Eat and Drink
Twelve miles north of the lake, Truckee resembles a cross between Aspen and a 19th-century railroad town. Built during the boom years of the transcontinental railroad, its two-story wood-and-brick buildings now shelter a surprising number of fantastic restaurants. Before catching the morning lifts, head to Jax at the Tracks (breakfast for two $25), housed in a restored 1940’s dining car; try the aptly named Morning Addiction—layers of hash browns, avocado, bacon, and eggs, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Up the road, the loungelike Drunken Monkey (lunch for two $35) has creative sushi (halibut tempura with chili aioli), Asian tapas (Vietnamese shaking beef; curry mochiko chicken), and 14 types of sake by the glass. In Squaw Valley, home to the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, you’ll find one of North Tahoe’s best restaurants, PlumpJack Café (dinner for two with wine pairing, $120). The café’s new chef, Rick Edge, recently created a series of winemaker dinners, pairing bottles from single northern California wineries with dishes like venison loin and celery root, cocoa, and hibiscus, or seared scallops with roasted chestnuts. If you’re staying in Northstar-at-Tahoe, head to the sultry Baxter’s Bistro & Lounge (drinks for two $18) for artisanal cocktails (try the Alpine Blood Orange Cosmo), house-made charcuterie, and remarkably good live jazz.