior to seeing said lot. CTA lot is on the west side of kedzie just north of the kedzie/milwaukee intersection.

    Food:

    We started with the roasted cauliflower salad. Roasted cauliflower - with a slightly charred outside and a perfect crispy texture - thinly shaved parmesan cheese / orange slices / crumbled bacon / fresh dill...this was fresh, great balance of flavors, perfect size to split for something to put in your mouth while waiting for pizza, without filling up..

    Image

    we ordered 2 pies - which was way more than we needed, but we wanted to try a few - and have some to take home

    Paulina: PAULINA PEPPERONI / JALAPEÑO PESTO / MOZZARELLA / RED SAUCE - I loved the small round pepperonis that were crunchy on the edges, charred edges slightly curling up giving a nice additional texture to experience (apparently from Paulina meat market), perfect heat in the jalapeño pesto, soft & fresh mozzarella, and a nice light red sauce. This pizza was complemented nicely by the house-made hot sauce. The hot sauce was one of the best I've had that doesn't try too hard to be super hot. The heat is there, but not on the front of your tongue. Nice acidity level, lingering heat, pairs perfect with this pie

    Image

    Butternut: BUTTERNUT SQUASH / SAGE / GRUYERE CHEESE / WALNUTS / EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - lots of great flavor in this pizza; almost not pizza-like, in the traditional sense. The flavor in front of the bite leans towards sweet, but then the bitterness of the walnuts steps in and finishes the bite well balanced. It's the kind of pizza that makes you think, and experience all of the flavors individually; I found myself taking another bit to fully examine all that's going on several times. Well done.

    Image

    Crust on both pies was amazing. Soft, chewy, slightly charred - perfect example of a good wood-fired pizza

    atmosphere: hipsters, parents with little babies, parents in from suburbs visiting their 26 year old kids, foodies, and students all filled the space tonight. A really well-balanced crowd, that happens to parallel the food quite well: well balanced, fun, hearty, and affordable.

    Starter Salad, 2 pies (more than enough for 2 meals for 2), and a bottle of some good oaky red wine (MOURAZ 2010 TOURIGA BLEND, PORTUGAL)
    $80 with tip - more than fair

    Nice work guys, I'll be back
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
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  • Post #19 - January 22nd, 2013, 8:33 am
    Post #19 - January 22nd, 2013, 8:33 am Post #19 - January 22nd, 2013, 8:33 am
    rubbbqco wrote:a note to start your journey: parking is difficult; however, the blue line CTA lot is just across the street - with normal street parking rates...not sure how full it gets during the day, but tonight the lot was empty. Being an expanded 6 corner/circle/parkade, there isn't a lot of street-pay parking available, with numerous loading zones occupying much of the street parking - and all of the neighborhood street parking is permitted 24/7. Parking in the CTA lot was convenient, and will be my direct go-to next time, as I drove around the block 5 times prior to seeing said lot. CTA lot is on the west side of kedzie just north of the kedzie/milwaukee intersection.


    Thanks for the tip. The only time I'd been I more or less double parked and ran in to grab a bagel real quick. This is good to know for when I return for pizza.
  • Post #20 - January 22nd, 2013, 11:03 am
    Post #20 - January 22nd, 2013, 11:03 am Post #20 - January 22nd, 2013, 11:03 am
    I was in last Tuesday for a quick lunch. Had a modification of the Cowboy w/ merguez. It was wonderfully messy and decadent.

    Across from me, a table ordered "one of everything" on the menu. Seemed like an LTH group, at least in spirit. A lot of dorky types with their cameras out. I was proud of them.
  • Post #21 - February 28th, 2013, 2:39 pm
    Post #21 - February 28th, 2013, 2:39 pm Post #21 - February 28th, 2013, 2:39 pm
    Stopped at Reno this morning just to try the bagels. I got sesame seed bagels, uncut, with cream cheese on the side so I could have them at my office for lunch. I wanted to taste pure bagel.
    These are really good bagels. They are a bit thinner than typical New York style, but intensely dense and chewy, with good flavor. My jaw was tired after eating them, which is a very good thing in my book. What I really liked is that they were cooked until a slightly dark brown, adding a great slightly caramelized flavor. In a perfect world, I might like a bit more crust on them, but these are bagels I could eat on a regular basis.

    If bagels are the new "it" food, in my world, that's a huge upgrade over cupcakes or doughnuts.

    Jonah
  • Post #22 - March 9th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    Post #22 - March 9th, 2013, 3:27 pm Post #22 - March 9th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    The pizzas I had here earlier this week were, without question, the best I've ever had in Chicago. The Reno, which is essentially their take on a Margherita, was spectacular and I could tell it would be before I even put it in my mouth. Just picking it up, feeling its temperature, the texture of the bread, seeing the slight bend of the slice from crown to tip as I held it out, I already knew it was going to be exceptional. Smelling the great, toasty aroma of the crust and heady scent of the basil made it even clearer. And actually eating it confirmed what was already obvious. The pizza possessed textural perfection, with a compelling combination of crustiness and chewiness, and complex flavor all the way through the chew. Toppings were of superior quality and applied judiciously; in a way that complemented the crust without overwhelming it. This was a textbook 'less is more' situation.

