Lone Eagle Grille boasts one of the most picturesque dining spots in Tahoe. The restaurant nestled along the shores of Lake Tahoe offers sweeping views of the mountains with stunning sunsets that radiate alpenglow hues of pink and oranges illuminating the evening sky. It is truly a magnificent backdrop for dinner and cocktails.
The dining room was alive with activity — bottles of wine being poured, plates of food being delivered, and the aroma of deliciousness filled the air.
I had the pleasure of attending the restaurant’s first Wine Maker’s Dinner hosted by Blackbird Vineyards. Chef Shane Hammett paired each wine selection with an amazing five-course meal. Christie Lee joined me along with Kressa Olguin, marketing manager for Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.
The dining room was alive with activity — bottles of wine being poured, plates of food being delivered, and the aroma of deliciousness filled the air. Chef Hammett arrived at our table with the first course of crispy Kumamoto oysters. The oysters were flown in the night before from Puget Sound, Wash. They were lightly breaded and served with an apple relish and Niman Ranch prosciutto. The dish was paired with the Blackbird Vineyards Dissonance Sauvignon Blanc poured by one of the three house sommeliers on the floor.
Paul Leary, president of Blackbird Vineyards, was walking around the dining room, chatting about the wine with diners. He explained that it was fermented in an Amphora vessel, a technique used by the Romans and that this wine was like a Bordeaux Blanc. It was light and crisp and paired well with the first course. The oysters were wonderful. The combination of the sweet apples, salty prosciutto and crispy oysters followed by the wine was not only delicious but a perfect match.
The second course was a Foie Gras Mousse with both grilled and fresh strawberries topped with a basil brioche crumble and watercress and finished off with golden balsamic. The combination of the salty mousse and sweet berries in this dish was excellent and delicious with the housemade bread. The mousse was served with Blackbird Vineyards Arena Rosé from San Francisco. The grapes for this wine were grown from 135-year-old vines planted in 1886. It was luscious, dry and fruity and paired nicely the Foie Gras mousse and berries.
Leary came by and poured the Blackbird Vineyard Arise, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The label is a reference to the Beatles song “Blackbird” lyrics: “You were only waiting for this moment to arise.” The wine was rich and smooth with hints of blackberries. I loved this wine as my preference for reds took center stage.
This wine was poured to accompany Chef Hammett’s third course: a 28-day dry-aged American Waygu Striploin cooked rare with grilled trumpet mushrooms in a chicory, black truffle vinaigrette and avocado chimichurri. The tender beef was cooked to perfection.
I loved the chimichurri and black truffle sauce drizzled atop the strip. The mushroom was delightfully smoky. Each dish seemed to raise the bar and outdo the one before it. My taste buds were having quite the experience.
When the chef dropped by with the fourth course, a smoked Niman Ranch Lamb Belly atop a sunchoke puree with poached Cipollini onion, Leary poured the Blackbird Paramour Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite reds and it paired so well with the lamb belly I just about died and left my body. The chef braised the lamb and served it with a cocoa rosemary jus. The sunchoke puree was creamy and buttery with a touch of sweetness to it.
The evening was completed with a most decadent Chocolate Raspberry Bombe. It was garnished candied raspberries, espresso chocolate sauce and Chambord Anglaise. The sweet and tangy chocolaty ball of goodness melted in my mouth and delighted my taste buds. It was one of the most unique and luscious desserts I’ve indulged in.
“I enjoyed the creative food and knowing that the chef considered the key ingredient in his food love. It enhanced the overall experience and created the atmosphere and ambience for the evening,” Lee said about the evening.
Kressa guided us through the restaurants amazing dining experience with her knowledge and easy flow of interesting conversation. For me, the evening was a gastronomic experience from beginning to end. I look forward to returning.
The Lone Eagle Grille curates the Wine Maker’s Dinner series throughout the year. | loneeaglegrille.com