Thai Tuna Cones Red Curry Lime Ponzu, Peanuts, Mixed Peppers, Coconut, Cucumber, Micro Cilantro
One of their signature appetizers. The three cones are served in a wrought-iron stand, which is very “Plump-jack” in style. The cones themselves are thin and crispy. The heat of the spice is nicely balanced. Not over-the-top but tasty and easy to eat. I would order this again.
"Surf and Turf "Pan Seared California Abalone, Red Wine Braised Escargot, Green Onion, Baby Mushrooms, Parsley Emulsion
The coating on the abalone (it was breaded) was very nice, but the abalone had virtually no-abalone-like taste. The mâche garnish was DOA – it should not have been on the plate (and, mâche has an incredible shelf life!). The escargot were on the chewy side and were either just edible or okay. They didn’t seem fresh or very good.
Niman Ranch Pork Duo $28 - Braised Pork Belly, Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Candied Apple Compote, Apple-Brined Tenderloin, Butternut Squash Puree, Apple-Maple Gastrique
The apple compote was on the sweet side. The pork belly was too fatty and greasy (and not flavorful enough to balance that). The tenderloin was the best part. The brussel sprouts with bacon were shredded and quite good…the dish, overall, was very good.
Grilled Day-Boat Seafood Paella $30 - Scallops, Jumbo Prawn, Clams, Mussels, Spanish Chorizo, Saffron Rice, Asparagus Tips
One jumbo prawn, two mussels, small bay scallops, only tiny bits of chorizo. The very small clams in their shells were nice. The saffron rice was very good. Overall good but I wouldn’t order it again.
Wine List: For Squaw Valley and Tahoe, the wine list is second to Graham's, and prices range from bargain to not-at-all. It has some good choices but it seems like it should be better (and that's a criticism of all of the Plumpjack restaurants). Also, there were some misspellings (and also at the Balboa cafe) - no excuse for a small chain that owns a winery and a wine shop!
Note on children’s menu:
Young diner’s menu is mac & cheese, pasta and cheese, red sauce or butter, breaded fried boneless chicken (served with mashed potatoes and broccoli) or cheese quesadilla. Thomas Kemper soda is featured on the kids menu but has HFCS.
Cocktail – Cosmo – great. The Bartender is on the job. I had one of their coffee drinks at the bar on another occasion and it was wonderful too.
Dessert: Baked Alaska - nothing special and it's made in the traditional style. Quite on the sweet side - we took it back to our room. Along with chocolates to finish.
Plumpjack Café Squaw Valley
December 12, 2006 - Dinner
Amuse: Watermelon with mango, pecorino and Balsamic.
Lobster Bisque – dark stock. Good part was there was a definite lobster element and that the richness was not too much cream. But it was bitter on the finish and not that enjoyable to eat.
Scallops – The scallops were great – 8.5/10. The puree was unrecognizable as asparagus – too much lemon. A nice little citrus sprout salad on the side
Lamb – heavy on the pepper crust. The loin was not that tender (or flavorful) hence needing the pepper crust. Not enough sauce to balance. The potatoes a little al dente. Parmesan puff pretty dumpling-esque and a weird accompaniment.
Steak - Good, did not at all satisfy a hunger for steak.
Wine list – The prices are very reasonable. Wine list is good – great for not being in a major city. $15 corkage.
Cheese Pizza – Good when hot – almost inedible (hard) when cooled. Cheese too browned not burned but overcooked. Good sauce.
2002 Bocquenet Vosne Romanee La Croix Blanche- Very berry, nicely balanced. Drinks well. Could benefit from some decanting time.
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.