    2 other pies were also exceptional. The much lauded (upthread and elsewhere) Kenny Bell (sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cippolini onion, guaciale, Aleppo pepper) was, synergistically, more than the sum of its parts. The Southern (Edward's ham, kimchi, spinach, mozzarella, fried garlic) suffered a tiny bit texturally from the abundance of its toppings but still delivered remarkable flavor, especially backed by the fantastic dough. Actually, in all fairness, all 3 pizzas were delivered to the table at the exact same time, and I tried these 2 last, so it's entirely possible they were every bit as perfect as The Reno when they were served. Next time I order multiple pies at Reno, I'll ask for them to be served in succession, not all at once.

    Rigatoni Carbonara (pancetta, guanciale, bone marrow, egg yolk, black pepper, parmesan) was a less creamy take on what I typically expect from a carbonara but it was delicious in its own right: perfectly cooked, al dente noodles tossed in a combination of rich, delicious ingredients. The Frisee Spinach salad (shaved mushrooms, fried leeks, almonds, warm sherry vinaigrette) was also delicious. The greens were bouncy and fresh, and the other ingredients played well with the greens. There was even a touch of truffle oil in the dressing, of which I'm not normally a huge fan. But it was applied so deftly here that it actually elevated the entire salad to another level. Roasted Broccoli (pecorino crisp, date & bacon vinaigrette) was the only dish that didn't really work for me. I love roasted broccoli and thought this was nicely roasted but the dressing was too sweet for my palate.

    I was a little surprised to see the room less than half-full on a Thursday evening (around 9 pm), especially given its proximity to some popular, Logan Square watering holes. In my mind, Reno's so special, it's kind of weird to not see a line out the door (not that I'm personally wishing for that! :D).

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #23 - March 9th, 2013, 4:27 pm
    Post #23 - March 9th, 2013, 4:27 pm Post #23 - March 9th, 2013, 4:27 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:The pizzas I had here earlier this week were, without question, the best I've ever had in Chicago. The Reno, which is essentially their take on a Margherita, was spectacular and I could tell it would be before I even put it in my mouth. Just picking it up, feeling its temperature, the texture of the bread, seeing the slight bend of the slice from crown to tip as I held it out, I already knew it was going to be exceptional. Smelling the great, toasty aroma of the crust and heady scent of the basil made it even clearer. And actually eating it confirmed what was already obvious. The pizza possessed textural perfection, with a compelling combination of crustiness and chewiness, and complex flavor all the way through the chew. Toppings were of superior quality and applied judiciously; in a way that complemented the crust without overwhelming it. This was a textbook 'less is more' situation.

    2 other pies were also exceptional. The much lauded (upthread and elsewhere) Kenny Bell (sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cippolini onion, guaciale, Aleppo pepper) was, synergistically, more than the sum of its parts. The Southern (Edward's ham, kimchi, spinach, mozzarella, fried garlic) suffered a tiny bit texturally from the abundance of its toppings but still delivered remarkable flavor, especially backed by the fantastic dough. Actually, in all fairness, all 3 pizzas were delivered to the table at the exact same time, and I tried these 2 last, so it's entirely possible they were every bit as perfect as The Reno when they were served. Next time I order multiple pies at Reno, I'll ask for them to be served in succession, not all at once.

    Rigatoni Carbonara (pancetta, guanciale, bone marrow, egg yolk, black pepper, parmesan) was a less creamy take on what I typically expect from a carbonara but it was delicious in its own right: perfectly cooked, al dente noodles tossed in a combination of rich, delicious ingredients. The Frisee Spinach salad (shaved mushrooms, fried leeks, almonds, warm sherry vinaigrette) was also delicious. The greens were bouncy and fresh, and the other ingredients played well with the greens. There was even a touch of truffle oil in the dressing, of which I'm not normally a huge fan. But it was applied so deftly here that it actually elevated the entire salad to another level. Roasted Broccoli (pecorino crisp, date & bacon vinaigrette) was the only dish that didn't really work for me. I love roasted broccoli and thought this was nicely roasted but the dressing was too sweet for my palate.

    I was a little surprised to see the room less than half-full on a Thursday evening (around 9 pm), especially given its proximity to some popular, Logan Square watering holes. In my mind, Reno's so special, it's kind of weird to not see a line out the door (not that I'm personally wishing for that! :D).

    =R=


    Damn I'm hungry now. Reno was on my list but I've sort of forgotten about it; thanks for the reminder that I need to make it in there stat to check it out.
  • Post #24 - March 9th, 2013, 7:16 pm
    Post #24 - March 9th, 2013, 7:16 pm Post #24 - March 9th, 2013, 7:16 pm
    When I was there the sauce on the Reno tasted like it had roasted red pepper in it-nt that it was bad, but it was unexpected. Anyone else get that?
  • Post #25 - March 10th, 2013, 11:39 am
    Post #25 - March 10th, 2013, 11:39 am Post #25 - March 10th, 2013, 11:39 am
    I made it to Reno last night with a couple of friends - no wait for the three of us at 8:30pm on a Saturday night. We started with a couple of salads - the apple salad and the quinoa salad. Both were well mixed, but I found the vinaigrettes on both salads to be a little too oily. And while I thought the apple salad was terrific, I thought the quinoa salad was too acidic, and so it became monotonous to eat after a while (perhaps solved with a little less vinaigrette and a little more cheese and/or quinoa).

