What’s so unique about Lake Tahoe is that there’s a South Lake Tahoe and a North Lake Tahoe and they’re very very different. We recently explored South Lake Tahoe, taking in both the Nevada and the California side, which means that on the Nevada side, we had our fair share of casino night life. While I’m not a gambler (never have been), I have noted that some of the nicer casinos take pride in making sure they have great food on-site. And well, I AM a foodie! This trend started in Las Vegas over the past few years and is extending to other parts of the country.
Enter Ciera Steak & Chophouse at South Lake Tahoe’s Mont Bleu Resort, which was a stone’s throw from our hotel. They offer an exquisite array of steaks and chops, fresh seafood and vegetarian entrees, complemented by an international selection of 300 wines and champagnes. Yes, really!!
What I loved most about the restaurant was how knowledgeable the staff was about both their food and wine selections, bringing over 20 years of experience to the table. The service was impeccable and there wasn’t a detail they didn’t forget — thanks to the ever so gracious Tommy Walker and Chris Prebezac for taking care of us.
We left feeling full, happy and impressed, which leads me to my first photo. While I don’t normally start with a dessert shot, in this case, I couldn’t resist! Ahhh yes, the details.Who can resist strawberries and chocolate?
Before we got ever so decadent, we started with a simple caesar salad and left the rest of the selections to Tommy, Chris and the chef.
What I didn’t realize was how much they loved their menu, so much so that it was tough to decide what to leave OFF the list. This of course meant that there was more to sample than not but everything was so delicious that it was hard to resist temptation. Let’s start with one of my favorites — foie gras, which as you know, isn’t offered on California menus anymore. Here, they infuse it with port wine and serve it with a baby fig compote and top it off with a tropical relish and berries. YUM! We had a delicious sweet wine to help cut the fat.
They offer a delicious seafood platter, which includes jumbo prawns, king crab, rock lobster, oysters with caviar and cocktail sauce. If you’re into seafood, then you can also try the oysters rockefeller (yum – its served with creamed spinach pernod) or the lobster tempura which they dish up with shiitake mushrooms, mizuna greens, and a spicy thai curry dressing.
My favorite was the lighter option, which was a nice balance after the foie gras — the sesame crusted ahi tuna, which they serve with a Wasabi creme and kabayaki sauce and pickled ginger. Two thumbs up!!
And of course they have crab cakes for those crab cake lovers – below, the chipotle remoulade makes its mark.
While you can get poultry (they have a free range chicken breast mediterranean style) and an Asian Smoked Muscovy Duck breast, Ciera is known for its steaks and chops, hence the name. It’s like showing up in Greece and trying to get a burger – you can find one but why would you try?
Some of the offerings were just too big for my appetite given the number of delicious appetizers and smaller plates to choose from, but Chris encouraged us to try the Rocky Mountain Elk Chop (you can’t get Elk everywhere and I love game) or the New Zealand Rack of Lamb.
After hearing how the lamb was cooked, I had to try it. Imagine a pistachio encrusted rack of lamb served with pomegranate balsamic demi-glace? We LOVED this dish even though we couldn’t finish it. Take note however – since so many of the properties offer a fridge, we took it home and tasted it the next afternoon and it was equally delicious cold. Yum!
You can also get a traditional Cowboy Rib-eye (24 ounces) or the same sized Porterhouse Steak as well a boat load of other red meat choices. There are tons of potato and veggie sides to choose from as well. If you do really want to go with seafood, in addition to the delicious starters I noted above, you can get Sea Bass with lavender cream and basil infusion, Abalone which they dip in egg and pan sear and top with king grab meat and a lemon chive beurre blanc sauce, and their Grilled Alaskan King Salmon, which is prepared on the lighter side, with a mango and papaya salsa. In other words, you really can’t go wrong with the menu!
What’s special about this place is a combination of the service (and their knowledge), the extensive menu (its impossible not to find something that speaks to you) and the wine list. One other unique thing to note.
The restaurant has traditional tables in the middle of the main room however scattered along the edge are booths, all of which have curtains that can partially close if you want more privacy. It makes for a very romantic dinner, especially when combined with the restaurant’s dimmed lights and candles.
Lastly, we LOVED Tommy and Chris! Kudos to you and your team for making sure we ordered the “not to be missed dishes” on the menu! Rather than leaving feeling we only had a great meal, we left with a memorable experience we will forever cherish.
55 Highway 50 Lake Tahoe, Nevada 89449
Disclosure Note: we were hosted by the local tourism board and Mont Bleu restaurant while in South Lake Tahoe, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.