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THE PLACE: Technically, Hidden Pizza isn’t hidden, but it’s certainly tucked away — in a corner of the Eldorado Resort Casino across the main drag from Brew Brothers. Slot machines (and boutiques before that) once occupied the spot.

Hidden Pizza opened about six weeks ago as the first new restaurant in Eldorado Resorts’ $50 million makeover of its three downtown properties. Hidden Pizza has since been joined by Sips Coffee & Tea and El Jefe Cantina in Circus Circus Reno.

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HIDDEN PIZZA

Address: In the Eldorado Resort Casino, 345 N. Virginia St.

Phone: 775-348-3792

Hours: From 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

On the web:www.eldoradoreno.com

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THE LOOK: Soaring windows trimmed in red frame views into and out of the restaurant. Inside, a gleaming hood overlooks the pizza ovens, stacks of pizza boxes await deployment, and a counter for sitting or standing at, slice in hand, runs down one side of the pizzeria.

Two menu boards hang on a kitchen wall, offering thin-crust slices and pies variously topped and combo meals like a slice and a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

THE MEAL: A friend and I have a holiday evening planned: Ferrari-Carano fumé blanc at Cin Cin Lounge, followed by slices at Hidden Pizza to sponge up the alcohol.

We could go the cheese and tomato sauce route, finishing the pie with one or more of a dozen toppings, but we decide for a different look.

We opt for winter white — as in a white sauce fashioned from olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano. To accessorize the pie, we choose only sliced sausage.

The pizza is rich and garlicky, with a thicker raised edge. I can manage three slices of the white sauce ‘za (folded New York-style), my friend only a single wedge.

We pack the leftovers for her boyfriend, who has about five percent body fat and who, therefore, can afford the indulgence far more than I.

KUDOS: Hidden Pizza (open only from 5 p.m.) is a great idea. Folks can stop by for a quick slice without committing to a sit-down meal or take a pizza back to the group at the bar. That’s especially the case with holidays crowds in the casino.

QUIBBLES: Not a quibble but a fact of pie: Ivano Centemeri, the Eldorado’s new executive chef, is always with experimenting with new ways to make the crust and toppings even more tempting then they already are.

ALTERNATIVES: Ready-to-heat slices displayed behind a glass partition (pepperoni and sausage, sausage and black olive, and vegetarian the night we visit); a slice with a soda; or one-, two-, three- or deluxe topping pies.

RETURN TRIP?: I’ve been known to drop by the Eldorado at night . . .

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