    We also ordered a couple of pizzas, the Combo and the Hog. I enjoyed the flavor of the crusts quite a bit - nice char and nice flavor. Personally, I would have preferred more chew, more crispness (maybe even a few air bubbles), at the edges, but these are perhaps more personal preferences. As for toppings, both pizzas were excellent in terms of very well distributed toppings that didn't weigh too heavily on the crusts. Although the sausage on the Combo was a little too dry, the smoked onions were a really terrific addition. The carnitas on the Hog were also a little bit on the dry side, but I really loved the flavors on this pizza, including the excellent salsa verde.

    Restaurant was rather conversation friendly, somewhat different than its sibling Telegraph which can be ear-splitting at times. Also, remember that Reno is cash only - something I forgot last night - but the dinner prices are quite low compared to similar restaurants.
    Last edited by BR on March 10th, 2013, 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #26 - March 10th, 2013, 3:42 pm
    Post #26 - March 10th, 2013, 3:42 pm Post #26 - March 10th, 2013, 3:42 pm
    Went to Reno this morning for breakfast...
    parents in from suburbs visiting their 26 year old kids

    ...to meet our son who lives in Logan Square. :lol:

    The bagels seem to me to be Montreal style without the sweetness. Son lived in Montreal for a year, so we ate quite a few bagels there. (I happen to like them; Mr. H is a bagel-purist from NYC.) We split an everything bagel, and liked it quite a bit. Chewy and toasty on the outside, softish on the inside, good wood fire flavor. Compared to Kaufman's or NY Bagel, the everything was missing quite a bit of garlic (actually fine by me, mourned by husband and son, though they liked the bagel).

    I had the savory brioche, which had thin sliced salami, hot pepper and... something I am forgetting... It was good, but I realized that I ordered it because I've gotten addicted to brioche at Baker & Nosh on Wilson, and of course, it wasn't the same at all. (Not a fair criticism of Reno's brioche, I should have ordered something else.) Son had the sandwich that is basically a Cuban (Master Something...) -- very good, on a great bread that I assume was house-made. Husband had the bagel and lox, without the avocado, which he said had no business on a bagel... but the lox passed his inspection.

    We had an order of the hummus (I think hummus is about the best thing ever for breakfast). I liked the hummus. It had a good flavor -- the garlic that was missing from the everything bagel had apparently been added to the hummus. The texture was thick, and not smooth -- so if you demand smooth, you won't like it. I'm eclectic in my hummus eating, texture-wise, but demand flavor beyond just garbanzos -- and this definitely tasted good, enough tahini, garlic, not flat.

    I would go back for the bagels, for sure. And having read this thread, I am eager to go back for the pizza!

    We got there right as they opened the door at 9am; by the time we left at 10:30, the place was filling up, but not so much that they needed our table, which was nice, since we could sit for awhile. Very friendly and attentive service.
  • Post #27 - March 10th, 2013, 4:21 pm
    Post #27 - March 10th, 2013, 4:21 pm Post #27 - March 10th, 2013, 4:21 pm
    BR wrote:Personally, I would have preferred more chew, more crispness (maybe even a few air bubbles), at the edges, but these are perhaps more personal preferences.

    This is exactly how our pizzas were. Bubbled up unevenly and slightly charred all the way around the crown. Absolutely incredible stuff.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #28 - March 10th, 2013, 4:48 pm
    Post #28 - March 10th, 2013, 4:48 pm Post #28 - March 10th, 2013, 4:48 pm
    I was there both on Thursday and Saturday (I didn't see you BR, but we were there at about the same time). The pizzas were substantially better on Thursday. The Reno I had yesterday was almost soggy in the middle.
  • Post #29 - March 10th, 2013, 11:04 pm
    Post #29 - March 10th, 2013, 11:04 pm Post #29 - March 10th, 2013, 11:04 pm
    jvalentino wrote:When I was there the sauce on the Reno tasted like it had roasted red pepper in it-nt that it was bad, but it was unexpected. Anyone else get that?

    I didn't get this at all last week but often such subtleties are lost on me.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #30 - March 10th, 2013, 11:50 pm
    Post #30 - March 10th, 2013, 11:50 pm Post #30 - March 10th, 2013, 11:50 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    jvalentino wrote:When I was there the sauce on the Reno tasted like it had roasted red pepper in it-nt that it was bad, but it was unexpected. Anyone else get that?

    I didn't get this at all last week but often such subtleties are lost on me.

    =R=


    I'm sure they're still getting into full swing so we may see some of this and that for a bit. I'm looking forward to heading back.

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