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I’ve been going to extremes lately—and those extreme ranges bode well for the dining out public which is uh… everyone….so let me explain. By going to an extreme part of Green Valley—waaay south on Eastern—I’ve found another reason to eat out there. It’s called the Bonjour Casual French Restaurant—which is a mouthful to be sure--but each of those words are trying to convey a message, as in: we’re French (sort of), casual (as if Las Vegas had any other kind) and happy to see you (something the French are not known for).

What Bonjour sees a lot of is moviegoers since it has one of the best marketing strategies ever—locating itself right next to a movie theatre. Or in this case a mulitplex—which is moviegoing at it’s most extreme---because after (or before) you’ve had your intelligence insulted by the latest star vehicle---you’re bound to be hungry. And after suffering through the latest Sandra Bullock puff piece---I was extremely hungry---for something that made me think---and something to chew on. You won’t find any brain food in a Hollywood movie but you will find some good Francophile fare at Bonjour that straddles the fence between authenticity and commercial success. Authenticity is served by such classic bistro fare as fricasse of wild mushrooms that hit all the right woodsy and dense flavor notes, and mussels in cream sauce that was a shellfish delight and a steal at the menu price. Both had me dreaming that extreme French cuisine might just find a niche in the valley that made Olive Garden famous. Then I tried the chefs nod to commercialism—some grilled shrimp with risotto that got me extremely….well let’s just say I got to wondering what a bad Italian seafood dish is doing in a French restaurant. But once I got over my disappointment I concluded that you can eat well at Bonjour, for relatively little money. Just try not to let all those extremely bad movies interfere with your digestion.

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This is John Curtas.

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