Evan’s American Gourmet celebrating 35 years of award-winning food, service

Charbroiled New York Steak with exotic mushroom Demi glaze.
Ashleigh Goodwin/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe is celebrating 35 years of serving up award winning service, food, wine and experiences in South Lake Tahoe.

The cafe, operated by Evan and Candace Williams, 40-year locals with 75 combined restaurant experience, is recognized as the “best Apres Ski Restaurant” in Tahoe by Outside Magazine.

According to Tahoe Weekly Magazine, it is “Sensory Heaven in a quaint Tahoe cabin in South Lake Tahoe … a food and wine retreat that is the top Zagat rated dining experience in the region.”

Evan told the Tribune he worked in the restaurant in 1978 the same year he became a wine buyer and purchased the restaurant from its previous owner in 1988. 

Seating is limited, with only 70 seats served nightly between two services. Reservations are taken in advance. 

Evan and Candace Williams owners and operators of Evan’s American Gourmet.

According to the website, Evans takeout order provides the unique and special opportunity for a sunset dinner on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

The main staple entres remain the same but season additions for sides and salads filter through.

The return of farmers markets means the return of a seasonal fan favorite grilled watermelon salad with vine ripened tomatoes, goat cheese, and fresh basil with a balsamic drizzle that “sells itself,” Evan said. 

Beginning in the pantry in 2009, Head Chef Oscar Herrera worked his way up through the ranks of the restaurant to become the lead in the kitchen and has been using his talents for crafting surprising and delightful dishes. 

Oscar Herrera and the “flagship desert”
Ashleigh Goodwin/Tahoe Daily Tribune

“We are a destination for a nice night out,” 17-year resident of Tahoe and an employee of Evan’s, Tina Schultz, said of the quaint location just a mile from the busy “Y” intersection at 536 Emerald Bay Road. 

Herrera and his team pride themselves in every detail of each dish, prepared to order. 

Appetizers are packed with flavor as robust as the entrees and similar generous portions.

Many of the dishes showcase the “American” influence which has a heavy helping of Latin and French flare.  

The menu is filled with complex and vibrant flavor combinations such as the roasted quail stuffed with crispy duck sausage cranberries and pine nuts over a bed of arugula, drizzled with honey and pomegranate or the savory chile cheesecake that pairs an elote flavor punch with a seafood twist.

The Savory cheesecake is topped with Maine lobster salad and sauteed white corn fricassee with a duet of avocado and chipotle aiolis.

Savory Cheesecake and crispy duck sausage cranberry stuffed quail.
Ashleigh Goodwin/Tahoe Daily Tribunue

All dishes, according to Schultz, are gluten free. 

Don’t forget to try the “flagship dessert,” the Blackberry Chocolate Crème Brûlée Tart, a creation thanks to the kitchen genius of Anthony Pulera. 

Last but not least, drop them a note on a comment card, they read and keep every single one. 

All comment cards are kept in house.
Ashleigh Goodwin Tahoe Daily Tribune

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