Susan Sardina was interviewed for a Reno Gazette Journal article about restaurants reopening after COVID-19. Here’s an excerpt:
Susan Sardina, who owns Sardina’s Italian Bistro in South Reno, another small restaurant, is pondering the numbers, too. Her 12 tables are now six.
“To reduce capacity by that much? I’m hopeful, but at this point, I’m not sure it’s sustainable,” said Sardina, who passed on Mother’s Day (“I’m just one woman, with a frying pan and a dream”), but who has been sustained by takeout during the shutdown.
“People typically come in here to dine,” she said. “Takeout was probably less than 5 percent of my business before. I was very worried. But people have been supporting us and referring us. I didn’t lay off a single employee.”
Sardina’s is a small, chef owner-operated Italian Bistro. We started our business in 2004 in the Mira Loma Shopping Plaza in south Reno, and moved to our current location on Longley Lane in 2011.
We concentrate on Italian cuisine with a Southern Italian influence. For example, our meatballs are made in the traditional Sicilian style with pine nuts and currants. Our puttanesca and vodka sauces are reflective of the sauces our chef learned of her travels in Naples. Our marinara sauce has the sweeter flavor profile of Sicilian tomato sauce, where the hot, southern climate produces tomatoes with the highest brix (sugar) content in the world. We enjoy making other traditional Sicilian dishes like arancini, pistachio pesto and cannoli so you will see those pop up as specials from time to time.
Most of our pasta dishes are available in half order portions that are great for kids, lighter appetites or tapas-style sharing. Gluten-free pasta and other menu preparations are available and cooked to order. Our place is small so reservations are recommended on weekends and for parties of 7 or more.
We support locally owned suppliers whenever we can. Our long-term local relationships include Sierra Meats, Sierra Seafood, Great Basin Community Coop and Delize Foods Italian Imports. We proudly support Small Vineyards Italian Wine Coop and feature many of their great wines on our menu.
We are located at 7499 Longley Lane next to the Café de Thai. Sardina’s is open for dinner Monday through Saturday at 5PM and closed on Sunday. On Monday nights, we offer 25% off all bottles of wine. For reservations or other information, please call 775-828-0105.
We have been so lucky to work with many great local organizations who help people and animals in our community. We have had the sincere pleasure of cooking and serving Christmas Eve dinner for the Salvation Army’s Men’s Group for many years and most recently for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Reno.
Other groups we love are the Nevada Humane Society, Community Cats, The Reno/Sparks Gospel Mission and the Nevada ALS Association. Check back to this page our Facebook for upcoming fundraisers or other community information.
Sardina’s can provide catering for up to 300. Our menu is provided below. Delivery and chafing equipment can be provided for a separate fee. Custom menus and event planning are available on a referral basis.
The restaurant space is available for private events for up to 45 for lunch. We can provide a private venue for dinner based on the event and food/beverage minimums. If interested in a private event at Sardina’s, please contact us at 775-828-0105.
Message From the Chef
Thank you for taking a look at our site and thank you to Olin Coles and Kathy Rogers who help me with all of the web and social media stuff so I can spend my time in the kitchen. I’m much better at gnocchi and lasagna than websites and Facebook!
When my husband and I started our restaurant almost 14 years ago, I was so excited because cooking was always my passion. I can (and do!) think and talk about food and wine all day long. I was thrilled to share the recipes I had grown up with in Chicago as well as the ones I had experienced in my travels and developed in my home kitchen over the years. I remember being obsessed with solving the tiramisu too dry/too soggy/too bland/too sweet problem. I think I solved it and, even better, get to make and serve this tiramisu (and all my other creations) to my guests!
After all this time in the business, I am still excited to be in my kitchen and cook for our patrons. But even better are all the great people this little restaurant has brought into my life. Sardina’s sincerely has the best employees, suppliers and “regulars” in town. It is such an amazing feeling when every person who walks through your door just makes you smile. If you are new to us and checking us out, thank you for considering supporting a locally owned business—it does make a difference. If you are one of our regulars, thank you for your support over these years—you have made the difference.
I look forward to the opportunity to cook for you soon. As they say in Rome: multo grazie e ciao belli!