About River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant

Located on the banks of the Truckee River between Truckee and Tahoe City, this rustic old Tahoe lodge has been a Tahoe dining favorite for many, many years. Choose between a cozy table in our Fireplace Dining Room or along the river in our River View Dining Room. In the summer, dine on our patio that overlooks the river. Enjoy great food and drink that is creative and interesting while being delicious and familiar. The menu changes seasonally to ensure use of the most available sustainable, fresh ingredients.

2285 River Road
Tahoe City, CA 96145
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, American

Hours of Operation:
Casual BBQ lunch daily in the summertime at 11:30 a.m. Dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. Inside Bar open nightly

Cross Street:
Alpine Meadows Road

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(530) 583-4264

Website:
http://www.riverranchlodge.com/dining

Catering:
The River Ranch has a special large party menu for dinner parties upt to 50 guests. appetizer and buffet menus are available for large parties or weddings on our patio in the warmer months for up to 175 guests.

Executive Chef:
Michael Trapula

Private Party Facilities:
For an intimate setting the River Ranch's Fireplace Room, featuring a beautiful river rock fireplace, provides a warm and festive atmosphere for private dinner parties, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, family reunions, company parties and holiday festivities.

Private Party Contact:
Event Coordinator: (866) 618-2579

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.3

service

3.7

ambience

4.3

value

3.4

noise

Moderate

67% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (20)
Waterfront (15)
Scenic View (14)
See All
Casual (11)
Happy Hour (9)
Special Occasion (6)
Good for a Date (6)
Worth the Drive (5)
Cozy (5)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Great for Lunch (4)
Seasonal (3)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Bar Seating (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
People Watching (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Great Beer (3)
Creative Cuisine (3)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Romantic (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Fun (2)
Comfort Food (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Live Music (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Business Meals (1)
Live Sports (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Authentic (1)
Disabled Access (1)
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355 reviews
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vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined 3 days ago

The view of the river was very nice. The food was good and portions were large. Service was good also.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 5 days ago

Once we got seated it was great. Two women passed over once again. The bartender was wonderful!

Tags: Good for a Date, Seasonal, Waterfront, Healthy, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Located on the Truckee River, the River Ranch has a beautiful view and both indoor /outdoor seating. The menu trends toward fresh and local. Not a hugely creative menu, but it's good for a laid-back, relaxing meal. We went at 5:30 (opening time) and the restaurant wasn't really ready for us quite yet. After a drink in the bar, we received leisurely yet attentive/friendly service. Building is gorgeous in a woodsy, authentic kind of way. Food was fine (tasty, dependable, nothing extraordinary). It's a place to go if you want a good Tahoe experience among the beautiful forested area. By the way, there is an outdoor bar with some pretty amazing-looking nachos and burgers in case you aren't up for a full meal.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 10, 2017

The ambiance was good, though a band started warming up on the patio before the appetizer and was a distraction. $20 corkage seems a bit high. The cheese plate was very good. We both had the trout over Parmesan polenta, supposedly with a sauce. The polenta was inedible, literally. Cold and extremely dry, solid, would need a knife to cut it, but no need since we didn't want anymore after the first taste. The trout must have been prepared the day before. Very dry, cold, and with no discernible sauce. Brocollini would have been ok if it had been warm. Dinner for two topped $100, after gratuity, even though we brought our own bottle of wine. Overall a very disappointing dinner.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 9, 2017

Went there in the summer on a Tuesday night. Probably a big indoor bar scene in the winter and summer on the weekends. Food is mediocre.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Casual
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food2
ambience3
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value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 8, 2017

Have come here for many years. Always a great spot. Food & service excellent. Love sitting on the patio next to the river.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Good for a Date, Scenic View, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 7, 2017

Poor service. Missed order on both drinks and appetizer. Did not bring courses in order we requested (for our little one). Long wait for both dessert menu and check.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 5, 2017

River Ranch is in a great location with a beautiful view. The people are very friendly and the service is attentive and courteous. Unfortunately the food is not very well prepared. My wife ordered the crispy duck which was not crispy at all and seemed to have been prepared by someone not all that expert. I ordered the seared tuna which was the special of the day. The tuna was OK but one side of the steak still had the scales on it which I only discovered when I took a bite and had a mouthful of scales which I had to spit out. I've had tuna lots of places and that is the first time that has happened to me. I'm guessing that the cooks in the kitchen are taught how to put together the dishes on the menu but otherwise don't have much knowledge of cooking.

