Spring 2013: Chefs Table Soule Domain

Spring 2013: Chefs Table Soule Domain

chefs table


This Lake Tahoe eatery offers comfort and savory joy.


The Soule Domain Restaurant — or “The Soule,” as locals call it — is the heart and soul of Lake Tahoe’s North Shore at the state line. From its food to its hospitality, it breathes life into this historic corner of Tahoe. Add to this Soule Domain’s home, an 84-year-old log cabin, and you couldn’t ask for a more perfect Sierra setting.

The cabin, surrounded by tall pines that brush the sky, looks like a fairytale dwelling. Inside, the dinner house is small, cozy, and intimate. Décor is Tahoe-y: snowshoes (the kind Snowshoe Thompson would wear) hang crossed on one wall and scenic paintings by local artists fill other spaces.

The cabin holds 13 tables. In summer, three more appear outside, boosting the table count to 16. Seating arrangements include a booth for two (romantic and comfy) and an oval table for six (fun for a group). Suffice it to say, reservations are requested, if not essential.

When chef-owner Charlie Soule opened his restaurant 27 years ago, his culinary experience, which included a stint at Christy Hill Restaurant in Tahoe City, was limited. But Soule’s uncle was impressed with what his nephew could do in the kitchen and offered to finance a restaurant for him. It was an offer Soule couldn’t refuse.


Creative American

Soule defines his culinary style as “creative American,” reflecting America’s melting pot of cultures and cuisines. So sautéed shrimp may include roasted pasilla chile for earthy depth. Or a vegetarian dish may be laced with ginger, cumin, or another pungent spice to tease the palate.

Dinner service begins with warm, fresh bread and hummus — a pleasant surprise, that hummus, which is sassy with garlic. Both the country bread and hummus are made in house. In fact, the kitchen prides itself on other made-from-scratch items ranging from desserts to soups (which are terrific, vegetarian, and come with your entrée) and made-to-order sauces.

The food here is consistently delicious due to the attention to fresh ingredients. Produce Plus, a Carnelian Bay distributor, delivers fresh produce from Northern California farms four times a week, and sustainable fresh fish from a Sacramento distributor is delivered three times a week.

“I try to offer two fresh fish specials a night,” Soule says.

The chicken on the menu is organic and free of antibiotics and hormones, as is the grass-fed, free-range New Zealand lamb. Almonds, appearing in many dishes, come from Soule’s “almond guy,” Bob Boggeri, who delivers them fresh-picked from his farm near Modesto, Calif.

Interesting Choices

The Soule Domain’s menu, seasonal and inclusive to all tastes, offers a variety of choices. Out-of-the-ordinary appetizers include lobster wontons and lamb raviolis. Salad standards range from Caesar to spinach or even grilled lamb and goat cheese. Spring salads may include perfectly pan-seared scallops in a Vietnamese sauce with green garlic, spring onions, and sweet English peas, or duck salad featuring fork-tender breast meat dressed in delicious ginger-soy vinaigrette with citrus accents.

Popular entrées include filet mignon and daily fresh fish dishes. But another great choice is the grilled rack of lamb topped with a robust pesto butter of roasted garlic, almond, and basil — Nirvana in a log cabin.

Beer and wine are served, but liquor is not. The wine list, discerning and not overwhelming, includes half-bottles and by-the-glass wines. Many are boutique and the majority are from California. You’ll enjoy perusing the selection to find the perfect wine to pair with dinner.

The restaurant truly is a family affair. While chef Charlie Soule works in the kitchen, another Soule runs the restaurant as general manager — the chef’s brother, Steve, who has manned the front of the house for 20-plus years. Then there is Charlie’s wife, Rachelle, who arranges the tables’ daily fresh flowers and quarterly art exhibits.

Clearly, The Soule Domain has soul through and through.

Sandra Macias, a longtime Reno-based food writer, meant to try The Soule Domain long ago. After her debut visit in December 2012, she understands why The Soule is considered a favorite Tahoe restaurant. Once the snow melts, she’ll be back at table #8, the booth for two, to enjoy another savory dinner.

More Information

The Soule Domain, 9983 Cove St., Brockway/Crystal Bay area (½ block up from Highway 24 on the California line across from the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge & Casino); 530-546-7529, http://www.Souledomain.com

Open 6 – 9 p.m. daily

Reservations requested


Chef Charlie Soule’s “Carrot Juice” Sauce

(courtesy of The Soule Domain. Makes 5 – 6 cups)

This recipe is based on an Eastern Indian sauce to use as a broth for cooking shrimp, scallops, chicken, tofu, or any protein. It also can be used as the finishing sauce for the dish.

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

2 tablespoons bell red pepper, minced

Canola oil

4 cups carrot juice (store bought or home juiced)

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon and ground cumin

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper

Quickly sauté ginger, garlic, shallot, and red bell pepper in hot canola oil, stirring for 30 seconds. Add all other ingredients, then boil for 10 minutes. Cool. Purée in blender or with a hand blender. Sauté finished sauce with shrimp, scallops, chicken, tofu, or any other protein. Serve.


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Contact Us

edible Reno-Tahoe
316 California Ave., No. 258,
Reno, NV 89509.
(775) 746 3299

Stay updated with our Newsletter

Discover new products, thriving traditions, or exciting food events, festivals, restaurants, and markets – all of the things that are helping to make us a true culinary destination.