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Bask In Basque – Gervasoni’s

By Dana Johnson Modesto View Food/Dining Expert

Bask in Basque

Cuisine at Gerversoni’s

 

Bask by definition: To expose oneself to pleasant warmth. Basque Cuisine by definition of Gary Gervasoni: Simple food. Finding both of them together right here inModesto at Gervasoni’s restaurant since 1975. From the moment I walked in from the back alley entrance I had the instant sense of something special. I wasgreeted by Gary Gervasoni, original owner and general manager, like I was already an old friend. The décor is reminiscent of simpler days gone by, giving an open invitation to relax and enjoy. If you let your eyes travel throughout the full bar and restaurant you will see and feel inspiring nostalgia.

 

Gary Gervasoni at the smooth age of 73 was born in Patterson, moved to Modesto @ age 21 where he began as a bartender. Gary and his wife Myrna have 2 children they raised while building their successful restaurant establishment. Gary has done a bit of everything including cooking, dishes, and bussing tables as he wasborn into the restaurant business, including Sno-White Drive-In and his parent’s place The Ranch. One of his fave pastimes is taking out his 42’ trawler boat in the SF bay while enjoying a vodka cocktail. He has many close friends that also enjoy going to SF major sports events. Yes, Gary is a Giants fan, (Let’s Go Oakland!!!), but he did attend all of the A’s World Series games in the past. Gary also travels to his cabin for some R&R in the mountains near Pinecrest. I asked Gary where he sees himself in 5 years, he answered “If I’m not here I don’t know where the hell I’ll be!” Love that!

 

WayneKimura, at the loose age of 55, has been the head chef since Oct. 2009. He is single and a golfer. Wayne is also a sports enthusiast interested in Nascar, basketball, and football. If Wayne wasn’t a chef he could see himself a race car driver as he raced go-carts 30+ years ago. When Wayne isn’t swamped in the kitchen he likes socializing with the patrons also known as friends sampling on a Corona or a Patron tequila. His fave cut of steak would be meaty 20oz. rib eye. He never attended culinary school but he is great at duplicating the previous chef’s original recipes still on the menu. Chef Pierre was with Gervasoni’s for 20+ years before his passing. Tony Ratley is the line cook working in sync with Wayne. Tony has created an original mango salsa over swordfish for the menu that gets regular rave reviews.

 

Gervasoni’s has a lunch and dinner menu. The lunch menu serves many farmers and the portions are nothing shy of huge! The dinner menu is all family style including bread, soup, and salad! On Wed. and Thurs. it’s Basque Night! Along with the entrée choices such as steak, lobster, duck, lamb, and more you will be served bread, soup, salad, veggies, macaroni salad, lamb stew, pigs feet, french fries, and beans! Thinking the elastic waistband pants would be a good choice as I’d have to try it all! For my dining experience I was treated to the Chicken Jerusalem, tender chicken breast pieces, artichoke hearts, and a savory cream wine sauce with a mixed veggies and pilaf rice. Wonderful!

 

1st Wayne: Beatles or Stones? “I like country music, I don’t listen to that” I said “really?” he nodded yes & I had to put him in a headlock.

2nd Gary: Beatles or Stones? “Neither one.” Shaking his head slowly I noticed some sweet jazz playing in the background, so Gary was spared as we both delighted in a conversation about Fats Domino, Lil’ Richard, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Cash.

 

From their Frog Legs, Sand Dabs, Sautéed Sweet Bread, and daily specials you won’t find so many culinary wonders all in one place anywhere close to what they have to offer Modesto’s dining cliental. Dine well at Gervasoni’s, I’ll see you there!

Wayne’s Picatta sauce:
1oz. white wine
a dash of capers
a dash of green onions
1 tbsp butter
1tsp lemon juice

Using chicken, veal, pork, or any kind of fish

Flour dredge, pan fry

add white wine, capers, green onions, lemon juice
Then add butter last
Then reduce

 

By Dana Johnson Modesto View Food/Dining Expert

Email: askDana@live.com

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