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Waterfront
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food1
ambience4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 5, 2017

Caesar Salad with Shrimp. Only Shrimp tails on the salad, the chef cut off the tails, put them on the salad, not the bodies. Chinese Salad had plastic from the Cabbage bag in the salad. It was ordered with optional chicken, came without, took 2o minutes to get the chicken. By the time all issues were corrected we had been there for 1 1/2 hours. This sounds like all this was made up, but it is the truth. It was a calamity of errors.

Not a pleasant experience. Our waiter was very nice and very embarrassed.

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food1
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 (Houston)·Dined on August 5, 2017

Generally good, but I wanted a filet, asked waiter if New York was good and tender his reply "it's been on the menu for 50 years " should have known.: very tough. Noisy bar area too. Not what it used to be.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 5, 2017

We enjoyed an early-ish outdoor dinner here with five adults. We wanted to love it for the location and the mouth-watering food pictures featured on their website and the opentable site. The location on the Truckee River is indeed beautiful, right off of 89 at the entrance to Alpine Meadows but quiet, didn't notice any road hum. Just the sound of the river and some fun and friendly noises of river rafters landing in the big swimming hole in front of the RR patio. But the food let us down. It was good but not stellar, especially for the higher prices. Desserts were a disappointment. Menu did not match what they feature online, and pictures were better than tastes. Biggest issue for us was that the service was very slow and our waiter did not know the menu. I ordered the special pasta which came with a red sauce when I had specifically asked about that and was told that it was olive-oil based and not a red sauce. If we hadn't been with friends, I'd have sent it back. All in all, we'd say this is a great place for lunch or happy hour but spend your hard-earned money somewhere else if looking for a true gourmet dinner experience.

Tags: Casual, Happy Hour, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 5, 2017

High quality food, attentive and professional service, nice location on the Truckee river.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Waterfront
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on July 29, 2017

As usual the fresh fish Halibut was outstanding,served with a cauliflower puree, topped with a tomato relish--the dining room is rather generic , and a great view is obscured with a Event Tent--very friendly staff--J

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 26, 2017

We had a wonderful table, with a river view. Our water was delughtful. The food was very good and the selection meet everyone's taste. I hope to return. Vicki from Sacramento

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Creative Cuisine, Seasonal
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food4
ambience5
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vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on July 25, 2017

We were a family of 10 with 3 children. We all enjoyed our meal choices with a lovely view of the river!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 22, 2017

The service and ambiance were excellent. Unfortunately, the two items we ordered, a French dip sandwich and the cheeseburger, were of average quality at way above average price. We will have to think twice before we go there again.

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food1
ambience5
service5
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 17, 2017

The view was great, and the food was tasteful and fulfilling. I was very satisfied and content celebrating my birthday and our first year anniversary at this place.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great Beer, Romantic, Good for Groups, Waterfront, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Afternoon Coffee
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 13, 2017

Our 2nd time here & still fantastic food & ambiance!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on July 8, 2017

We keep trying River Ranch but it's hit or miss. Last time we lived the pork tbone. This time it was over cooked and tough. We had a reservation at 7 and got seated at 7:25 after being sent to the bar.

Ended up with a great table by the river but food and service was lacking.

Tags: Cozy
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food1
ambience5
service2
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 7, 2017

Unfortunately our food was so disappointing that we chose to leave without eating. The starter calamari was not cooked all the way through. The duck entree was overcooked, the polenta was rock hard and the plates had none of the advertised sauce. The sandwich was cold. Our waiter seemed to have had a rough night dealing with lots of complaints.

