By Vegas Food Nerd

When you think of Reno, Nevada, a picture of a cowboy might come to mind. It might conjure thoughts of western rodeos and charcoal barbeque scenes. You probably wouldn’t be thinking about Asian fusion cuisine if you’re picturing Reno, but maybe it’s time that you do. Jazmine’s is located in South Reno, and it’s where east meets west, fusing Chinese with Japanese. The interior of the restaurant is sleek, modern, with a warm feel to the design. We were seated at a large round table with a big lazy susan in the center for sharing. Surrounding the roundtables were beaded curtains that give an intimate feel to each table. The warm red tones and modern glass lamps added a nice look to the space as well.

Luckily for me, we were treated to this meal with a great group of people who had frequented Jazmine many times, and they decided to order for us and share their favorites with us. I love a chance to experience restaurants like this. The baked green mussels were adorned with a savory sauce and topped with scallions— they disappeared fast. The Peking duck appetizer was just incredible, served on fluffy bao-like buns with scallions and plum sauce with the meltingly tender meat.

We sampled so many of their amazing dishes like their honey glazed walnut prawns. The shrimp were lightly breaded and covered with a tasty honey aioli, topped with candied walnuts. The one dish that our host insisted on was the grilled lamb chops. It would have never occurred to me to order lamb chops at an Asian restaurant, but I am forever grateful that he ordered them. They were impeccably cooked and hands down one of my favorite lamb dishes that I have ever sampled. Trays and trays of sushi rolls came out to the table, and each was fresh, tender and crave-worthy. The crab fried rice was savory and full of flavor. There were so many dishes coming to the table it was hard to keep everything straight that we were lucky enough to taste. All I know is that this food nerd was overwhelmingly happy with each luscious offering we got to sample.

One dish that stood out came towards the end of our meal. Jazmine offers a whole steamed fish cooked with ginger, scallions, parsley, cilantro and seasoned soy sauce. The waiter presented the entire fish to us at the table then deboned it tableside before serving it to us. This was a delicate, delectable dish; the fish melted in our mouths, and the flavors of the herbs, ginger and soy were subtle and just splendid.

The only thing that I regret about the meal is that I couldn’t eat more than I did. Our servers were extremely attentive, and on top of taking care of our party. I also enjoyed the attention to detail with fine linens around the restaurant and stands for our chopsticks to rest on.

So, while there may be plenty of places in Reno to get yourself a burger or a rack of ribs, make a point on your next trip to check out this modern Asian eatery. And I beg of you when you do. Get the lamb chops. Trust me on this one. You won’t be sorry.

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By Vegas Food Nerd

Located across from the Las Vegas convention center, Piero’s is a 36-year-old dining institution. This family-run, high-end dining experience has been stationed in its current location for 31 years, and the interior remains a classy old-school experience, the likes of which are a dwindling find here in Las Vegas. The glitz of the ultra-modern casinos that rise all around it coupled with a celebrity chef scene figuratively arm wrestling each other for the next corner of the foodie scene make Piero’s a welcome place to visit.

As much as I enjoy trying new and inventive cuisine, consistency and attention to the classics is a like a warm hug to your senses. Piero’s is legendary in many ways as well. It’s been patronized by over 500 celebrities— just go ahead and name one, and trust me they’ve probably been there. It was also used to film the classic Casino as well. It’s an iconic spot that offers up Northern Italian fare and is known nationwide for some of the freshest seafood dishes in the city.

The chef is Gilbert Fetaz. Trained in France, Gilbert worked in Canada, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Florida and then Chicago. While working in Chicago, Paul Anka dined in his restaurant and ate his cuisine. The iconic singer was so impressed with his skills that he hired him to come and work at his nightclub in Las Vegas. The club was very well received. When Piero’s was in the planning stages to open in 1982, they hired him to helm the kitchen, and he has been there ever since. Fetz’s philosophy on food is that it should be tested, fresh, and consistent. This simple mission statement of his has kept patrons coming back to Piero’s time and again for 36 years and counting.

The interior of the space is classic elegance with stone wall accents, rich dark woods, luxurious leather booths, and fine linens on all tables. The walls are adorned with artwork, antiques, and various memorabilia about the restaurants. While visiting, take a moment to walk around and tour the history of the place before or after you dine. Before dining, also take some time to get a pre-dinner drink at their iconic Monkey Bar. It’s a great place to sip on a cocktail before your meal. Piero’s features entertainment as well and Iconic Vegas performer Pia Zadora makes regular appearances that you can catch on weekends from time to time at the restaurant.

