With the exception of Petra in Northstar Village, all of these restaurants and wine bars sit within 100 yards of one another in downtown Truckee, a charming old railroad town just east of Donner Pass, nine miles (20 minutes) north of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
A favorite with the locals, Moody’s occupies the bottom floor of The Truckee Hotel, a major stagecoach stop on the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road dating to 1873. The restaurant serves elegant New American cuisine in a casual supper club atmosphere. We relished the Alaskan halibut with heirloom squash, and the Durham Ranch steak frites. The cellar leans heavily on Rutherford, Oakville and Napa.
Moody's, 10007 Bridge Street, Truckee. Tel. (530) 587-8688.
Diners walk through a bustling pub with a friendly mountain-town atmosphere to get into an intimate white-tablecloth bistro. Standouts include a perfectly dressed California Caesar and savory mussels arrabiata on grilled sourdough, as well as mains such as pan-seared dayboat scallops and a succulent rib eye paired with cauliflower Gruyère gratin. For lunch, the “B.L.A.T.” sandwich (applewood-smoked bacon, avocado and field greens on multi-grain) and a glass of Sonoma Cabernet are just about perfect.
Bar of America, 10040 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. Tel. (530) 587-2626.
While the term “pan- Asian” can encompass everything from stir-fries to sea cucumbers, we heartily recommend Dragonfly for its bright and spicy flavors and crisp white wines by the glass. Chef Billy McCullough (formerly of Wolfdale’s in Tahoe City) employs the finest California produce, and his menu includes dishes such Korean lamb bulgogi lettuce wraps. Standout mains include seared beef pho with caramelized onions, and an aromatic Thai fisherman’s stew.
Dragonfly, 10118 Donner Pass Road (upstairs), Truckee. Tel. (530) 587-0557.
Just downstairs from Dragonfly, this is the latest venture from the Telos wine group, an association of three partners that also owns wine bars in Tahoe City, Squaw Valley and the Village at Northstar. Far from being Napa-centric, the wines by the glass here include an eclectic range of Proseccos, Cavas, Sancerres, Rieslings, Shirazes, Tempranillos, Grüner Veltliners and Ports. Taste any three for $10 and enjoy a slice of MT TAM triple-cream cow cheese or a plate of marcona almonds sautéed in sea salt and olive oil.
Uncorked, 10118 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. Tel. (530) 550-5200.
The sister wine bar to Uncorked features more than 150 wines and a similarly understated atmosphere. A summer winemakers’ speaking series brings in representatives of many of the small and family-owned labels featured on the menu. The light Mediterranean tapas on offer also make this a pleasant place to relax with a book while the family goes shopping.
Petra, 3001 North Village Drive, Suite 3112, Truckee. Tel. (530) 562-0600.
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