Fine Dining Restaurants In South Lake Tahoe

Travel
By: tahoemom    
12-Dec-2010

Introduction:These are my personal favorite fine-dining experiences in South Lake Tahoe, CA. I did not include restaurants located in the casinos across the state line in Nevada. While South Lake does not have hundreds of upscale restaurants, we do have a few finer restaurants that are worth checking out. None of them have the formality (or prices) of the well-known, exclusive venues of nearby San Francisco. These restaurants provide great ambience and amazing food, but in a more relaxed atmosphere. The best of both worlds.

The first two restaurants are the best as far as quality of food and overall dining experience. The others provide a pretty good meal and have other advantages that make them worth checking out.

  • 01

    Evan's

    Located in a small house on Emerald Bay Road, Evan's might be easily missed. But it shouldn't be. This is a fantastic restaurant on par with any I've been to elsewhere.

    Their online menu only tells half the story as their greatest creations, in my opinion, are found on the specials board. Appetizers, entrees and desserts created daily by the chef have never disappointed. The specials menu usually includes seafood and the occasional vegetarian dish, whereas the regular menu consists mostly of meat dishes, such as "grilled filet of beef with foie gras butter and syrah reduction" and "Myers rum and achiote glazed pork rib chop".

    Self-described as American fare, the food at Evan's actually ranges from American to French-like to Asian or Island inspired.

    The wine list includes some of California's best and while there isn't a visible bar, they offer a full selection of cocktails and mixed drinks.

    Evan's has earned many rewards and accolades, all well-deserved.

    Make a reservation, it's small and in demand, especially on weekends.

  • 02

    Edgewood

    Absolutely stunning views as Edgewood is located on the Lake. Edgewood has been the site of the Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament for the past few years and is definitely a premiere Tahoe golf course. The restaurant is larger than Evan's and doesn't have the intimate feel but also, should not be missed. The food could stand alone, without the views, but the combination makes it amazing. Time your dinner to include sunset and you won't soon forget the experience.

    While the descriptions of the dishes at Edgewood sound more standard (such as "seared Ahi tuna" and "lobster and scallop fettucine"), the taste is far above average.

    They also have an extensive wine list and a full bar. They make a great Maker's Mark Manhattan.

  • 03

    Nephele's

    Located right on Ski Run Boulevard, Nepheles bills itself as "Creative California Cuisine." They also have a "Wine Spectator's Award."

    Their appetizer menu is extensive and creative. The entrees are expertly prepared and presented and delicious.

    This is another smaller, more cozy restaurant with an intimate feel. Great service from a professional, friendly staff complete the experience.

    Reviews on sites like Yelp tend to be mixed but I have never had a bad experience or meal here in my four years of living in South Lake Tahoe and several visits to this restaurant.

  • 04

    Cafe Fiore

    Tiny, like seven tables tiny, fabulous Italian restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, also on Ski Run Boulevard. It is definitely small and intimate but boasts a rather large menu. Wonderful food, great service and a wine list with over 350 wines makes this another "must-do" dining experience in South Lake Tahoe.

    Make reservations in advance as they can be booked up weeks for weekend dining during summer and winter.

  • 05

    Riva Grill

    Our family ends up going here quite a bit in the summer. I still have mixed feelings about it. It's much larger than the other restaurants on the list and strikes me as more "touristy". The food is good, but certainly not better than the others, and is overpriced compared to the others as well.

    So why go here? Well, the food IS good. They can seat large groups, sometimes without a reservation. Service, with a few notable exceptions has always been attentive. Young kids are welcome and comfortable, which is definitely an advantage if you want a good meal with the entire family. And the atmosphere is casual with a view of the Lake.

    Sitting on the deck in the summer, enjoying a Wet Woody and relaxing after a day out in Tahoe really does make it worthwhile.




Final Thoughts

Honorable mentions...I also recommend Fresh Ketch on Tahoe Keys Boulevard. Apres Wine Co. near Ski Run, has wine tastings with fantastic appetizer pairings on Sunday and Tuesday evenings. This is one of my new favorite things to do. They have a dinner menu, which while small, presents original and fantastic choices. Definitely check this one out.


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Comments

  • tahoemom 12/12/2010 Flag This Comment

    Do you know of other restaurants in South Lake Tahoe that I forgot to add or that you think should have made this list?

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