Delicious dining – a top amenity at Revel Rancharrah

This independent living community delivers an exciting culinary experience to its residents for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner

By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Revel Rancharrah
The monthly Chef’s Table showcases the culinary creativity of Revel Rancharrah’s culinary team in a fine-dining setting.
The monthly Chef’s Table showcases the culinary creativity of Revel Rancharrah’s culinary team in a fine-dining setting.

Thanks to made-from-scratch, cooked-to-order meals that rival any fine-dining restaurant in Reno, the residents at Revel Rancharrah haven’t had to sacrifice delicious food during the pandemic.

Dining at Revel Rancharrah — at Ovation or The Social Club — is a culinary experience, with the same flexibility, choice and service you’d find at other exceptional restaurants. Why would an independent living community settle for anything less? With Unidine providing food and dining management services, resident preferences delivered with a commitment to fresh food are the priority.

“We’re totally different than what other senior living communities offer, many of which do batch-cooking and have just a couple of options for lunch and dinner,” said Leo Timatyos, dining services director for Unidine Lifestyles, which runs the restaurants at Revel Rancharrah. “We offer an a-la-carte menu and daily specials, at just about any time of day, and our residents really enjoy the food here.”

Resident Driven Menus

Dishes at Ovation, a modern-American restaurant, feature fresh flavors and ingredients, with imaginative presentations. Depending on the season, residents can savor a roasted beet and citrus salad with honey, goat cheese and candied walnuts, or a seared salmon with charred fennel, spinach and a garlic chili vinaigrette. 

Timatyos’ background is in fine dining — he has worked in casinos and in sports entertainment. The chefs on staff come from a similar background, and their passion really shows in the customized dishes they create. 

But at the heart that drives culinary excellence are our residents, who attend a town hall meeting once a month to provide direct input to the kitchen staff. 

“Our mission is to make sure we’re delivering what the residents enjoy,” Timatyos said. “This is their home, and we want to make sure they want to visit us often.”

Favorites on the menu include classic fish and chips, chicken milanese (breaded chicken cutlet with arugula and lemon), truffle French fries and various versions of pasta, seafood and steak dishes. 

“We run a lot of specials daily and always get feedback from residents on our comment cards, which are a great tool for us to learn more about culinary preferences so we can incorporate these items into the permanent menu,” Timatyos said. “We recently featured a pork schnitzel Ocktoberfest special and our residents were wow’d, as a result we added it on the menu to enjoy on a regular basis.”

Ovation is Revel Rancharrah’s modern-American restaurant, featuring fresh flavors and ingredients, creative presentations, an open kitchen and an elegant dining room.
Ovation is Revel Rancharrah’s modern-American restaurant, featuring fresh flavors and ingredients, creative presentations, an open kitchen and an elegant dining room.

Fun yet Elegant Atmosphere

At The Social Club, the vibe is exactly as it sounds. Of course, COVID-19 restrictions have altered the dining but not the hospitality experience.  Revel Rancharrah has continuously innovated to come up with ways to maintain the social aspects and amenities of an authentic restaurant experience. “Typically, residents might have a drink at the bar while indulging in an appetizer as they socialize while waiting for their table at Ovation,” Timatyos said.

Both restaurants have a full bar with a full array of classic spirits, including inventive cocktails and a robust wine list. At the adjacent Ovation, the concept features an open kitchen and a beautiful dining room that opens up to al fresco dining.

Taste of Revel Competition 

Every month, the culinary teams at the various Revel Communities from around the country come up with a dish that each chef must create and personalize. The resulting dishes are then prepared for residents, who not only indulge in the competition’s menu items but determine their favorites. Past competitions have featured creative variations of cookies, a BBQ-style salad and chilled soup. In September, the chefs each created their own version of cheesecake bites. 

“We develop all the recipes then each chef is challenged to create the eight dishes. We offer these items on the menu and our residents’ score, rank and judge the culinary outcome,” Timatyos said. “It has created great camaraderie among the chefs, and the residents enjoy it too because they can taste what the chefs at the other properties are making.”

Recent Dinner at Ovation
Recent Dinner at Ovation

Fine Dining Reimagined during COVID-19

In such a challenging time for restaurants, Ovation and The Social Club have also had to reimagine how they offered not just the cuisine, but also the entire dining experience, to their customers. 

“It has really been an unprecedented time. We’re fixing the plane while it’s flying,” Timatyos said. 

The management team put their heads together and Unidine resources to do what they do best: provide a high-quality experience. They researched to-go containers that would best preserve the food and its presentation for residents eating it in their homes. They also implemented room service delivery and a curbside pickup option.

After dining rooms were able to reopen with social distancing measures in place, the dining team reconfigured the furniture to make sure everyone stays safe. Timatyos said he’s noticed an increase in business as many residents feel more comfortable dining on-site than leaving the community to go to restaurants in the city. 

Many of the Revel Rancharrah schedule of restaurant events are also carrying on. Resident’s are engaged through programs such as the popular Chef’s Table event held on the last Friday of each month, in addition to the outdoor BBQ with live music every other Monday and on holidays.

“The Chef’s Table showcases the culinary creativity of our chefs. It’s a more fine-dining setting and we bring in tablecloths, flowers and live music such as a piano player or harpist. We also pair the dinner with wine,” Timatyos said. “Residents enjoy dressing up for the occasion and many want these events scheduled more often.”

Wine Down Wednesdays and Happy Hour Fridays, which feature varieties of cocktails, wines and bites, and sometimes live music, are two more resident favorites. 

“It’s been a very difficult time for everyone during COVID-19, so we make sure we’re giving residents all the amenities and hospitality services we can to keep their minds off from what’s going on in the world,” Timatyos said. “We are all family and we’re all in this together.”

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