By Melissa Wynn

When I made the reservations at Bistro Napa in the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno I was looking forward to a quiet dinner out. Little did I know. A meal at Bistro Napa is NOT dinner out, it is a decadent, opulent dining experience. After spending the day at Spa Atlantis Lorraine Shoemaker and I arrived for dinner so relaxed we were nearly liquid. Why make decisions? We asked our sweet server Nicki Shea to have Chef Clayton Slieff  just send out his favorites. Our lack of decision was the best choice after all. Even our request for just any house specialty cocktail was chosen by Nicki.  For me she chose a sweet tequila based cocktail called the Pom Daisy, sweet and tangy with pomegranate and sure to warm your cheeks. Lorraine savored her Winter Lemonade, Citron Vodka based, sweet and tart with hints of basil and lemon thyme. Powerfully delightful!

Dinner began with a bit of Duck Pate’ atop a crispy crouton with roasted pumpkin seeds. Just a nibble of delicate flavor, full of texture, a tiny party for your tongue. Mmmm. Next Chef sent out two wood fired artichoke hearts, barely charred with a sassy lemon aioli. Tender to perfection. Four bread choices warm in a basket arrived just before our beautiful Baby Lettuce Salad ($9). What a salad, wood fired pear, crunchy apple, candied pecans and a sprinkle of Sonoma goat cheese nestled on a bed of baby greens and lightly drizzled with a Late Harvest Riesling Vinaigrette. I was beginning to wonder how to possibly save room for an entree. No worries, I’ll manage. Again Chef Clayton made stellar choices. Pan Roasted Chilean Seabass ($35)was the first entree to grace our table topped with a jumbo shrimp resting juicy on a bed of fingerling potatoes, fresh spinach, sweet teardrop tomatoes and pearl onions all coated with an outstanding citrus butter sauce. I think this was about the time I decided this meal merited proposals of marriage. Chef’s wife is a lucky lady! Entree number two was also a fiesta for our tastebuds, Cabernet Braised Boneless Shortribs ($30). Mercy, mercy me. Beyond tender, the ribs just fell apart under the fork. Lazing a top applewood smoked bacon mashed potatoes swimming in the most mouth watering Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Sooo full, I was certain I would pop. But wait, here come cups of hot, full flavored coffee to settle the tummy and make room for dessert. I know, very naughty but we couldn’t resist. Our royal feast ended with a perfect cheese tray offering four varieties of cheese and four amazing dips for them including a strong reduced balsamic that Lorraine loved and a sweet bit of fresh honeycomb that I picked at until it was gone. All in all this was a true work of culinary excellence. Visit the Bistro Napa at Atlantis Reno. Bon Appetit’

photos courtesy of Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

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