In the small communities surrounding Lake Tahoe, new restaurants don’t pop up everyday. So when they do, we take note. From Maine-style lobster rolls in Truckee to drool-worthy beignets in Incline Village, you don’t want to miss a meal at these new eclectic eateries.
buoy and trap, truckee
Fifth generation Rhode Islander Zack Duksta knows a thing or two about seafood. Growing up shucking oysters, grilling striped bass just pulled from the sea and pitching in at lobster boils, Duksta learned an important lesson: You don’t buy seafood from the grocery store. Aftering operating his seafood catering company, Shuck Truck Catering, for two years, Duksta opened a fish market-meetseatery, Buoy and Trap, in Truckee. With fresh seafood flown in from coast to coast, pick up a dozen oysters or a few salmon filets to take home while browsing the menu.
Two types of lobster rolls, Rhode Island-style clam chowder, poke bowls, raw or baked oysters, and fish tacos are prepared with minimal, high-quality ingredients and a healthy dose of creativity. The rotating flavors of fish tacos served on Fridays are usually made with rock fish and could be served blackened with a mango-chili slaw and avocado-lime crema. The baked oysters are also always changing, with unique flavorings like fermented garlic compound butter. And if you want to share this caliber of seafood with friends and family, Shuck Truck Catering is still in operation, bringing lobster boils and oyster bars to homes around the basin.
rosewood, incline village
Family Italian recipes and new American cuisine collide at Rosewood in Incline Village. Owners Adam and Alexa DeMezza and partner Danny Baker opened the restaurant this spring with the goal of creating a fast casual eatery where you can just as easily catch the game on TV as you can have a romantic date night out. Kick off the meal with a salumi and cheese plate and freshly made truffle-parmesan fries while sipping on the eponymous cocktail, the Rosewood, made with housemade rose and sage tonic, gin and lemon.
For the main event, select your protein — skirt steak dressed with Italian salsa verde or roasted chicken with shallot and dijon mustard jus, perhaps — and two sides. Parmesan polenta cakes and grilled broccoli with olive-anchovy tapenade are popular choices. A meal at Rosewood would not be complete without the restaurant’s interpretation of coffee and donuts — beignets and coffee gelato drizzled with a Ghirardelli chocolate and Nutella sauce. For a boozy cap to the evening, the espresso martini is another house special, made with a freshly made horchata, cold brew espresso, vodka and Kahlua.
pints and pies pizza co., tahoe city
There’s far more than pizza at Pints and Pies in Tahoe City, though you can’t go wrong with the pesto-based Prima, brimming with green olives, smoked garlic, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Longtime restaurateur and baker, John Bautista, alongside wife Nanette opened the lakeside Italian eatery last fall. Snag a table on the deck and tuck into the ricotta tortellini studded with porcini mushrooms and drenched in a creamy sauce with parmesan, romano and truffle oil, or try the buttery linguine with clams and prawns accented with tomatoes, smoked garlic and fresh parsley. Classics like lasagna, chicken parmesan, fettuccine alfredo and calzones round out the menu. Don’t skip out on the restaurant’s impressive list of craft beers on tap or the dessert lineup, featuring a chocolate tart with a hint of chili, gelato and tiramisu, to name a few.
maggie’s restaurant & bar, south lake tahoe
Tucked inside Desolation Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Maggie’s Restaurant and Bar — a nod to the peak towering above Cascade Lake — serves upscale dining in an approachable way. Drawing influence from cuisines around the world, you’ll find creative dishes like the pistachio-crusted lamb chop served with purple sweet potato puree, summer squash hash and a blueberry-mint gastrique. Another colorful, seasonally inspired dish is the heirloom tomato -burrata salad, which gets dressed up with blood oranges, charred frisée, spring lettuce and a balsamic reduction. Whether you’re sitting out on the deck tucked among the trees or inside beneath the artfully mounted wine wall, kick off the meal with a cocktail, all of which are named after employees’ dogs.
Clara’s Got Kick — inspired by a pint-sized feisty chihuahua — is a spicy jalapeño honeydew margarita. And if you’re looking for a gourmet start to your day of hiking, perhaps in the hotel’s namesake wilderness area, Maggie’s brunch won’t disappoint. Raspberry lemonade French toast, short rib eggs benedict on housemade biscuits, and chicken fried pork belly are just a few of the stand-out items to fuel your adventure.