Now let’s talk about the food! They are known to sell between 80-100 plates of their classic take on Osso Bucco each night. The meat is meltingly tender served alongside their homemade fettuccini, accented with fresh porcini mushrooms. It’s an incredibly savory and satisfying dish. Visit from October to April, and you will get to indulge in their other famous offering: fresh, sweet, succulent stone crab. You won’t have to ask if they are in season, you will know the moment you walk up into the lobby, where they display the tempting shellfish on crushed ice, tempting you to start your meal with the delicacy.

We’ve been lucky to dine at Piero’s several times, and have many favorites on the menu, like their suprema di Pollo Vesuvio chicken breast with tomato, fried eggplant and topped with melted mozzarella or the veal saltimbocca with prosciutto, sage, and white wine or their agnolotti freschi alla crema fresh pasta stuffed with spinach and cheese and covered in a decadent cream sauce.

One of my favorite reasons to visit is their selection of fresh fish flown in daily. It’s a welcome surprise to hear the latest available specials. Chef Fetaz prides himself on his seafood creations as one of his specialties. Let your server guide you through them and then select the one that appeals to you. So far they have never let me down.

On a recent visit, my friend was so enamored by the sauce on her special that she asked for more of the savory mustard sauce and the waiter quickly obliged.

That leads me to the final reason that Piero’s always consistently delivers on, and it is their service. Many of the staff have worked at the restaurant for 20 years or more, and their attention to detail and keeping the customer happy is impeccable. It’s worth a visit on your next visit in Vegas. To make reservations at Piero’s visit or call 702.369.2305


Holmstead Fines Chutney

Created by Le Cordon Bleu London grad and Alabama native Rebecca Williamson, Holmsted Fines is an all-natural line of chutneys grown in the south. Add this to your pantry because it compliments cheese boards, meats, bread and can add some zing to your sandwiches. The flavors include green tomato chutney, peach chutney and balsamic red onion chutney. Pour a jar over a bar of cream cheese for a party platter or top grilled meat or fish for a zing of flavor. The best part is that for each jar sold a portion goes to help fight hunger and human trafficking. Buy some for yourself at





Bardot by Michael Mina

Located in the modern casino resort Aria, is Michael Mina’s Bardot. This French spin on brunch will score you some big brownie points with the moms in your world. His double-decker croquet Madam is noteworthy, as is his take on French toast, and his Nutella pastries. What begs many repeat visits to this Parisian-feeling place is his assortment of croissant benedicts— prosciutto, short rib bourguignon, smoked salmon, or avocado— all a decadent delight. Make your reservations at


Chef Stephen Blandino has created a waterfront oasis at his new restaurant, Americana. The former chef of Charlie Palmer at The Four Seasons has opened his gourmet dining destination for locals in the know, located right on the lakes in Summerlin. Some of his more notable brunch dishes include his bourbon glazed shrimp and grits, spiced lemongrass mussels, French toast with a berry compote, and his flat iron fries smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. The setting makes you feel as though you took a flight to another city in some remote resort town on the water. You can opt for a bottomless mimosa and/or Bloody Mary, and give Mom something to brag to her friends about. Make your reservations at

MOM-Osa Brunch at Chica

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and a unique afternoon brunch awaits at CHICA. Join Chef Lorena Garcia in celebrating the one-year anniversary of CHICA at the MOM-Osa Brunch on Sunday, May 13th. This special day will feature a stunning celebration of Latin American flavors from Sweet Corn Pancakes, Dulce de leche French Toast, Lemon Donuts with Blueberry Compote to Chicken Chicharonnes, Grilled Peruvian Octopus and more.  This lively brunch event is the perfect way to celebrate Mom with a “MOM-Osa” or two in hand alongside one of the most empowering female chef’s in the industry, Lorena Garcia. CHICA is located in The Venetian Las Vegas. Make reservations at or call 702 805-8472.




By Vegas Food Nerd

Carson Kitchen is the last restaurant concept brought to us by the late “Rock n’ Roll Chef” Kerry Simon. The restaurant, which is a casual eatery that serves dishes in the style of Kerry’s innovative take on American comfort food, continues to pay homage to the restaurant legend in their space, a portion of the re-purposed mid-century John E. Carson Hotel. The restaurant features two bars, one adjacent to the main dining room with a sleek swanky feel, and a roof-top bar that sometimes features musical acts. Guests can also take their libations out to the renovated courtyard with its outdoor fireplace and colorful murals. The head chef as of December is now Scott Simon, Kerry’s younger brother. He was personally mentored by the notorious chef and is proud to continue cooking in his honor.

