Mt. Rose — Dining
FOOD ON THE MOUNTAIN
Timbers bar in the Mt. Rose lodge serves typical pub fare. On special days, weekends and holidays, they open a taco bar where the favorites are carnitos, nachos grandes, chicken burritos and a design-your-own dish. The adjacent Lodge Pole Cafe serves cafeteria food – salads, sandwiches, soups and hot specials. There is also an espresso bar right inside the lodge door.
On the northeastern side of the lake, in Incline Village, go to The Lone Eagle Grill at the Hyatt Regency (775-832-3250; $$$$) for some of the best food on the Nevada lakeshore. The soaring stone and timber and the massive fireplace blend with magnificent views across the lake at sunset, and the cuisine and wine list provide accomplished accompaniment.
Le Bistro (775-831-0800; $$$$), across the street from the Hyatt Regency, is considered the best restaurant on the lake by some locals. As the name implies, the focus is on French fare.
The Big Water Grille (775-833-0606; $$$), at the bottom of the hill at Diamond Peak, is another find. A Native American name for Lake Tahoe, the Big Water features an eclectic menu and spectacular lake views—the perfect setting for romantic dinners, apres-ski relaxation and group gatherings. The menu features American Contemporary cuisine with Mediterranean and Pacific-Rim influences.
Cafe 333 (775-832-7333; $$$), written up in Bon Appetit several times, is favored by Incline locals. It has French country decor and a moderately priced menu. The Wild Alaskan Fish Company (775-832-6777; $$) is one of the top spots for excellent seafood on the lake. Its just plain good.
Ciao Mein Trattoria (775-832-3275; $$) in the Hyatt has a menu that is half Italian and half Chinese. Azzaras (775-831-0346; $–$$) serves good, reasonable Italian food. Austins (775-832-7778; $) gets raves for meatloaf and homemade soups. Ts Rotisserie (775-831-2832; $–$$) gets the nod from knowledgeable locals for chicken and burritos. Hacienda de La Sierra (775-831-8300; $) is a top Mexican spot. China Wok (775-833-3633; $–$$) is the only true Chinese place in town.
Wildfire Cafe ($) is an Incline institution for breakfast.
Very North Lake Tahoe (Carnelian Bay, Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Crystal Bay)
Le Petit Pier (530-546-4464; $$$$) in Tahoe Vista presents up-scale French cuisine. Locals refer to this restaurant as “where to go on a very special date.” Reservations needed.
In Spring 2003 the Wild Goose (530-546-3640; $$$-$$$$), named after one of Tahoe’s double-ender launches, made its debut with an interior that’s reminiscent of the lake cruisers of the 1920s, replete with mahogany, leather and polished steel, plus lake views. The Paris-educated chef, whose mantra is “nuances and simplicity,” uses fresh seasonal and regional ingredients to create Contemporary American cuisine that showcases a sophisticated combination of flavors and textures.
Spindleshanks (530-546-2191; $$$), also in Tahoe Vista, has been awarded “Best Wine List” several years in a row. The food matches at somewhat reasonable prices. The place gets packed. Call for reservations or go early. On Wednesdays, when the appetizers are half price all evening at the bar, get a spot there and order a couple to make a nice light dinner. The Soule Domain (546-7529 or 775-833-0399; $$$) in Crystal Bay receives consistent raves from people at both ends of the lake. The menu has changed for years but it seems to work. Gar Woods Grill & Pier (530-546-3366; $$–$$$) in Carnelian Bay serves a California grill menu with one of the most beautiful views in the world.
Lake Tahoe Brewing Company (775-831-5822; $–$$) in Crystal Bay serves the usual pub fare and fresh-brewed beer. The casinos on the Nevada border serve inexpensive breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Try Lakeview Dining Room at the Cal-Neva Resort (775-832-4000; $–$$) or the Cafe Biltmore at the Tahoe Biltmore (775-831-0660; $–$$).
In Kings Beach, Jason’s Beachside Grill (530-456-3315; $$) has moderate fare with lots of burgers to choose from. In Tahoe Vista, Boulevard Cafe (546-7213; $$) gets regular mention from locals for good Italian-influenced meals.
For sushi head to Hiro Sushi (530-546-4476; $$) in Kings Beach, where you should order the all-you-can-eat menu (you only have an hour to stuff it in). The caterpillar rolls, made with eel, look just like caterpillars down to the antenna. The best Mexican in the area is La Mexicana (546-0310; $$) in Kings Beach.
Lanzas (530-546-2434; $–$$), an institution in Kings Beach, also has excellent Italian fare at family prices. Steamers Beachside Bar and Oven (546-2218; $–$$) has been voted best pizza on the North Shore. Other good places for pizza are C.Bs Pizza (530-546-4738; $) in Kings Beach and Jiffys Pizza (546-3244; $) in Tahoe Vista.
For breakfast try the Old Post Office (530-546-3205; $) at Carnelian Bay and order the deluxe French toast or create your own omelet, or the Log Cabin (546-7109; $$) in Kings Beach where you can get lobster and shrimp scrambles, trout Benedict and fancy pancakes. The price bargain is breakfast at the Tahoe Biltmore ($) served 24/7.
Basque meals in Reno and more
Dining in Reno ranges from the casino restaurants that are run by top chefs from around the country to traditional family-style Basque restaurants. Check out the Santa Fe (775-323-1891) and Louis’ Basque Corner (775-323-7203) for two of the most famous. We suggest lunch at Louis’ and dinner at the Santa Fe.
Dining Legend: $$$$–Entrees $30+; $$$–$20–30; $$–$10–20; $–less than $10