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food1
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 (Sacramento)·Dined on July 5, 2017

Been dinning at River Ranch for over 25 years. We were seated quickly, but waited for 15-17 minutes before q waitress appeared. Said she was sorry, but under staffed. We ordered wine, and asked for bread and water. she said it would be right there. after 15 minutes, we had to ask another server for our bread and wine.

Finally got it, bread was doughy. We were ready to order dinner, but had to wait for waitress. We tried to flag her down, but to no avail. She headed for another table, and thankfully the couple told her we should be waited on first.

We ordered our dinner, and it finally arrived. I ordered trout, and the flesh part was almost a thick as the skin. My girlfriend ordered ravioli and toasted crostini, but it was missing the crostini. We called our waitress, told her about it, and she brought sliced crostini, but not toasted like the menu said.

Would not attend this restaurant again !!!

Tags: Scenic View
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food2
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 5, 2017

Just got back from dining here on July 5 and the food was very good as was the location right on the Truckee River, however the service was quite poor. We had a reservation and after some contemplation, the hostess showed us to a nice table right beside the river. We waited quite a while til the server, Meredith, showed up and took drink orders. She walked past us several times and about 15 minutes and then got 2 glasses of wine, but no water. We asked for water and then eventually she came by and said she would bring us some bread, but that also took way too long. We ordered dinner and it came in a reasonable time frame. We then had to ask for a dessert menu and coffee, which also took forever. It is also expected that the server come by a couple of times (with a smile) and ask if we would like anything else and if we were doing ok. This didn't happen. I'm not sure whether our server was just checked out or they were short-handed, but for the prices they charge, the service should be much better. Don't know if we'll give them another chance or not.

Tags: Scenic View
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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 4, 2017

The atmosphere was super with the river water so high. The rib eye steak was fatty and tough (hard to cut).

Tags: Waterfront, Kid-friendly
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food2
ambience4
service5
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 (Kansas City)·Dined on July 4, 2017

The hostess seemed to lack basic relational skills. No smile, no welcome, a very robotic person. Table staff was amazing and I would have given service 5 stars if it wasn't for the awkward hostess. The setting is amazing. The river is beautiful and there seemed to always be a great breeze.

The food was the problem. My friend ordered her stake medium and it came out well done. There was no pink inside at all. She sent it back and they brought her another one that really couldn't even be considered rare. It was still ice cold in the middle. Very frustrating that the kitchen can not seem to get a medium steak right. She ended up just eating a salad.

Several of us had the trout. It was an average piece of trout. Nothing outstanding about it. My wife had the pressed chicken and truly enjoyed it.

Not sure if we were there on a bad night or what. Great ambience and location. Be aware of the steak and true socially awkward hostess.

Joe

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food1
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 3, 2017

Mosquitos relentless!!! We had to leave!!!

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food1
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 3, 2017

Great location, good food but overpriced, horrible service (we waited about 30 min for our wine to be served, and 1h 10 min for the food)

Tags: Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
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service1
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vip
 (Tahoe)·Dined on July 3, 2017

3 out of 4 meals bad.... trout was as dry as could be, polenta from a box, a basic disaster!

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food1
ambience4
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value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 30, 2017

They treated us well. Service was great. Food was good. View was wonderful.

Tags: Scenic View, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
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service5
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 (Los Angeles)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Gorgeous setting on the Truckee River! Although the river is too high for rafting currently, the location is awesome.

Tags: People Watching, Great for Lunch, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Waterfront, Scenic View
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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 27, 2017

My husband & I ate inside. dinner was satisfactory. We went back 2 nites later with our daughter, husband & 3 grandkids. Was seated outside which was what we wanted. Res. was at 7:15. Got food at 8:30, minus a hamburger for 1 grandson. It finally arrived 15 minutes later & was not hamburger we ordered. By this time the mosquitos were feasting on us. We all had finished our meals, except for grandson who was waiting for correct hamburger. It came & was also not correct. We moved indoors to avoid mosquitos. Hamburger arrived finally Then another arrived. Mgr. and waitress got orders mixed up. They apologized saying the whole kitchen staff was new & they were having problems. I wished them luck on 4th of July! They comped the hamburger & drinks. Big deal after waiting over an hour for entrees & having grandson eat alone after waiting an additional half hour. I love the ambiance but they need to get their act together. Summer is here!

