Which side are you on?

By Katie Morell

If you prefer North Lake Tahoe, or your loyalties lie with the South, there’s really no wrong answer when it comes to seemingly everyone’s favorite weekend getaway. In the interest of maintaining peace between both sides, we invited northern chef John Weatherson (Restaurant Trokay) and southerner Frank Stagnaro (Edgewood Restaurant) to give the scoop on their favorite spots.

North Lake

Multiple ski resorts dot the landscape, the nicest being Squaw Valley (in Olympic Valley) and Northstar (in Truckee)—both have alpine-style villages complete with shops, condos for rent and restaurants. The Ritz is always worth a visit, if only to snag a seat next to the fireplaces that dot its stone patio (a stellar place for an après ski beverage). Four years ago, Weatherson and wife, Nyna, opened Restaurant Trokay as one of the region’s only fine-dining establishments. The spot has a 10-course tasting menu, four-course prix fixe menu and a vegetarian menu.

Restaurant Trokay: “It’s my place, but I hardly ever eat there. I’d order the tasting menu, no question. We specialize in modern gastronomy.”

Lone Eagle Grill: “Imagine a 10,000-square-foot ski cabin on the beach where the dining room is on the first floor—and that’s the Lone Eagle Grill. It’s at the Hyatt in Incline Village. I love to take people there from out of town.”

Squaw Valley: “Squaw offers some of the most challenging ski terrain in the country.”

Old Town Tap: “A new restaurant in Truckee. They have artisanal Neapolitan pizza, and wine and beer on tap.”

Spa at the Ritz: “If you are looking for high-end things to do, there is nothing better than the Ritz’s spa.”

South Lake

This shore, which summons nightlife enthusiasts and outdoor adventurists with its mishmash of casinos and ski slopes, has seen somewhat of a culinary renaissance in the past year with the opening of multiple restaurants, including Sidellis Brewery and Restaurant, Izabella Ristorante Italiano and Revive Coffee & Wine. Meanwhile, boutique properties such as Coachman Hotel and Hotel Becket have sprung up. South siders have long known about Edgewood—a lakeside golf course and adjoining restaurant—but come summer they are in for a treat: In June, the property will unveil a 154-room hotel, spa and convention area.

Lake Tahoe Golf Course: “I love playing a round of golf there when it gets warm. I’ll also golf at Edgewood when I get a chance.”

Edgewood Restaurant: “Our food is fantastic. I especially like the elk chop with the sundried cherry relish.”

Summer Concerts at Harvey’s: “They put on concerts in the summer behind the property. Last year I saw James Taylor, Train and Keith Urban.”

Evans: “A little restaurant that I really enjoy. The menu changes seasonally and it is on the high-end side.”

Get Sporty: “I love to go kayaking on the lake. It is incredibly peaceful.”

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