Before or After the Caucus, Here’s Where to Dine in Nevada

We don’t do politics on this blog. To quote the singer/songwriter Tom Russell from one of his apolitical songs: “I ain’t got no politics, so don’t lay that rap on me.”

But with the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary in the rear-view mirror, and candidates now concentrating on the Feb. 22 Nevada caucus, we thought it might be helpful to share three outstanding dining destinations for wine lovers in the Silver State.

While there are countless options in Las Vegas, we’re going to “spread the wealth” and offers suggestions in the three cities where voters are most likely to encounter candidates: Vegas, Reno and the capital city of Carson City.

Let’s start with Sin City. While there are literally dozens of exceptional wining-and-dining destinations from which to choose, it’s hard to beat Aureole at the Mandalay Bay resort.

There, guests are greeted by a four-story “wine tower,” stocked with thousands of bottles that have been hand-selected to pair with dishes on the restaurant’s menu.

When a bottle is ordered, one of the restaurant’s “wine angels” will gracefully glide through the air to retrieve it from the tower.

But this restaurant isn’t just about the show. James Beard Award-winning chef Charlie Palmer and executive chef Alexandre Grégoire have put together a menu that is truly inspired.

There’s also a helpful staff that will guide you through the menu and offer wine-pairing suggestions. There’s a lot to soak in, both on the food side and the wine side, so placing your trust in the restaurant’s qualified staff is a good way to go. In my experience, they’ve never tried to “upsell” to an ultra-expensive bottle when a lower-priced selection makes a better food-pairing partner.

In the northern part of the state, we love visiting Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, which is part restaurant, part market and part catering company.

If you enjoy small plates and trying a lot of different things over an extended meal, you’ll love The Market. We also enjoy “talking wine” with the servers and coming to a consensus over which bottle (or bottles) will pair best with our food selections. I wouldn’t call us “foodies,” but we sure see a lot of them whenever we visit The Market.

As Reno has grown and become something of a technology hub, its dining scene has expanded. There was a time when the city’s best restaurants were confined to the major casinos, but no longer.

While those gaming destinations continue to house some excellent restaurants, if I had to choose just one place in “The Biggest Little City in the World” to wine and dine, it would be Beaujolais Bistro.

The bistro features traditional French cooking with a menu that changes daily. As you might expect, the wine list is heavy on selections from France’s most acclaimed appellations, but the atmosphere is far from stuffy. This is a place where you can enjoy an extraordinary meal in a casual atmosphere.

All three of these restaurants — Aureole in Las Vegas, Liberty Food & Wine Exchange in Carson City, and Beaujolais Bistro in Reno — are worthy of your wining-and-dining vote.

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Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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