KOLO ATE: Smith and River

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:11 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Smith and River is an American Bistro located along the Riverwalk in Reno.

“Being in this location in a downtown restaurant, it’s just vibrant here,” said owner Colin Smith.

It was opened by Smith and his wife, MaryBeth, last year. It’s among a portfolio of food businesses started by the Smiths, who used to own Roundabout Bistro in Somersett and currently run Roundabout Catering & Party Rentals.

“We have customers that we catered their wedding, and now we’re cooking for their kid’s wedding. So, it’s pretty cool,” admitted Smith.

Many of their employees have been with them for several years, including executive chef Christian Flores, who has now worked with the company for 15 years.

“It’s like a family,” said Flores. “They let me be creative with the menu.”

Like the Hamachi Crudo, a Japanese yellowtail fish; sliced thin and topped with a cucumber salad and a sorbet. Or the Grilled Salmon, served with coconut rice.

Smith and River
Smith and River(kolo)

“Lots of flavor, lots of citrus,” explained Smith. “Richness from the coconut milk and spice from the curry paste.”

There’s also the Winter Salad, perfect for these colder months. With kale, grilled brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cranberries, blue cheese and sliced apples. Or something hearty, like the Grilled Pork.

Smith and River
Smith and River(kolo)

“We brine it for 24 hours then bake it for an hour, before throwing it on the grill,” explained Smith. “It’s topped with a wholegrain mustard seed sauce, and goes out with some grilled yams, bacon and fried brussels sprouts. And some fried purple kale adds a nice crunch to it.”

Some of the items will remind you of more traditional dishes; just elevated.

“It’s a very homey feel when you get the plate and those aromas come to you,” added Flores. “And you say, ‘oh this reminds me of my mom’s cooking.’”

Smith and River
Smith and River(kolo)

Everything on the menu is $33 dollars or less, making for an affordable fine dining experience.

“We don’t want somebody to come in here and go food broke,” explained Smith. “I don’t want to be that restaurant, it’s not in our DNA, it’s not something that promotes family, it doesn’t promote a lot of people getting together. If we can keep the prices down, we can keep customers coming in a couple times a month maybe.”

And some of that money goes right back into the community. Smith is on the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, and provides the food for the annual Cioppino feed, the organization’s largest fundraiser.

“We want to provide a really safe space for the kids. And if we’re doing that as business people, then that’s being a good part of the community. That’s being a good steward, and just doing the right thing.”

The Cioppino Feed & Auction is on Saturday, February 25th. You can get more information at www.bgctm.org

Smith and River is located where Campo used to be at 50 N. Center Street in downtown Reno. You can check out the menu at www.smithandriver.com