On weekends and in high season, expect a long wait at the more popular restaurants. And expect to pay resort prices almost everywhere. Some restaurants are only open six out of 12 months a year; during the "shoulder seasons" (from April to May and September to November), some places may close temporarily or limit their hours, so call ahead. Also, check local papers for deals and discounts during this time, especially two-for-one coupons. Many casinos use their restaurants to attract gamblers. Marquees often tout "$8.99 prime rib dinners" or "$2.99 breakfast specials." Some of these meals are downright lousy and they are usually available only in the coffee shops and buffets, but at those prices, it's hard to complain. The finer restaurants in casinos deliver pricier food, as well as reasonable service and a bit of atmosphere. Unless otherwise noted, even the most expensive area restaurants welcome customers in casual clothes.
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FiftyFifty Brewing Company
Graham's of Squaw Valley1650 Squaw Valley Rd. 530-581–0454
FiftyFifty Brewing Company
In this Truckee brewpub, warm red tones and comfy booths, plus a pint of the Donner Party porter, will take the nip out of a cold day on the slopes. The menu includes salads, burgers, and the house specialty, a pulled-pork sandwich, plus barbecued ribs and pan-seared salmon. Their inventive pizzas are popular anytime. There's a full bar along with the brews, and lots of après-ski action.
Graham's of Squaw Valley
Sit by a floor-to-ceiling river-rock hearth under a knotty-pine peaked ceiling in the intimate dining room in the Christy Inn Lodge. The southern European–inspired menu changes often, but expect hearty entrées such as grilled beef tenderloin with wild mushroom sauce, along with lighter-fare small plates like quail with fig demi-glace. You can also stop in at the fireside bar for appetizers and wine from Graham's highly regarded wine list.
Incline Village's hidden gem serves expertly prepared French-country cuisine in a relaxed, romantic dining room. The chef-owner makes everything himself, using organically grown ingredients. Expect such dishes as pâté de campagne, escargot, herb-crusted roast lamb and fresh fish. Try the five-course prix-fixe menu ($54), which can be paired with award-winning wines. Service is gracious and attentive. This restaurant is hard to find, so ask for directions when you book.
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