For the past five years, Reno Bites restaurant week has helped shine a spotlight on Reno’s locally owned restaurants and distinctive culinary culture. Lovers of dining out find inspiration to try new places or are reminded of longtime favorites they’ve been wanting to return to, encouraged by $10, $20 or $30 price points, specialty menu items, and envelope-pushing signature events. This year, commemorating its 5th anniversary from October 7-16, Reno Bites has expanded to 10 days and has multiple ways for food lovers to dine out for worthy causes.
Upon inception, Reno Bites mission was to drive exploration of the many locally owned restaurants throughout the city versus those touting a recognizable national brand. This serves to both help keep the economic impact of eating out within the community, as well as offer an opportunity for guests to experience both the fare and ambiance of the restaurants themselves. Signature Events offer a platform for chefs and restaurateurs to provide a more out-of-the-box dining experience to their guests than they usually would.
“Since we conceptualized Reno Bites more than five years ago, we’ve been thrilled at the response by not only the restaurants, who regularly report an increase in business during the week, but by the people patronizing them,” exudes Reno Bites Co-Founder Clint Jolly. “Locals appreciate the price points, which encourage exploration of places and items, plus word seems to be getting out about Reno’s thriving food scene as each year we meet visitors that are here for the restaurant week!”
This year, two dozen restaurants—some new to town, some beloved for years—feature $10, $20 or $30 price points for the event, so there will be something for every budget and palate. Participating restaurants are Bistro 7, Brasserie St. James, Campo, Chez Louie, Crème Café, Chomp, Gourmelt, Homage, Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, Mellow Fellow, Moo Dang, Noble Pie Parlor, Pignic, Rapscallion, Rawbry, Roundabout Grill, SoDo, Southcreek Pizza Co., Süp, The Cheese Board, The Mustard Seed, Wedge Cheese Shop, Wild River Grille, and Zozo’s.
Eleven signature events take place within the restaurant week also, ranging from global culinary tours like an exotic Moroccan-themed bazaar, multi-course pasta tasting, Asian celebration and Israeli dinner, to meals invoking bygone eras and spooky tales. Restaurant week begins with a kickoff at several locations throughout Reno broadcasting a 30-minute preview show on the upcoming week’s offerings along with $10 food and drink specials.
The popular and free Chef Showdown event on Saturday, Oct. 15 takes place again at Czyz’s Appliance, this year with a VIP Oktoberfest Beer Garden set up by Celebrations Party Rentals serving up complimentary fare from Sysco, Sierra Meat & Seafood and Alibi Ale Works. Product samples will also be available for spectators of the competition, which pits eight local chefs against each other in Czyz’s gourmet kitchens as they prepare one dish using secret ingredients, which the chefs then present to a panel of judges to see who wins top honors and prizes.
Signature Events for 2016:
· Friday, Oct. 7: Reno Bites Kickoff – 5:30 p.m., locations citywide
· Saturday, Oct. 8: Pigtobeerfest II – 4 p.m., Pignic Pub & Patio
· Sunday, Oct. 9: Blend Catering’s OktoberFeast – 5:30 p.m., Under the Rose Brewing Company
· Monday, Oct. 10: Delicious Encounters of the Rapscallion Kind, 1977-Style Tasting – 6:30 p.m., Rapscallion
· Tuesday, Oct. 11: “Mangia Tutti” Pasta Tasting – 6:30 p.m., Campo
· Wednesday, Oct. 12: Yelp’s Far East Street Eats – 6 p.m., Nevada Museum of Art
· Thursday, Oct. 13: Caravan to Casablanca – 6:30 p.m., Homage
· Friday, Oct. 14: Feed the Camel’s Food Truck Iron Chef – 5 p.m., McKinley Arts & Culture Center
· Saturday, Oct. 15: Chef Showdown – 2 p.m., Czyz’s Appliance
· Saturday, Oct. 15: Tournant’s Hannibal: The Pop-Up – 7:30 p.m., Crème Café and Good Luck Macbeth
· Sunday, Oct. 16: Art, Food & Roots – 4:30 p.m., Urban Roots
There are many ways to celebrate mouthwatering cuisine while benefitting local nonprofits this year. New for the 5th anniversary is the Charity Checkbill promotion, in which guests at Reno Bites’ participating restaurants can vote for one of three food-focused local charities to receive a $4,000 check from Sysco. Additionally, Yelp’s Far East Street Eats event benefits the Nevada Museum of Art, the Food Truck Iron Chef competition benefits The Solace Tree and proceeds from Art, Food & Roots go to Urban Roots.
Reno Bites is sponsored by Alice 96.5 FM, Czyz’s Appliance, FOX 11, My News 4, MY 21 TV, RGJ Media, Sierra Meat and Seafood, and Sysco. For a full list of participating restaurants and their specials, plus Signature Events for Reno Bites this year, visitRenoBitesWeek.com, and follow on Facebook for up-to-the-minute information at Facebook.com/RenoBites.