There is a relatively new restaurant in town that is all the rage. Open for about 9 months, The Lake House Resturant is turning heads. Being a part time local, I finally had a chance to dine here and I was very much impressed. Having recently visited a couple other fine dining options that once held the title of “my favorite”, I was pleased to have a new contender. The Lake House was nothing short of excellent in food, atmosphere, and staff so you could imagine my excitement when the owner, Jeff Sparrow agreed to be interviewed.
Owners: Jeff & Misty Sparrow, also owners of Lake Tahoe Catering Company
Executive Chef: Jimi Nakamatsu
Opened: October 31, 2016, after a 9 month remodel of the building.
Business Hours: 5pm-9pm, Happy Hour 4pm-6pm
Seating: dinner for 2 up to large groups
The Lake House offers a full menu that is “fine dining without the pretension”, says Jeff. You will find an array of dishes that are wonderfully devised and know exactly what the ingredients are. You won’t find any words you cannot pronounce and at the risk of sounding gauche, I like knowing what I am ordering. You can find their dinner menu here. We had a hard time deciding what to order, as most everything on the menu sounded fabulous. In their appetizer section, the chef prepares a “daily risotto” and they also have a rotating seasonal salad. The main portion of the menu remains fairly consistent, but both the owners and chefs are constantly bouncing ideas off of one another to create new items. Vegetarian?? They had an eggplant dish on the menu while we were there. Jeff also said that he would be happy to help you out with other things you see on the menu that could be put together to make a dish. They also offer a wide selection of beer and wine.
You will find comfortable seating with a classy vibe. Everything from the stained concrete floors to the rustic chandeliers to the bluesy mellow music are all very welcoming. The wall of antique gold mirrors against a neutral textured wall is prime example of its homey feeling. On the walls are large canvases of Lake Tahoe prints to round it all out.
Address: 1181 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe, California
We started with an assortment of Calamari, Escargot, and the Wedge Salad. We decided sharing is caring. My son ate most of the calamari but of what I could steal, it was excellent. The escargot I would order again in a second, giving way to the perfect combination of garlic and butter. I typically order the wedge salad in many restaurants and have never had one with candied walnuts before. It was an excellent addition and I will probably add this touch to the one I make at home.
After revising our plan a few times, the kids decided they would order off the happy hour menu. Just a note, there is no kids menu but mine are older and have no problem with “adult dining”. If you have little ones, my suggestion is to have a date night.
I decided to go with the Chicken Marsala because I had not had it in so long. As you can see, it was a large portion. My husband decided on the Scallops and Prawn Chimichurri, which he was beyond thrilled with and convinced the people sitting next to us to order as well when they asked him about it.
Ever since we visited Italy, my kids have been obsessed with gelato. When they found it on the menu, they were just delighted. We also ordered the creme brulee, which had a touch of what I thought was lemon, but after looking at the menu again discovered it was Grand Marnier. Even better.
After our dessert was a little surprise of chocolate peppermint bliss. It is sweet and salty and I am so glad I don’t have a sweet tooth because I would buy this by the pound. When I asked Chef Jimi about this creation, he just smiled as if he knew this “crack” confection would have us coming back for more.
Side note: When your bill arrives, it will come in a guest book. Please sign it, the owners do take the time to read it.
I am so excited for the future of this place. Jeff and Misty have future plans for outdoor patio seating and for a food truck. I spend part of my time in Phoenix and have grown to love food trucks. They are no longer the beat up, unsanitized boxes they once were. Today, some of them are top of the line gourmet. I believe Tahoe would benefit from a Lake House food truck for town events, or just to run some of that chocolate over to our house.
I had a great time meeting everyone at The Lake House. If you would like to support a great “local” restaurant, give them a visit.
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