- 13979 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV, 89511
- Overall User Rating:
- (1 rating)
- 10 a.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday
- Official Web Site:
The Chocolate Bar's Summit location is swankier than the downtown Reno original.
Walls are swathed in metallic tones; chic wallpaper is patterned with circles. Giant silver-framed mirrors are opposite the bar, reflecting a great wall of liquor bottles and patrons perched atop barstools sipping cocktails.
A giant chandelier is bedecked in black crystals, and hurricane-style lamps hang above the booths in the bar dining room. The restaurant expanded this year, creating another dining room with a stylish lounge in the back.
Out of stock
The Chocolate Bar seems like the perfect place to meet a friend for cocktails and dinner at the end of a long week. One recent Friday night, we arrive about 8:30 p.m. We don't have a reservation and are happy to snag a spot at one of the lounge-y tables in the center of the dining room.
Whereupon the hostess informs us that a large party has cleaned the restaurant out of all desserts save fondue and truffles. Hmm.
I start by ordering the grilled figs with prosciutto, berry oil and balsamic reduction. The server tells me the dish is one of his favorites —but alas, the kitchen has no more figs. The restaurant also is out of the glass of wine I order. Double hmm.
So, instead, my party opts for crab cakes and the chef's choice of grilled flatbread.
The cakes are tall specimens skirted with olive oil foam. They're tasty but not entirely memorable. I wish they were flatter so there would be more surface area to offer a textural contrast between crisp exterior and soft interior.
Chef's flatbread is topped with pesto, capers, kalamata olives, arugula, feta cheese and red onion slices. The interplay between salty — olives and capers -— and punchy — pesto and arugula — is delicious. A bit of the flatbread's edge is scorched, but no matter. We cut away the offending piece and finish the entire thing.
A salad of mixed greens topped with roasted beets, goat cheese and toasted sesame seeds and tossed in red wine vinaigrette is small for $9. The salad is somewhat dry -— it's hard to detect any dressing on my half — but the goat cheese is creamy and complements the sweet roasted beets.
Entrées are generously portioned.
Three slabs of seared tuna — deep red and barely touched by heat — arrive atop white rice, dressed with a bit of slaw and a brushstroke of sweet sauce. The slaw — thinly sliced carrot and green onion — is successful, but I wish there were more. The rice has a hint of sweetness, which seems like overkill, considering the sauce.
Cocoa-coffee dusted hanger steak is accompanied by ancho demi-glace, roasted fingerling potatoes and three asparagus spears. The asparagus is dusted with spices, and spiciness shines through. Roasted fingerlings are a winner dredged in demi.
The hanger steak, however, isn't properly sliced thin, resulting in chewiness in each bite. Too bad, because the dusting on the steak is appealing and complex.
In search of service
For dessert, my party chooses chili truffles and a C bar cocktail from the evening's limited menu. The truffles feature a layer of dark chocolate surrounding silky dark chocolate filling spiked with chili. They're delicious, the heat growing a little with each bite.
The C cocktail — built from vanilla vodka, chocolate liqueur and cream — isn't as successful. The drink is watery for a chocolate cocktail. I expect a weightier mouthfeel and more lusciousness.
Service is lackluster, almost indifferent, something I've also found to be true at the downtown Chocolate Bar. My party doesn't receive silverware or share plates until after both appetizers arrive, and even then, we have to ask twice for plates.
The menu says that main dishes include house salads, but we don't receive any. Our water glasses are only filled once, and it takes a while to order a second cocktail, despite the loitering, black-clad servers who don't appear to be busy.
The problem with the Chocolate Bar in the Summit is that it's all style, no substance — a bevy of wait staff but no one to fill water glasses, beautiful rooms but not enough quality food to bring diners back.