Keeping you informed of Truckee-Lake Tahoe food-and-drink news.
Written by Suzie Dundas
Illustration by Greg Brady
February and March may traditionally be the season for root vegetables, hearty meals, and hot chocolate, but Truckee and Tahoe’s restaurant scene isn’t limiting itself to tried-and-true cuisine. From the North Shore to the South Shore, both local owners and celebrity chefs opened new restaurants, ranging from classic Mexican staples to Nepalese and Himalayan offerings. As is expected of Tahoe this time of year, much of the excitement is around the region’s ski resorts, with the villages both at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Northstar California Resort each welcoming new restaurants.
A tequila bar from Squaw Valley restaurant veterans
Skiers and riders at Squaw Valley have a new option for those times when the sun is a little too low to bother with another run. Opened in mid-December, Tremigo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar offers a traditional Mexican menu that is guided by chefs Antonio and Veronica Abundiz, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. The new restaurant is the latest project from the team at The Village at Squaw Valley’s The Auld Dubliner, owners Carolyn Nunn and Randy Rogers and general manager Rachel Graf-McCabe. Tremigo seats about 150 diners and features décor and interior design from Tahoe City-based artist Rory Canfield. As for the unconventional name, Nunn says, “The partners all originally liked the name ‘Tres Amigos’ because we’re basically three great friends opening a restaurant together. And we decided to shorten the name to Tremigo.”
Tremigo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
While Tremigo was under development, Nunn, Rogers, and Graf-McCabe also were revamping the menu at The Auld Dubliner, just a few steps away. Though they haven’t left behind their popular, hearty Irish dishes, they’ve added new vegetarian and healthy offerings to the menu. That includes everything from a roasted beet and arugula salad to farm-raised steelhead trout, which the owners plan to use instead of salmon in response to the environmental and sustainability impacts of overfishing. The revised menu now is available.
Truckee drinks scene keeps growing
Also recently opened in Truckee is The Good Wolf brewing company from owners Heidi and Matt Peyto. Though they’ve both worked across the world — Heidi as an archaeologist and Matt at breweries including Sierra Nevada, Wildcard, and Elysian — the two decided to relocate to Truckee to be near Matt’s family. The Good Wolf hosted a soft opening late in 2019 and officially opened on Feb. 1, with eight beers on tap and food from local producers. The Peytons designed the tasting room themselves, opting for warm colors, natural materials, and greenery to mirror Tahoe’s surroundings. Matt says that connection to Tahoe is important to the brewery.
The Good Wolf
“The Good Wolf is deep diving into experimental and unique hop varietals and forest-inspired beers,” he says, “with foraged ingredients bringing the flavors and aromas of the forest into the glass.”
Top chefs take on Tahoe
Epic pass holders will appreciate a new offering at Northstar California. Bourbon Pub opened in late 2019 in The Village at Northstar, with 125 seats and a menu that blends California cuisine with international elements. Popular menu items this winter included spicy Korean wagyu tacos with pickled cucumbers and Sriracha crema and a vegan cauliflower “steak” with tahini sauce, pomegranate, za’atar, and pistachio. Bourbon Pub is the latest endeavor from San Francisco-based chef Michael Mina of the Mina Restaurant Group. Located near the resort’s Big Springs Express Gondola, Bourbon Pub features a small bar, locally sourced art, cubbies for skiers’ gear, and vintage board games for guests’ complimentary use.
Not on the North Shore? No problem: South Lake Tahoe is the home of several new restaurants, including the highly anticipated Hell’s Kitchen from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. It’s the third Hell’s Kitchen location opened by Ramsay, joining Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas and Hell’s Kitchen Dubai. It opened its doors in December, welcoming guests into the space formerly occupied by the Sage Room at Harveys Lake Tahoe. Inside the restaurant, diners will find the famous Hell’s Kitchen “Heaven vs. Hell” décor, plus a menu featuring Ramsay’s signature dishes and an extensive cocktail list. Entrées start around $30 each, and reservations are strongly recommended.
Beef Wellington at Hell’s Kitchen
If Hell’s Kitchen is too pricey (or too crowded) for you, there are several new options in South Lake Tahoe vying for your après-ski business. Recent openings include Thai On Ski Run, serving noodles and Asian fusion in the Heavenly Village; Gastromaniac Homemade Pasta & Pizza near Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach; and Shangrila Himalayan Kitchen, serving Nepalese, Indian, and Halal dishes.
While travelers who have never been to Tahoe may primarily know it as a ski and beach destination, it only takes one visit to realize the talent behind Truckee and Tahoe’s food-and-drink scene. It’s an exciting time to visit Tahoe-Truckee establishments, and don’t forget to spend at least a weekend living the region’s unofficial spring mantra: Eat, drink, ski, repeat!
Suzie Dundas is a Tahoe-based freelance writer who specializes in active travel, outdoor recreation, and the mountain lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Fodor’s, Playboy, TripSavvy, Skylife magazine, and many more. When not working, she loves getting outside to bike or ski on Tahoe’s trails. You can find more of her work at Suziedundas.com.