EAT This Week: Riva Grill’s Prime Rib French Dip

This week's featured EAT dish is Riva Grill's Prime Rib French Dip.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

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. 

The traditional meat used in a French Dip is typically sliced roast beef. So when you come across a sandwich that is upping the ante to prime rib, you have to get excited. Yes, I am completely aware that when all is said and done prime rib is still technically roast beef, but I assure you it is not the same — none more evident than in this week’s feature. 

Starting with the meat, it gets a simple treatment of salt and pepper before going into the beef sauna where it roasts and cooks down in its own fat and juices for about five hours. Those juices are extracted to create the dipping jus (more on that soon) and the meat is thinly shaved before getting piled high on a sweet French roll. When I say piled high, I mean stacked like a Jenga game on steroids — there’s no shortage of beef here. 

Joining the sandwich slumber party are caramelized onions, a house-made horseradish cream, and melted Gruyere cheese. I am told there are some additional accompaniments that will send this even further over the moon (mushrooms, bacon, etc.), but you might want to walk before you start running. 

Yeah, the French Dip is usually a shrapnel-laden eat, but if you just succumb to the process, the reward is amazing. The meat is so tender, and with its slightly crusted edges, you not only get deep flavors, but texture, to boot. The jus, in all it’s deeply beefy richness soaks into the bread and coats the beef like a cherry on top of vanilla ice cream — it’s the perfect punctuation point. 

The horseradish cream lends a little bit of a bite and the onions give an added layer of texture and depth of flavor. In all, this sandwich sings like Pavarotti on a karaoke machine, it takes simple ingredients and blows the doors off the end result. 

Note: Riva Grill is back open from early winter break this weekend, so plan your tasting accordingly.  

Riva Grill is located at 900 Ski Run Blvd., Suite No. 3 in South Lake Tahoe. For menu and more information, visit them online at or reach out via phone at 530-542-2600.  

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