A Basque dining experience
The charm of the early 1900s welcomes guests to neatly aligned tables fitted with French provincial chairs. On two walls photographs and posters of the area’s past entice patrons to learn more about the local history.
The area’s newest Basque restaurant brings together a touch of the old world with the new at Des Alps, which occupies half of the first floor with the Overland Hotel’s bar.
“This is a really cool building, very interesting,” said restaurant owner Josh Perry, who was sporting a red chef’s jacket. “I had a previous opportunity to run a restaurant in a historical building.”
Before coming to Fallon in the late summer and opening Des Alps in October, Perry operated a restaurant in Sierra County, Calif., about a 25-minute drive from Truckee. After he visited Fallon and saw the possibilities of operating a restaurant in the Overland, Perry knew he had found home.
Built in 1908 by Dan Griffith, the two-story hotel on East Center Street eventually became one of the major places to stop on America’s first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway. George Machado bought the hotel in 1996, restoring it to its present décor before he sold it several years ago.
Perry and his small staff take pride in offering seven-course meals three nights a week — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — from 4-9 p.m. So far, he said the reaction for Des Alps charm and cuisine has been good. Perry said the people he has met in Fallon have been amazing and receptive.
Perry said he enjoys the business side but prefers the creativity side in preparing the dishes.
“I really enjoy the cooking and whole nature of the kitchen,” he said. “It’s chaotic, stressful, but there’s great appreciation and reward.”
Perry and his restaurant manager, Stephanie Bryant, strongly believe in shopping locally and offering their customers the freshest meats and vegetables.
“We buy as much food from the local area, the meat from Heck’s and local produce,” Perry said.
Perry encourages diners to make reservations at least one or two days ahead so that he can plan their meals accordingly. For the main course, Des Alps serves rib-eye steak, but Perry or Bryant will purchase another type of meat if his clientele so pleases.
“Call ahead and you’ll get what you want,” he said.
Although his customers may not be accustomed to making a reservation one or two days in advance, Bryant said the advanced planning is well worth the dining experience.
“It’s hard to keep items fresh, so we go for quality rather than quantity,” Bryant said. “It’s Basque style like eating at grandma’s house.”
Because of that, Bryant said many diners will discover they can’t eat all the food that is served to them.
“The best part of eating out is taking some home,” she said.
While they are enjoying the first of their seven-course dishes, guests can sip on a drink from the Overland Bar or enjoy red wine that complements the Basque cuisine.
“It’s nice to sit there and have a glass of wine,” Bryant said.
Dinner prices are reasonable considering Des Alps’ guests receive a seven-course meal. A dinner for two including wine ranges from $75 to $85 depending on the main entrée.
Bryant said the holidays have been busy with many parties, but diners are amazed at how much food is served.
Although dinner is served only on three nights, Perry said he has a bar menu from 2-10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and it features such food items as hamburgers, French dip and BLT sandwiches.
The restaurant is located at 125 E. Center St., and Perry said Des Alps will be open Christmas Day and on New Year’s Eve for dinner. For reservations call 775-386-2577.