Rounding out the success of Charlie Palmer Steak and Fin Fish restaurants at Grand Sierra Resort (GSR), Charlie Palmer opens Briscola in late summer 2009 "We think Mediterranean flavors are the perfect compliment to our other Grand Sierra restaurants," says Palmer.
Briscola is the first Modern Italian concept for Palmer, who selected Chef Dave Holman to carry out the menu. As Executive Chef of all three Palmer Grand Sierra restaurants, Holman brings a wealth of culinary experience to the table. A Stockton California native and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Holman began his career in Manhattan's famed Aureole before transferring to Aureole Las Vegas. One year later, Palmer redirected Holman to Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas, in anticipation of his Reno relocation.
The spirit of abbondanza prevails on Briscola's diverse menu featuring small plates, including Parmigiano rice cakes. Hand-cut fresh pastas accompany main course dishes that take a light approach to classical Italian cooking, from grilled lamb chops with eggplant caponata and creamy polenta to crispy barramundi with fennel and tomato stuffing.
Briscola, a traditional Italian card game, inspired the club-like comfortable décor, right down to the espresso-colored leather chairs. Hanging in the lounge are classic Italian film posters in playful 50's and 60's Technicolor-style (featuring illustration artists like Armando Testa), while the retro-modern graphics of spirits ads from the 20's lend a rakish vibe.
A creamy, off-white paint palette softens rustic exposed brick walls, and scattered lighting diffused through linen shades creates a warm, welcoming ambience. In characteristic Roman-style, the dining room with vaulted ceiling is almost like eating in a wine cave, where an over-sized wooden table used as meat station takes center stage. The fire-truck red replica of a vintage manual Berkel meat slicer guarantees that salume and prosciutto are hand-cut and arranged to order.
Palmer, known for his support of small label wine makers, carries out the la dolce vita theme with a selection of Italian wines as well as California bottlings of grapes with Italian descent.