Reasons to resist being a winter couch potato: Fettuccine carbonara, a lemon picatta meatball and standout casino sushi! 

There’s something luxurious about going out for a nice meal during the winter.  

The process of making a reservation, exchanging cozy sweats for a smart outfit, and resisting the urge to just curl up and microwave leftovers makes me feel like I’ve got my life together. So this month’s Best 3 Things are slightly more upscale than my usual picks, which makes each spot great for date night—including, ahem, Valentine’s Day.  

(Hint, hint: All three of these places take reservations.) 

What: Fettuccine carbonara 

Where: The Kitchen Table, 530 W. Plumb Lane, Suite A, Reno 

Price: $23 

Contact: 775-384-3959; 

The Kitchen Table consistently crafts some of the best house-made pasta in town. The atmosphere is casually elegant; the service is always on point; and I have yet to hear a bad word from anyone who has paid the restaurant a visit.  

While one of their most popular—even iconic—dishes is the raviolo uovo (a single, large, raviolo filled with ricotta, spinach and a runny egg yolk), I’d like to shine the spotlight on the fettuccine carbonara. The dish features perfectly al dente ribbons of house-made fettuccine noodles tossed in a glossy sauce, with pieces of tender, salty pancetta that shine in every bite.  

If you’ve been hunting for good, proper carbonara in Reno, The Kitchen Table is your answer. 

What: Lemon piccata meatball 

Where: Centro, 236 California Ave., Reno 

Price: $10 

Contact: 775-737-9062; 

My favorite thing about Centro is being able to order a bunch of different small plates to share without breaking the bank, and the menu rotates seasonally, so each time I visit, there’s something new to try.  

During my last visit, I opted for the lemon piccata meatball per the server’s recommendation. If you like chicken piccata, then you’ll enjoy this dish: It’s a four-ounce chicken meatball on a bed of creamy polenta with a lemon caper sauce on top. The meatball is tender with a slightly spicy kick; the polenta is a welcomed texture; and the bright sauce ties everything together. 

What: AYCE sushi 

Where: Oceano, Inside the Peppermill, 2707 S. Virginia St., Reno 

Price: $42.99 for dinner 

Contact: 775-689-7050; 

When people ask me where to get good all-you-can-eat sushi, I always forget about our casinos. If I’m craving AYCE sushi, I’m usually too lazy to make my way through a clamoring casino to get it, but on the rare occasions that I do, I’m reminded of how good it can be.  

I recently went to Oceano and was really impressed by the quality of the fish and the diversity of rolls; anything with maguro (tuna) tended to be a favorite. While the price point is a bit higher for dinner than it is at other AYCE places in town, Oceano and other Peppermill restaurants offer a 20 percent discount for locals. (You need a player’s club card.) If sushi isn’t your thing, Oceano also has a vast dinner menu, making it a safe bet for a seafood meal—whether you prefer it raw or cooked.