When we asked our readers for recommendations in Tahoe (see more from our trip here), several people recommended Restaurant Trokay. When our friend Conner (a trained chef) also recommended told us to go, we knew it was a must. We planned to just grab snacks and a drink before heading back to our house and cooking dinner, but once we saw the tasting menu, we decided to stay for the whole experience. If you are planning a trip to Tahoe, Restaurant Trokay is a must.
We’ll spare everyone a recital of the entire menu (the pictures speak for themselves!), but wanted to share some of the highlights. Let’s get this out of the way up front: we are not restaurant critics and don’t want to be, and we do not care about Michelin stars, but based on our experience, Restaurant Trokay will give all the Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco a run for their money. When Clayton told some friends back in the city that we had one of our favorite dinners of all time in Truckee, their response was “In Truckee??” Yes, in Truckee. The secret is out, it’s even in The New York Times.
We think pink bubbles are always a good idea, and they were the perfect start to the tasting menu. Our favorite presentation of the amuse-bouches were the crisps served on a charred Manzanita branch (one of Clayton’s favorite trees). These little green apple and celery bites are filled with liquid and pop in your mouth, which is really fun.
The Sierras (both the landscape and the ingredients) are the inspiration for the tasting menu. This course, “Snow and Ice,” is made of foie gras shavings. How do you shave foie gras? Magic. The “Fire and Smoke” with clay cinders and Mt. Lassen trout (below) comes out under a dome of actual juniper smoke.
Above is “A Taste of the Sea,” with blue crab, Taylor Bay scallop, and sea urchin. The plating is just stunning (it’s brushed with fennel oil for an ombre effect). The “Walk in the Woods” is another forest-inspired dish, with beef carpaccio and local Sierra porcini.
Probably our favorite dinner course was the “Elements of Paella” with langoustines, seared tableside by Chef John Weathersonon on a slab of local Sierra granite that is heated to over 1200 degrees under an infrared broiler. He was inspired to cook on the granite after discovering that it retained so much heat during a hike with his family.
The dessert courses were just as beautiful as the rest of the menu. The “Huckleberry Snow, with White Fir and Pine Nut” has actually made with white fir and tastes like Christmas! Our favorite was probably the “Inspirations from Moon Dune Beach,” which looks like a beautiful tidepool and has a chocolate boulder and choclolate driftwood.
Chefs and owners John and Nyna Weatherson moved to Truckee to start their own restaurant after working at the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Daniel and the famous Murray’s Cheese in New York. We can’t say enough good things about this place! Everything, from the food, to the service, to the beverage pairings, was just perfect. If you’re headed out to Tahoe, make sure to find time for dinner at Restaurant Trokay.
Thank you to Restaurant Trokay for such amazing hospitality.