Well-Seasoned Meals

| June 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Last Tracks, Diamond Peak. Photo by Andrew Baird.

Well-Seasoned Meals

Get it while it’s hot—or cold—at these seasonal and scenic dining spots

Written by Susan D. Rock

Sometimes the most memorable meal is the one that is most fleeting. A now you see it, now you don’t, one-night-only affair where the season, setting and menu comingle to make an unforgettable culinary memory. Put one or more of these area equivalents of the pop-up restaurant on your must-reserve list this coming year; note all require advance reservations. And you can do some good while having fun—most of these edible outings benefit area nonprofits.



Lake Mary Cabin Dinners,

Sugar Bowl

On select Saturday and Sunday evenings in July through September, diners relax on the deck of Sugar Bowl’s Lake Mary Cabin beneath Donner Summit’s stunning palisades to enjoy Chef Alan Davis’ French-inspired menu of California cuisine. Past beneficiaries include: Donner Summit Historical Society, Gateway Mountain Center, Truckee Trails Foundation, Young Life, Truckee Donner Land Trust and Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation. Summer 2013 dates are July 21 & 28; August 4, 11, 18 & 25 and September 1, 13 & 15.

(530) 426-7002,



Farm-to-Table Dinner,

Tahoe City

This summer marks the third annual Farm-to-Table Dinner at Commons Beach. Hosted by the Tahoe City Downtown Association, about 100 diners come together for a four-course communal lakeside feast prepared by local chefs using the freshest local and regional products available. Past participants have included Wolfdale’s Douglas Dale, Scott Yorkey of Jake’s on the Lake, Mamasake’s Elsa Corrigan and Lee Kresy from Sunnyside. All proceeds go toward sustaining the popular Foothill Farmer’s Market.

(530) 583-3348, www.tcda.org


Thunderbird Lodge

Wine Dinners, East Shore

Tahoe’s fabled lakeside Thunderbird Lodge is the setting for a series of monthly winemakers’ dinners from July through October, featuring pairings such as Napa’s Whitehall Lane with Reno’s Campo Restaurant. Wine and appetizers are served in the Old Lodge with the opportunity to stroll the gardens or spectacular stone terrace; dinner takes place in the Lighthouse Room with panoramic views of The Lake. The evening includes tours of the property, an auction of exclusive Thunderbird items and a chance to buy the wines you like. Proceeds go toward preservation of the Thunderbird Lodge and yacht. (775) 832- 8752,



Dinner in the Barn, Sierraville

Gary Romano’s Sierra Valley Farms is the site of this four-course meal featuring farm-fresh, just-picked produce presented in his family’s rustic Beckwourth barn about 40 minutes north of Truckee. Typically slated for weekends June through September and this year prepared by Season’d Catering (formerly Moody’s Catering, now owned by local chef Tom Marrin), dinners include a tour of the farm, wine pairings and live music. (530) 587-8688,




Tahoe Cross Country

Gourmet Tour, Tahoe City

Strap on your cross country skis or snowshoes and sample seafood, soup, breads, hors d’ouvres, pastries and cookies from top North Tahoe restaurants along the trails of Tahoe City Cross Country, downing dessert in the yurt doubling as the resort’s Winter Discovery Center. Live music and margaritas round out this decade-old, on-the-snow gourmet March event, and donning traditional Nordic wear might even win you a season pass. Proceeds benefit the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Association, which supports the resort’s educational, outdoor and sports programs. (530) 583-5475, www.tahoexc.org


Last Tracks, Diamond

Peak Ski Resort

There is perhaps no better view of The Lake than from Diamond Peak’s mid-mountain Snowflake Lodge. Add wine and beer tasting, from notables such as Saintsbury out of Carneros and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery, paired with appetizers, a sunset over Tahoe and a freshly groomed ski run to end the evening, and you have Last Tracks, held Saturdays from February through April. The event starts at 4 p.m.; the ticket lets guests ski or ride a couple of hours before. (775) 832-1177,



Snowcat Tour,


Admittedly, this winter outing is less about the meal than the adventure of getting to the table. Sierra Resort’s backcountry cat tours take expert skiers and riders straight to the top of Huckleberry Canyon, where cliff and cornice drops, rock chutes, open bowls, gladed runs and powder pillows await. Tours include a guide whose paramount mission is safety education, and a sweet lunch spot to take in Tahoe’s winter wonders. Gather a group of five or more and reserve lunch—and a cat—all to yourselves.  (530) 659-7453 ext. 150,



M.S. Dixie II, Tahoe Queen, Zephyr Cove

Truly a movable feast, this pair of paddle wheelers plies Lake Tahoe year round, sailing on a variety of brunch and dinner cruises out of Zephyr Cove and Ski Run Marina, respectively. These full-menu meals, served up with the slowly changing scenery along East Shore and Emerald Bay, keep this outing special. Feel like dancing your dinner off? There’s that too.

(775) 589-4906, (530) 543-6191,



For North Shore lunch and dinner cruises in summer, try the Tahoe Gal out of Tahoe City. (800) 218-2464,



Category: Wine & Dine

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