The Basque Experience: JT In Gardnerville
I’ve never been to Basque Country which is the coastal area between Spain and France, but last night had an interesting and fun experience with Basque food. We were only thirty minutes away from Gardnerville, Nevada where a few Basque restaurants are located. We planned to go to JT Basque Bar and Dining Room. Walking through the doors of JT was interesting. You enter into the bar which is lined with cowboy hats and a ceiling surrounded with one dollar bills. Not surprising to see were three slot machines, given we are in Nevada.
We got a table of four in the dining room where food is served family style. The traditional drink is a picon punch which is a pre or post dinner drink made of amer picon, brandy, grenadine, club soda, and a twist of lemon. Although the taste was a bit strong for me, it was fun to participate in the tradition.
Their are no food menus at JT. The waitress came by to give us our entree choices which were steak, sweetbreads, lamb chops, chicken, and tripe and pig’s feet. Everything else is set and would come out in well paced courses. And if you wanted more, you could just ask. A tureen of vegetable soup came out first and then a green leaf salad for the table. House wine is also part of the unlimited items they serve.
The next course was a plate of beans and a dish of beef stew with potatoes. Our waitress then brought out our entree, and to go with it a large plate of delicious french fries. One of my friends and I decided to split the chicken entree. It was moist and cooked in a traditional tomato, onion, and red pepper sauce. The other two dishes ordered at the table were sweetbreads and lamb chops. I tried a bit of everything. Although this is no gourmet meal, it was actually good down-home cooking. The best entree was definitely the lamb chops. We ended with a sweet note, a choice of strawberry cheesecake or vanilla ice cream.
If I haven’t made it clear, dinner is an abundance of food. JT to me was about the experience and trying something new.