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Northstar and general Tahoe recomendations

I'm going to be staying at Northstar for 6 nights in a couple weeks, looking for some dinning recommendations from the experts :). I've read over the recommendation threads that are already up, those seemed to cover the fine dinning side. We will probably go out for 3-4 nice dinners which I don't mind driving too, but I'm hoping to get some advice for some cheaper dinner spots as well as some good breakfast/lunch establishments around Northstar as well.

As far as nice dinner spots go I'm looking at Moodys, Plumpjack, Dragonfly, and Baxters.
(are these all roughly in the same price range and do any stand out as offering a better or worse value than the others?)

We cant afford to eat at those kind of places every night, so If anyone knows of any inexpensive apres or dinner places that have really good food please share! The people I am going to be with are all pretty much foodies and we like pretty much any ethnicity. (doent have to be upscale, just good food)

Also a breakfast rec. around northstar would be great. Thanks in advance!

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Mamasake
1850 Village South Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146

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  1. Mark Estes is the brilliant chef/owner of Moody's Bistro and Baxters. In Truckee last year he opened up his take on a hamburger joint called Burger Me. It's ultra casual and pretty small. I haven't tried it but if it's like everything else he does, I'm sure it's very good. Garwoods, on the lake in Carnelian Bay is pretty good American food and not very expensive. Spindleshank is even better, but a bit pricier. If you're wine drinkers, just about all restaurants allow you to bring wine and charge a reasonable corkage. That's a good way to save on your bill. Caliente, in Kings Beach, has great upscale Mexican. It's pricier than a casual Tex-Mex restaurant but less than a fine dining establishment.

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    Caliente
    8791 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143

    5 Replies
    1. re: RevrendAndy

      Awesome, thanks for the recs. Quick question regarding Baxters and Moodys. How similar is the menu at these two places, and if I had to pick one or the other which should it be?

      1. re: RevrendAndy

        Hey, Rev. Sorry I caught this late. I hadn't heard about Burger Me. Must check that out. I like Gar Woods but only in the summer when sitting out on the deck. The food to me is so-so. I haven't been to Caliente because a couple of neighbors went and their tab was $100 which I just can't do. 'Course that included $14 cocktails. Hurry "home."

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        Caliente
        8791 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143

        1. re: c oliver

          I agree with GarWoods. It's not a destination restaurant unless you can enjoy the deck during the summer. Caliente is expensive for Mexican but they have some very good food-not Tex-Mex with gobs of melted cheese. Greatest chili relleno ever. Cocktails are expensive but they are made with fresh fruit juices. 2 feet of snow in Tahoe-80° and sunny in Florida-what's the hurry?

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          Caliente
          8791 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143

          1. re: RevrendAndy

            Bob's fave, which usually disappoints i chile relleno so maybe we'll check it out. Two feet? Maybe in Incline. In Carnelian Bay, we had about five feet in this last storm.

            1. re: c oliver

              Yeah, down the hill outside Nevada City they got about 3 feet.

      2. Moody's is probably a bit more interesting and creative but both are good. They don't overlap.
        You could eat at both restaurants and not feel like you've had the same food. I would pick Moody's over Baxters by a hair. You can choose yourself.

        http://moodysbistro.com/menus/Dinner.pdf

        http://www.northstarattahoe.com/nsass...

        1. My friend remembers going to a restaurant in south Tahoe about 8-10 years ago that he thought was phenomenal, but wasn't able to find last time we were in the area a few years ago. He remembers it being a really tiny one room American/French Bistro type place. They were staying at Heavenly and he thought they drove west to get to there. It was right on or near the lake. Does this sound at all familiar to anyone?

          1. 4th St. Bistro in Reno is outstanding. About 40 miles from Northstar, but well worth the drive. Best in Reno, Wine Spectator award, Local, etc.

            http://www.4thstbistro.com/

            Le Bistro in Incline Village sounds like it might be the place you're talking about. Jean-Pierre is supposed to be a SUPER french chef- he was apprentice of the year in '74 or something like that. Had a restaurant in Kings Beach forever called La Cheminee (sp?

            )

            Mark Estee is no longer with Moody's or Baxter's, but I heard that it's still really good.

            I wouldn't waste my time/money at Caliente, it's a total gaper joint.

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            Caliente
            8791 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143

            1 Reply
            1. re: J.Dish

              Totally serious. What' a "gaper joint." Never heard of that.

            2. JDish, I'm not so sure you're correct about Mark Estes leaving Moody's and Baxters. Moody's has a new chef de cuisine but I believe this and Baxter's are still Mark's restaurants. He is building an empire, including Burger Me also in Truckee and he's currently scouting a location in Reno. Please let us know if you have accurate information, as opposed to heresay.

              Nick, there's a restaurant on south shore called Mirabelle, which is an excellent, intimate restaurant that you may be thinking about. The other place could be Evans, also very small, but it has always served contemporary California cuisine. If you want French, I love Le Bistro and wouldn't make the drive to SLT.

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              Le Bistro
              312 Petaluma Blvd S, Petaluma, CA 94952

              9 Replies
              1. re: RevrendAndy

                I bet the place my friend was talking about was Evans. It looks like what he described appearance wise, and is certainly in the right location. I'll have to mention the name and see if that rings any bells for him. If that is the place, he certainly remembers his meal there very fondly. Is it still (or was it ever) that extrodinary, or did he just happen to be there on a particularly good night?

                On a side note, this is right off Moodys main page, "Both Executive Chef Mark Estee and A&R Man J.J. Morgan lead this eclectic group with a good-natured but hands-on intensity." Certainly sounds like Mr. Estee is still there.

                Your the man ReverendAndy, thanks for all the help!

                1. re: nickwin

                  Just trying to help.

                  I've always had very good meals at Evans. It's been the best restaurant, imo, on south shore for a long time.

                  1. re: nickwin

                    Sorry I didn't contribute anything.

                    I feel like a real jerk. I mean, The Rev clearly knows more than I do.

                    T's Rotisserie in Incline Village.

                    1. re: J.Dish

                      Good contribution. T's is a good lunch spot but they don't serve booze.

                        1. re: nancyhudson

                          Yep. And you can get stuff to go. Hey, nancy.

                      1. re: J.Dish

                        Your advice is of course appreciated J.Dish, sorry if my post seemed rude. I was simply thanking Rev because he's answered all of the questions I've asked in a number of threads, and more importantly because he knew the restaurant my friend remembered going to years ago (it was a good call considering how little info on had).

                        I am flying out tomorrow morning (weather permitting) and I will keep all your opinions in mind. Thanks to everyone who contributed! I will try to post a follow up when I get back.

                        1. re: nickwin

                          Good luck Nick.

                          It's dumping here in Reno right now, which is where I imagine you will be landing.

                          I really encourage you to come down here and eat.

                          Also, check out Edible Reno-Tahoe: http://www.ediblecommunities.com/reno...

                          1. re: nickwin

                            Can't wait to hear what you think. And you're getting stellar weather now, arent you?