Christy Hill in Lake Tahoe, California, is not your run-of-the-mill fine dining experience, says Lynn Houghton. For the discerning nomad, this restaurant, though possessing a slightly elevated price tag, is well worth the cost for cuisine that is locally sourced, fresh, colourful and well presented.
It doesn’t hurt that Christy Hill’s lake view location in Tahoe City is utterly gorgeous. One late spring night I dined here with my hubby and a fellow Los Angelino, Jeremy, who now lives in Truckee. The view was white and frozen (due to that winter being one of the longest and coldest on record) but the cosiness of the restaurant made up for the temperature. Cream coloured walls were hung with paintings by local artists to create an intimate, unique atmosphere. On entering the premises, there is a bar immediately to the right for early arrivals to indulge in a favourite tipple. Three steps down from the entrance area, we entered the restaurant. That night owner Robyn Sills was on hand to meet and greet guests, adding to the welcoming ambience.
Of note are the surprising local meats and fish on the menu which include: Bison, Alaskan Halibut and Juniper Berry Brined Pork Chops. Though I usually choose fish, I decided to try the hearty, delicious rib eye beef for a change while my partner chowed down on Moroccan spiced lamb loin.
The salads and vegetables at Christy Hill are something special and many have their source listed on the menu. There was Sausalito Springs watercress, heirloom tomatoes, field greens, caramelised Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, summer bean and oyster mushroom ragout and ratatouille stuffed squash blossom, to name a few.
Our sumptuous meal was washed down with a bottls of delicious Californian Russian River Chardonnay and, of course, we made room for dessert. I can never resist a yummy fruit crumble (this one had cherries and was utterly scrumptious) while my companions tried out the decadent, creamy tiramisu.
Christy Hill Lakeside Restaurant: The Hungry Nomad Verdict
Best bit: The fresh, locally sourced veg, by a mile.
Worst bit: The over-priced California wines, although this is the case everywhere in California.
Our ideal menu for two
Christy Hill Cheese Plate with selection of artisanal cheeses, local honeys, fruit and candied nuts – $12
Pan Roasted Diver Scallop, served with madeira-chestnut puree, pomegranate gastrique and persimmon -apple salad – $14
Bibb lettuce, Asiago cheese, herbed avocado dressing and candied almonds – $9
Port poached pear, arugula, frisée, pomegranate, Point Reyes blue cheese, hazelnuts and
port cider vinaigrette – $13.
Grilled natural rib eye of beef with confit of fingerling potatoes, caramelised Brussels sprouts with red wine demi-glace – £33
Moroccan spiced lamb loin with olive stuffed piquillo peppers, celeriac-pistachio puree
and Charmoula sauce – $33
Pear and sundried cherry crumble with macadamia nut streusel and vanilla ice cream – $9
Tiramisu – $9
2009 Maranet, Dumol, Russian River – $62
TOTAL: $194 (approximately £120), plus service
Visit Christy Hill Lakeside Bistro:
a: 115 Grove Street, Tahoe City, California 96145
t: +1 530 855 1583