WRITTEN BY SUZIE DUNDAS

Warm, sunny days are back in Tahoe, and that means it’s the magical time of year when restaurants open their patios, decks, and outdoor bars, and when afternoons call for passing the time with a view of the lake and a cold drink in hand. Plenty of restaurants have rolled out exciting new summer cocktail menus. The creative team at West Shore Café, under the direction of executive chef Rob Wyss, recently rolled out their new summer-inspired drink menu. It includes light offerings perfect for slow sipping, such as the Cool Runnings, made with Flor de Caña Rum, cucumber-basil syrup, and lime. On the Nevada side, Lone Eagle Grille has introduced a new lakefront cocktail menu, with summer-appropriate and cleverly named drinks like the Keep Tahoe Brew, made with cold-brew coffee and agave nectar. 

West Shore Café

5160 W. Lake Blvd, Homewood • Westshorecafe.com,

Lone Eagle Grille

111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village • LoneEagleGrille.com

COOL RUNNINGS new craft cocktail

Cool Runnings. Photo courtesy of West Shore Café

 

Everyone knows Tahoe’s shores are dotted with popular summer wedding venues, and a new bakery in Truckee recently opened with plans to capitalize on the wedding cake business. Sierra Bakehouse in Truckee is the new venture from friends and bakers Kristy DePaoli Kirsch and Daniella Rinaldi-Luchian, providing desserts to local businesses and custom wedding cakes to Tahoe-area couples. Both chefs have degrees in baking and pastry arts — Kirsch from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and Rinaldi-Luchian from New York’s Culinary Institute of America. The team recently announced that they’ll be rolling up the shop’s doors on Friday afternoons for a farmers’ market-style popup, selling everything from pizzas to desserts, “and anything else the bakers feel like pulling out of the oven.”

Sierra Bakehouse

10736 Pioneer Trail, Unit 12, TruckeeSierrabakehouse.com

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Daniella at work at Sierra Bakehouse. Photo courtesy Sierra Bakehouse

If weekend events are calling your name this summer, mark July 7 – 9 on your calendar, as Northstar California Resort will once again host Beerfest & Bluegrass. This three-day culinary and beer-focused event celebrates the best of local beers with alpine-inspired bites, including artisan sausages, gourmet pretzels and dips, and a mesquite-smoked brisket barbecue tent. This year’s event also will include new family and athletic events, including a craft soda walk, so kids and non-drinkers also can enjoy a tasting experience. Northstar will host its popular Brewmaster Dinner Series throughout the summer, with the first scheduled for July 8 as part of the Beerfest and Bluegrass Festival, in partnership with Track 7 Brewing. Tickets go on sale this month.

Northstar California Resort

5001 Northstar Drive, TruckeeNorthstarcalifornia.com

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Beerfest & Bluegrass. Photo courtesy of Northstar California Resort

Not to be outdone, Squaw Valley also will bring back a variety of popular events, starting with its popular Art, Wine and Music Festival on July 14 and 15. Each day features an afternoon wine walk through the village, as well as live music and local artisan vendors. Tickets are on sale now, with all proceeds benefiting Achieve Tahoe.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

1960 Squaw Valley Rd., Olympic Valley • SquawAlpine.com

Dedicated readers of edible Reno-Tahoe know how much Californians love their craft beer and wines, and now there are a few more places in South Lake Tahoe where you can wet your whistle. The new Tahoe Pourhouse celebrated its official ribbon cutting on May 18 and offers coffees, artisan sandwiches and salads, and wine on tap. The kitchen is run by chefs Mark Davis and Edwin Winslow, who, in addition to having won numerous culinary awards, also are expert ice sculptors and plan to bring that creativity and artistry to the Pourhouse menu.

Tahoe Pourhouse

2042 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe • Tahoepourhouse.com

Another exciting ribbon cutting happened at Outpost Brewing Co., formerly Basecamp Beer Garden, near the Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. Though it’s been open for a few months, the official celebration and kickoff to summer happened on May 23. Outpost recently was added to the South Lake Tahoe Beer Trail, bringing the total count of breweries in South Lake Tahoe up to seven.

And if your summer goal is to try as many new IPAs as possible, you’ll also want to visit the new tasting room at Cold Water Brewery & Grill, opening this month under the direction of brewmaster Ryan Parker. The laid-back space next to the brewery will be open for drop-ins, allowing guests to taste, try, and learn about its beer offerings, no reservations required. Cold Water will offer home brew classes and brewmaster events through the summer.

Outpost Brewing Co.

932 Stateline Ave Suite B, South Lake Tahoe • Outpostbeer.com

Cold Water Brewery & Grill

2544 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe • Tahoecoldwaterbrewery.com  

New restaurants around the Lake also are arriving just in time for summer, starting with the Resort at Squaw Creek’s newly remodeled and reopened Montagna, offering locally sourced, modern Italian fare. The menu features cocktails and offerings using herbs from the resort’s on-site hydroponic garden, led by executive chef Patrick Cleary, a graduate of the Culinary Center of Monmouth County in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Cleary became executive chef of the resort’s six restaurants in early May after previously serving as the resort’s sous chef. He spent several years working at restaurants in New York City, and he was executive sous chef at Waldorf Astoria in Key West, Florida, prior to joining the team in Squaw.

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Montagna head chef Patrick Cleary. Photo courtesy of Resort at Squaw Creek

Resort at Squaw Creek

400 Squaw Creek Rd, Olympic Valley • Destinationhotels.com/squawcreek/dining/lake-tahoe-dining

Local fans of Placerville’s Czech, Italian, and German fare at Taste of Europe are in luck, as the restaurant recently moved to South Lake Tahoe. The new venue is approximately 600 square feet larger than its former space. Renovations are nearly done, and the owners plan to open in June with lunch and dinner midweek, plus breakfast on weekends.

Taste of Europe

4125 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite H, South Lake Tahoe • Tasteofeurope.cz

Whether you’re on the north or south shore, the restaurants and breweries of Tahoe offer plenty of options to taste something new every weekend this summer. For June, we recommend skipping the grocery store six pack and, instead, swinging by your favorite brewery to pick up some new brews for your summer backyard barbecue. Happy dining, everyone!

Have a tip about food news on the north or south shore? Send a note to  Suzie Dundas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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