EAT This Week: Riva Grill’s Grilled Australian Lamb Chops

Rob Galloway
Riva Grill’s Grilled Australian Lamb Chops is the week’s featured EAT dish.

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.

Lamb might be the meat that most people assign the “gamey” moniker to. No, we’re not talking about eating dinner around the Monopoly board, it’s that distinct flavor that’s a little more pronounced than what you’re probably more familiar with. But, if done right, like this weeks dish, you can kiss that moniker goodbye.

The flavor starts with a marinade bath of Dijon, lavender, rosemary, honey, thyme, salt, and pepper. That soak goes for one to two days and the combination of Dijon and lavender help to tame that wild gaminess.

It’s then pulled from marinade and fired on the grill to deliver those well-placed pockets of char. Each Frenched chop is placed around a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and stacked bonfire style with spears of asparagus. Yes, it gets even better.

A moat of blueberry demi glace is placed around the centerpiece and an additional stream of basil oil sets up the outer force field. The result is an extremely tender bite that gets a poke of sweetness from the blueberry, but gets mellowed out by the smoky char and earthiness of the basil oil.

Like a linebacker staging a well-timed blitz, the mustard picks its spots perfectly and comes through in well-flavored bursts. There are layers of complexity that lean on each other so that each bite is simple yet packed with piquancy. Never did I ever think I’d use the word piquancy in a sentence, but there you go.

Do yourself a favor and sweep the garlic mash through the abundant amount of glace and basil oil. That little pillow of goodness is about as exciting as Cole Trickle pulling the draft move at the end of “Days of Thunder.” Well, maybe not quite that exciting, but you should enjoy it just as much.

Riva Grill is located at 900 Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. For further information and menu items visit them online at or reach them by phone at 530-542-2600.

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