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on June 21, 2017

The food was terrific. The scenery is gorgeous! I highly recommend it!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Disabled Access, Waterfront, Neighborhood Gem, Great Beer
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food5
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 (Tahoe)·Dined on June 18, 2017

The River Ranch is a long-time favorite of ours. We always take new visitors to the Tahoe region to this restaraunt for a good classic Tahoe experience!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Live Sports, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
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service4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 16, 2017

Beautiful setting
2 of the appetizers were sold out - this is not the first time this has happened - on a Friday night no less!

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food4
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service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 15, 2017

Lovely spot with beautiful view of the Truckee River. Great outdoor as well as indoor dining.
Food is well prepared and interesting. The service was excellent. A lovely place for a special occasion or just a good meal out.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Cozy, Special Occasion
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food4
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 (San Diego)·Dined on June 11, 2017

My boyfriend and I dined here since we were staying in the Lodge. The service was great. I had the Elk which was delicious, but I do not recommend the Duck as my boyfriend said it was mostly fat and not worth the price paid for the amount of meat that is actually there. We would consider returning on a future visit and having the Elk.

Tags: Happy Hour, Waterfront, Scenic View
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food3
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service4
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 9, 2017

The service and food quality were a disappointment. They did not have the wine we requested & the waiter (purportedly the wine steward), recommend a wine that he claimed to be "buttery & oaky" -- it was no such thing, and not inexpensive. It was sharp and unpleasant to the point that we left the wine in our glasses and over half a bottle unpoured. Getting his attention for drinks was difficult at best. The caesar salad consisted of some large uncut leaves of romaine, a few shreds of parmesan and barely no dressing with a hint of lemon. The ribeye was sinuous and overcooked.
What a shame! We have been going to River Ranch for years. They must have changed the chef. Only worth the view of the beautiful Truckee and a drink at the bar. Seth is a wonderful, personable bar tender that makes great drinks.

Tags: Happy Hour, Waterfront
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food2
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on June 4, 2017

Good food and great view. We had a two for one coupon, but it was not honored on the final check total. I did not notice this until we left restaurant. This is why I did not consider the meal a good value.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Great for Outdoor Dining, Sunday Lunch
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food4
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 (Sacramento)·Dined on May 29, 2017

What happened to the River Ranch we loved? We were on time for our reservation and left standing at the door even though there were plenty of tables. We were then led to a table next to the kitchen door; we were seated elsewhere after asking for another table. It was 25 minutes before our dinner order was taken and the food was passable at best - limp salad, overcooked meat, dried out polenta. But the whole atmosphere was a turn off - the table was sticky, no one could close the window beside our table, the servers gathered to chat loudly with some friends who were dining and it seemed clear that customers were not the focus at least when we were there. River Ranch is not on our dining list!

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food2
ambience1
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 28, 2017

This was a disappointing meal. They are in the middle of changing chefs and management and the food was not up to the pricing. The rib eye steak was below standard, tough, and dried it while it was ordered as medium rare. We sent it back only to send the second one back. The meat was gray and not hot enough to melt the blue cheese butter. The manager credited the steaks. The elk was Dtr and over cooked too. My husbands ravioli with prawns was excellent. We will try the restaurant again later this summer. Right now they don't seem to be ready for the season. Very disappointing but the view of the Truckee river was great.

Tags: Scenic View, Seasonal
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 27, 2017

This night was tough. The chef walked out halfway through dinner, so the food wasn't great. We sent a steak back twice because it was over cooked. The waitress was wonderful and took one meal and appetizer off the bill for the fiasco.

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food3
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