A Summer Northstar California Ski Resort Food Tour

Quick, when you think ski resort food, what comes to mind? Perhaps cafeteria-style restaurants serving up overcooked hamburgers, pretzels, chili, and if you’re lucky, chili in a bread bowl. That’s not exactly the motivation you need to get back on the slopes after lunch. However, ski resorts have started upping their food game, not the least of which is Northstar California Resort in North Lake Tahoe. But while I familiarized myself last winter with Northstar’s ski slopes, I teamed up with Northstar this summer to discover its food scene. Here’s what I found on my summer Northstar California Ski Resort food tour.

Northstar Brewmaster Dinner Series

I’m kind of obsessed with food and drink pairings. No, not like wine and cheese pairings, but the really good stuff, like multi-course cocktail and food pairings, and in this case, a five-course food and beer pairing.

Northstar’s Brewmaster Dinner Series takes place a couple times over the summer at Martis Valley Grille, overlooking Martis Valley and the Northstar Golf Course. For each dinner, Northstar’s executive chef, Steve Anderson, teams up with a different brewery for a five-course tasting menu in which each course is paired with a different brewery. Best dinner ever? I recently shared about the July brewmaster dinner, which was with Northern California’s Blue Frog/DNA Brewing. Meanwhile, the next Northstar brewmaster dinner is in September with Los Angeles brewery, Golden Road. Needless to say, I left in a food coma.

Mid-mountain at Downhill Grille + Bar

While most of the food and drink action at Northstar California goes down in The Village, I actually continued my Northstar California Ski Resort food tour mid-mountain at Downhill Grille. And it couldn't have been a better afternoon for it. I sat on the deck watching mountain bikers come down Northstar’s flowing trails, which I had previously seen caked in snow, but in the summer is one of the West Coast’s best mountain bike parks.

But it only got better. I was pleased to discover that not only were tacos on the menu, but they were a crowd favorite. And these were serious tacos, featuring several pieces of seared ahi tuna stacked on a huge soft tortilla. It may just have been the most filled taco I’ve ever had. Naturally, I washed it down with a margarita. You can get a first-hand look at it below (plus, a glimpse of ahi tacos all over my face).

Tavern 6330' in the Village at Northstar

A summer theme continued on my Northstar California Ski Resort food tour in The Village at Tavern 6330'. Picture your iconic ski resort tavern at the bottom of a ski resort, and you probably aren’t too far off from Tavern 6330’. Bonus points for its patio that looks out into The Village and bike trails.

Tavern 6330’ was actually the biggest surprise on my Northstar California Ski Resort food tour, since the food and drinks resembled something I’d expect from dining al fresco beachfront in Santa Monica, California, and not at the base of a ski resort. I started with some greens, consisting of the chilled beets salad with arugula, shallots, goat cheese, and stone mustard vinaigrette. I followed that with the farmers market fruit, featuring fresh peaches, figs, arugula, brie cheese, and sweet onion jam on a crostini. It coupled nicely with the house Tom Collins cocktail, which featured a citrus- and sage-infused gin they create in-house. Now that's what I call a summer farmers market party in my mouth.

Desserting at Dorinda's Chocolates

You didn’t really think that I’d do a food tour and not have a dessert stop now did you? Well enter Dorinda's Chocolates, coming from Dorinda Vance, known to some as the Duchess of Chocolate, who has been making chocolate since the age of 12. While Dorinda’s main storefront is on Reno’s riverfront, you’ll find another one of her chocolate shops tucked away in The Village at Northstar. I dare you to leave without a handful (or mouthful) of chocolates. Being the middle of summer, naturally I opted for the ice cream sandwiched between a couple homemade chocolate cookies. Okay, so perhaps I walked out with a couple truffles too.

Beer and food pairings, farmers market-inspired dishes, fresh tacos, and homemade chocolate. It wasn’t your everyday ski resort fare. After all this I had to be rolled out of Northstar, and then took a very long nap. And then worked out for a week straight.