Riva Grill celebrates 10 years at marina | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Riva Grill celebrates 10 years at marina

Ten years and a million Wet Woodys later, things have never looked better at the Riva Grill.

The Ski Run Marina’s redevelopment not only will make the Tahoe landmark more environmentally sound, but one of South Shore’s signature restaurants will also have an unobstructed view of Lake Tahoe. Part of the four-phase project, which will continue until 2012, will be placing all utility wires underground.

The Riva Grill, named after the wooden boats which are so popular at Tahoe, has a wood motif to go along with its spectacular view, casual atmosphere and fine dining.

“It’s not cheap, but it’s not the most expensive restaurant in town by far,” said manager Scott Craig. “It’s surprising how few lakefront restaurants there are at Tahoe.” Craig, who formerly worked at the restaurant’s sister site on the North Shore, Gar Woods, has managed the Riva Grill for nearly three years.

“It’s Lake Tahoe, so it’s a beach atmosphere,” he said. “Outdoors we set up umbrellas and heaters. Summer is our busy time.”

Winter is fine as well. The two-level 13,000-square-foot building is open for lunch and dinner 365 days a year. There are specials during holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day. On Thursday, Valentine’s Day, there will be specials on Kobe rib-eye steaks and Alaska king crab with a house specialty Godiva silk torte for dessert.

Another specialty is the wood-fired pizzas. The top seller, however, is the bacon-wrapped filet mignon and scampi with Point Reyes blue cheese butter.

Craig recommends the Australian lamb chops or the pistachio crusted halibut. There are plenty of seafood appetizers, such as pepper-seared ahi, dungeness crab cakes and, for soup, a shrimp-and-lobster bisque.

“We cut our own steaks and grind our own burgers, and I’d put our pizzas up against anybody’s,” Craig said.

And of course from the bar is the aforementioned blended rum concoction known as the Wet Woody. Other libations include the 25 ounce Big Woody, the Buenos D.SS. Caliente with Patron, Stoli and a shot of espresso and for those just off the slopes, there is a hot and creamy Warm Woody.

Fish Taco Fridays are from 6-10 p.m. and offer half-price fish tacos and Cornoas. Heavenly Mountain Resort and Rippin’ Willies give away a Flow snowboard every week along with lift tickets and other prizes. With a downstairs bar capacity of 100, the odds are good to walk away with some swag.

Upstairs has room for parties of up to 225 and are popular for wedding events and other get-togethers.

Guitarist Jackie Dauzat performs his own style of soft classic rock every Friday and Saturday.

In the summertime there is complementary valet parking, along with voucher parking. Ski Run Marina parking is always free in the winter.

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