Driving up to the restaurant, and finding the place is a little bit like finding a hidden speakeasy. The white building is very nondescript, as is the entrance. Blink too fast, and you will miss it. The signage is so subtle that it’s easy to drive by without seeing it. It’s like being let in on a very tasty gourmet Vegas secret. You will look like a foodie insider when you bring friends to Carson Kitchen, which has dark wood accents and open kitchen expo, offering real-time views of the kitchen preparing the food. There are exposed unfinished wood beams throughout, with modern, sleek accents, and eclectic hanging lanterns. They have high-top community tables on one end of the main room and cozy tables for two and four throughout. The staff is dressed casually, each wearing an iconic rock band t-shirt with names like Pink Floyd, and AC/DC a subtle nod to the heritage of the bistro. A motto tiled on one wall reminds us all to “Keep Calm and Kerry on.” The brick on the other walls warm up the modern space.

When we dined at Carson Kitchen, we started with a bottle of Cielo Pinot Grigio while we perused the menu. The menu is small but has enough variety to satisfy different tastes. We started with the young beets salad. The salad arrived on a bed of sweet regional honey, three herbed balls of creamy goat cheese, crushed pistachios, microgreens and mandarin orange segments. It was delicately delicious with the perfect complementing flavors. The plate was clean in record time. Next up, we shared veal meatballs bathed in a sherry foie gras cream sauce and dotted with peas. The outside of the meatballs were a crispy contrast to their meltingly tender centers, and the decadent cream sauce was spot-on. We finished our lunch with the short rib grilled cheese made on sourdough bread, with gouda cheese, served with their spicy tater tots. It tasted just as good as it sounded. The tender meat melted perfectly into this crispy, creamy treat of a sandwich. Just as we were finishing our meal and about to leave, a skillet of their bacon jam passed by our table. It comes out hot and sizzling in a cast iron dish with a strip of bubbling brie cheese down the center served with freshly toasted crusty bread. Ok, now I know exactly what I will be ordering on our next visit.

It was a perfect homage to the chef that we knew and loved. Kerry transformed our dining scene, and to see him living on with this inventive food is such a pleasure. His presence was felt throughout our meal with the flavor, and murals of his likeness located on the walls. Thank you, Chef. We genuinely miss you.




By Vegas Food Nerd

When a chemical engineer longs for food that reminds him of his home, he does what most enterprising people do: he opens his own restaurant. China native Alan Zhenglan channeled his once after-work passion for cooking and entertaining friends into his restaurant, Chow Mein House. The restaurant, located in an unassuming strip mall, is small but polished, and has a sleek feel to it. The interior, full of marble and linens, gives a fine dining feel to this casual dining spot.

On this visit, we opted to try one of their family dinner specials. We picked our two entrees and added on an order of their pork and vegetable potstickers to start our meal. You can decide to have your potstickers steamed or pan-fried. We love the crunchy crust from the pan, so we opted for the fried version. They were a perfect start to our meal. They also put a couple of bowls of those addictive crunchy noodles on the table that you can’t help but dip in their sweet and sour sauce in between courses. We asked to have their wonton soup with our family dinner, and that came out next. It was a fresh tasting soup filled with perfectly stuffed noodles, a generous amount of veggies, and some shrimp too. The table was very happy with our soup, and we enjoyed our service from the very attentive waitstaff.

Next came our two chosen entrees: the cashew chicken and sweet and sour chicken. The cashew chicken was very tasty with nice crisp-tender vegetables, savory cashews, and a nice savory sauce. The sweet and sour chicken was also exactly what we were hoping for— a sweet delight with just the right amount of crisp to the flavorful chicken. Our menu selections might not have been the most exotic, but the goal was true comfort food, and it was.

Chow Mein House has a great menu that will definitely lure us back to try some of their other offerings. A neighboring table ordered a couple of their noodle dishes that looked very tempting.  It is unfortunate that we visited Chow Mein House 

and didn’t try their Chow Mein, but I always love a reason to return to a great establishment, so yes add that to the checklist for next time.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, but if you are looking for a little added value, they have a nice list of lunch specials that they offer Monday through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s a cozy neighborhood spot that lends itself to repeat visits. It’s a family-run place with a staff that graciously treats you like one of their own. Take it from me, I know the big chain establishment with horses out front is just up the road, but Chow Mein House will treat you like one of their own, and spoil you just like you deserve. Now eat something.

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