Nowhere near as flashy as Las Vegas and much nicer than Reno, Nevada’s capital city makes for a pleasant little stop as you descend out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, coasting for miles without ever touching the gas pedal.
After checking out the excellent Nevada State Railroad Museum and exploring the state capitol building, I headed about a half-mile north on the city’s main drag to Adele’s Restaurant and Lounge, where I stopped for a wonderful lunch in a historic home.
Family owned and operated since it opened in 1977, Adele’s is housed in one of the few extant Second Empire–style buildings in Carson City. The historic landmark was built in 1875 by M.A. Murphy, a Nevada attorney general and Supreme Court justice. It seems out of place today, what with the gas station next door and the boxy cash-services building across the street. But I didn’t let the mundane surroundings taint my opinion of Adele’s, because once I stepped inside, I entered a more genteel world. The house’s many rooms still retain their Victorian aura and provide plenty of cozy, semi-private spaces for a romantic meal with your date or an anniversary dinner with your spouse. But I took advantage of a tranquil spring day and nabbed a table under an umbrella on the patio along a quiet side street, where I could relish a very relaxed meal.
A recipient of the Achievement of Distinction in Dining Award from DiRoNA (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), Adele’s is one of fewer than 600 restaurants in all of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to be so honored. One of the reasons for the nod is Adele’s reliance on organic, sustainable, and locally grown or raised ingredients, a passion of the current owner — a fourth-generation chef, so you know that you’ll be in experienced hands no matter what you choose from the international menu.
Try This: Order a glass of wine from a list of more than 400 choices. Appetizers look so tempting that you may just want to order a few of those. Start with the French chèvre baked over sautéed spinach drizzled with olive oil, finished with pine nuts and zahtar and served with Lavosh crackers, or go for the ahi tartare marinated with a salsa of mango, jalapeño, roma tomatoes, and avocado, and drizzled with a mango chili oil. For your main course, dig in to the ground lamb stuffed with spinach, cheese, caramelized onions, garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers, accompanied by mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes with scallions. Or try the chicken with a mild Madras curry topped with peanuts, coconut, banana, and strawberries, resting on a bed of rice. Listen carefully to your server’s selection of dessert specials, and if the lemon-curd crêpe with fresh raspberries, fresh cream, and raspberry sauce is mentioned, don’t resist.