South Tahoe French restaurant adds flavor to the food scene
What: Mirabelle at Lake Tahoe
On the menu: Country French
Where: 290 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, NV, 89449
Hours: Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
STATELINE — Since iconic French restaurant Mirabelle at Lake Tahoe re-opened its doors last December, it infused new flavor on the Kingsbury Grade.
Mirabelle at Tahoe celebrated a ceremonial grand re-opening Aug. 24 as the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce welcomed the restaurant back to town.
For Chef Ken Druley and floor manager Kathleen Pressey, it’s a show of support since they purchased the business in November 2014.
“For the Chamber it’s a grand re-opening. For us it’s continuing as usual, but with their backing and help,” Druley said.
According to Pressey, a lot of people still don’t know Mirabelle re-opened after its brief closure last September.
The restaurant originally opened in 2000 under Chef Camille Schwartz’s ownership. Schwartz closed Mirabelle because he wanted to spend time with his wife in Santa Barbara.
“When we re-opened, we knew that Camille had a very loyal following, so the idea was to keep the menu similar,” Druley said.
Druley said his cooking style differs from Schwartz, but most of the cuisine tastes the same. He worked as Mirabelle’s sous chef for a year when Schwartz retired in September.
Druley had been in the Tahoe area for more than two years, and he has 20 years as a cook under his belt, including in kitchens located in Napa Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. He described Mirabelle’s menu as “County French.”
“The plating is a little more rustic, and you’re going to have one or two dominant flavors on your dish,” he explained.
With 16 tables, Mirabelle offers a cozy atmosphere with an intimate setting.
“It’s nice to be a small restaurant because it allows us to change our menus often,” Druley said. “That keeps the local regulars happy, and it keeps myself and the kitchen staff from getting stale and bored with the food.”
New changes, at least for the summer menu, include a crispy sweet bread loaded with local nectarines, tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese.
Menu recommendations include foie gras and the chef’s pasta of the day.
South Tahoe resident Elizabeth Needham, who attended Monday’s ceremony, said she was excited that Mirabelle re-opened. A French degree-holder, Needham said she spent time in France.
“I don’t normally eat at French restaurants in the states, but it sounds like Chef Ken knows what he is doing,” Needham said.
Mirabelle now serves up lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner hours begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.mirabelleatlaketahoe.com