In Good Taste: A little French, a bit of Mexican and a lot of delicious cuisine

I want to thank all of you who took the time to send me an e-mail about your favorite dining spots. There were a lot of great recommendations. This month I will feature Juan's Mexican Grill, located in Telegraph Square, and Z Bistro, 725 Basque Way.

Z Bistro

I received a glowing recommendation for Z Bistro from Jean McNeil, who describes it as a cozy cafe with fabulous food. I couldn't agree more.

Z Bistro is owned by husband-and-wife team Gilles and Tina Galhaut. Gilles is from the southwest of France and cooked in San Francisco prior to opening his Bistro in Carson City.

The restaurant is small, just room for 35 diners. Jean likes the fact that the tables are close, which promotes sharing opinions about the menu as well as the food. The tables are covered with butcher paper and include a cup of crayons, so this is definitely a family-friendly spot. Z Bistro serves both lunch and dinner. Most lunch items are under $10 and dinner entrees are under $20. Reservations are highly recommended if you plan on trying their dinner menu, which changes every week.

On my first visit for lunch, I tried the Salad Ni├žoise, a wonderful combination of tuna, haricots vert, potatoes, hard-boiled egg and a delicious lemony dressing. I didn't think to ask for the recipe, but Jean tells me that Giles has no problem sharing.

I have also had the buckwheat crepes. You can choose from a variety of fillings; I selected the creamy mushroom with gruyere cheese and they were delicious!

The frites (french fries, of course) served with aioli are worth breaking your diet. For dinner Jean recommends Poulet a la Moutard (chicken in mustard sauce) which she describes as fabulous. She also found the mashed roasted yams with Parmesan "astonishing."

Lunch is served Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Check out their Web site www.atzbistro.com for the latest dinner menu and wine list. Call 885-2828 for reservations. Z Bistro is truly a hidden gem.

Juan's Mexican Grill

We have a variety of Mexican restaurants in Carson City and one of the local favorites is Juan's Mexican Grill. Formerly Juan's Kitchen located in Mo & Sluggo's in Telegraph Square, the restaurant has relocated to the newly renovated Horseshoe Club right next door.

You can dine in a comfortable, smoke-free atmosphere on delicious Mexican and American cuisine made fresh from authentic family recipes.

Owner Juan Salazar and his family have been cooking in Carson City for 14 years. During my visit I tried the fish tacos, made with grilled Tilapia. The fish was fresh and flavorful and I can't wait to have them again! You can also get them with shrimp or salmon.

Burritos, fajitas, hamburgers, salads, chile verde and specials for kids and seniors can all be found on the extensive menu.

Happy in his new location, Juan hopes to open up to the alley for summer outdoor dining with a margarita and taco bar and full dinners. What a lovely addition that will be to the downtown dining scene.

You can also enjoy a classic breakfast served from 7 to 11 a.m. Be sure to check out the steak and eggs or huevos rancheros specials offered every morning for $4.99.

Juan's is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Also check out Juan's second location in the Comstock Casino, 3680 Goni Road. Call 882-9944 for the daily specials.

I will be looking forward to more of your suggestions on great Carson City dining. Bon appetite!

- Candace Duncan is executive director of the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. Contact her with local dining recommendations at 687-7410 or candace@visitcarsoncity.com.

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