South Shore’s The Lake House Restaurant opens its doors |

South Shore’s The Lake House Restaurant opens its doors

Autumn Whitney
The Lake House Restaurant opened its doors on Monday, Oct. 31.
Autumn Whitney / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Filet mignon. Steelhead trout. Duck. Burgers. All this and more can be found on the menu of The Lake House Restaurant, one of the newest eateries on the South Shore. The upscale menu, combined with Tahoe-inspired photography found on the walls, result in a classy, yet casual, ambiance that fit with its location.

“We wanted to create a place that was diamonds and denim — upscale food, wine and beer, but without being pretentious,” Jeff Sparrow, who owns the restaurant with his wife, said.

“We have food that people have never tried, and we want them to try it here. Our goal is to make people feel comfortable, ask questions, try new things and broaden their horizons.”

An additional goal was to create a diverse menu that surpasses categorization.

“I don’t want people to pigeonhole me — the place defies a one-word description,” Sparrow explained.

The Lake House Restaurant opened on Monday, Oct. 31, after approximately nine months of renovation. What started as a small-scale project quickly became much larger after coming across additional items that required close attention.

“We gutted the place. The bathrooms were ancient, and we wanted to make them ADA compliant, so we had to hire a contractor,” Sparrow said.

With the work completed, the final list of upgrades included re-wiring, plumbing, new flooring, lighting and more. The site, formerly home to Passaretti’s Italian Restaurant, originally had an outdoor patio, but the Sparrows enclosed it to maximize indoor dining space.

Opening a restaurant has been a goal of the Sparrows’ for some time. The couple were caterers prior to creating The Lake House Restaurant, and much of their team has stayed the same during the transition — a handful of staff members have worked together for more than five years. The newest addition is chef Jimi Nakamatsu, who was formerly part of the culinary team at Kalani’s.

“I think of them as the bosses — I owe it to them,” Sparrow said.

The Lake House Restaurant is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Lunch is served until 2:30 p.m., happy hour concludes at 5 p.m., and dinner begins afterward. The eatery is located at 1181 Emerald Bay Road. Menus and additional information are available at

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