In December 2008, there were two new welcome additions to the Squaw Valley Dining choices. We visited both on a January 2009 trip, but the restaurants are not open yet a month so full reviews will have to wait.
Soupa offers soups with Squaw Valley Bread and pressed sandwiches, with a focus on organic ingredients. They also have pastries and cookies made in-house. There are bar stools so you can eat at the small counter or you can take your food togo in compostable containers. We tried the tomato bisque, buffalo chili, beef and tomato soup, and cheese and ham sandwiches. Visited twice so far.
Twenty-two Bistro & Bar is the new restaurant of the locally well-known Chef Billy McCullough of the Dragonfly in Truckee and restaurateur Ray Villaman.
The focus is on local and sustainable ingredients (McCullough is a Slow Food advocate but serves Heinz HFCS ketchup), with small share plates, soups, salads and sandwiches/burgers. In the evening a small roster of attractive entrees is added to the menu.
Twenty-two resides in the old Balboa Cafe space, so it has lots of tables both inside and out and an attractive bar. We tried the sweet potato fries, the Snake River Farms Kobe Burger and the Thai Noodle soup with prawns.
This pub is part of a small chain. They have a good selection of pub beers on draft, such as Smithwicks. The food was okay. I had Boxty with shepherds pie filling – if I returned I would order the shepherd’s pie by itself. The Boxty had with no character and did nothing for the shepherd's pie inside. Jack had the Irish stew, which had a reddish tint - it made us raise an eyebrow. The mashed potatoes were better than the stew and a weird accompaniment since the stew already had potatoes in it. Trent had Fish & Chips. The fish was nice and white, with good chips and decent tartar sauce.
They have a huge menu for the size of the place. I think with some items, they're more hit and miss. Décor-wise, the pub was built in Ireland, then dismantled, shipped over and reassembled. It’s nicely done.
Last visited: March 2007
Lunch at Auld Dubliner was very pleasant on their sunny patio. Our order of Caesar Salad, Sausage Rolls (never order again!), Shepherd's Pie and Fish & Chips was met mostly with feelings of this is an okay lunch spot, especially if beer is desired.
Plumpjack Bar Visited March 14, 2007 - Lunch
The Plumpjack Squaw Valley restaurant serves only dinner in the main part of the restaurant. Lunch is available in the bar. The food is quite a different experience from the Pumpjack Balboa Cafe.
Soup of the Day – Butternut Squash
Good. Nice balance of cream to squash, and not too heavy. Good acidity. Could have been slightly warmer.
Swiss Fondue - $18 House-made bread, Apples, Grapes, Broccoli, Baby Potatoes, Chicken-Apple Sausage A nice surprise – the fondue is Gruyere and Fontina, and really mild. No grapes today but all the other elements. Served in a little Staub pot. A couple of the baby potatoes had been growing before blanching and were not de-eyed. Other than that, it was recommended.
We ordered a custom pizza of Kalamata olives and bacon. The crust was nice and crisp. The bacon was a bit overdone. Good ratio of toppings to crust. Good.
We asked to sit outside even though the lunch seating was in the bar inside and they said no problem at all. They were very accommodating to menu changes.
We had a bottle of 2003 Feudi Gregorio Greco di Tufo, which was a nice choice with both the soup and fondue, and was very pleasant to drink on its own. The lemonade was not too sweet and adult-worthy.
They have an interesting selection and you can find something to take to dinner. They'd been only open for a month when we visited in March, 2007.
They have about a dozen wines-by-the-glass, that, although not interesting to me, were still above average. The cheeses are small factory rather than artisan or farmstead. This is a store I would return to - and will when we return to the area. (- Jack)
Blue Coyote Sports Bar
"A place for burgers, wings and sports as well as steaks, ribs, salads and Mexican dishes" We did not visit on our last trip.
Individual pizzas are a hefty $12, making the special pizzas a bargain, as it would cost much more to order the same a-la-carte. Jack ordered the Hawaiian. I ordered bacon and roasted peppers on an individual pizza. Trent had just bacon (kalamata olives is their only olive choice). The kids menu is limited to just cheese, or cheese and pepperoni. Trent’s pizza ended up costing as much as ours did. We asked for some ice cream to add to the Thomas Kemper Root Beer that they have on draft, but their soft serve machine was broken. Pizzas are rich and heavy. I was not excited about this place. We did not return on our next visit to Squaw.
This is your one choice for sushi at the Village at Squaw Valley. After perusing their mostly small plate and maki menu, I was dubious. Still, we ordered sashimi - (the chef suggested Hamachi, Albacore and Ahi), one of their signature rolls KANI KAMA HAMA YAMA (a mountain of hamachi salad on top of a california roll with wasabi cream sauce), edamame, miso soup (a darker type than we are used to – and the cubes of tofu were tiny), fried tofu balls (panko coated with 3-dipping sauces), Gyoza with shrimp. All the food was fresh and good. Certainly on the rotation list if you were to spend a week here. We would return. They have some good beer on draft and a small bar as well as some sushi bar seating (where we sat). It appears they may show films in season as they have a pull down movie screen and projector. Menu FrontMenu Back
Mamasake March, 2007 Revisit - Lunch
This was our second visit for lunch. While the food seemed okay, Jack was unimpressed with the overall cleanliness of the place. We decided to forgo salmon and tuna sashimi. The sushi rolls are good but the sushi chefs seem to have been working for months rather than years. Both times we dined there, the wait-staff were slow and a bit "head-in-the-clouds", even though the place was empty. They have a small patio out front. Joanne says the rolls are fine and mostly contain cooked or heavily spiced ingredients. Jack says, "never again."
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.