Food & Wine

Winter Warm-Up

With Lake Tahoe’s winter season now underway, one phrase immediately comes to mind: après-ski. And the Village at Northstar now offers a brand new restaurant conceived just for it, with the opening of Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub Northstar. “I’ve had my eye on the region for a long time and we’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to expand to Tahoe,” the celebrated chef says of the lodge-like locale, which officially opened this past November. “When the opportunity arose to partner with Vail Resorts and join their incredible portfolio, it was a no-brainer. We’ve been chatting with them for a while about what would be the right fit in Northstar, and I wanted to create a place that would be perfect after a day on the slopes.”

Indeed, with a menu of “elevated pub favorites” (more on those in a moment), and “mountain-modern” interiors designed by San Francisco-based ROY (think: camel leather and buffalo check), the effect is similar to a warm welcome-home to a grand cabin, complete with mudroom to store winter wear before cozying up to a vintage board game and ordering a craft cocktail with some of that pub fare. “When I want something healthy, there are a handful of nourishing vegetarian dishes including the Avocado Hummus, Veggie ‘Philly,’ and Cauliflower Steak,” Mina says of his personal favorites. “If I’m looking to splurge, the Bourbon Pub Nachos are a signature dish at all of our Bourbon Pub locations.”

This opening marks the third Bourbon Pub location for MINA Group, which has over 40 restaurants now under its umbrella including two other Bourbon Pubs (in Santa Clara and at SFO). And this space, at the base of the Big Springs Gondola, is all its own. As on-site Executive Chef Jon Blackley says, “Northstar is renowned for its unique style of ‘California laid-back luxury,’ of which Bourbon Pub is an embodiment, bringing people together not simply to have a meal, but also to share in a memorable culinary experience.” Blackley, who was most recently Executive Chef at Vidrio in Raleigh, North Carolina, sees dining as “one of the last true remaining social interactions we still have in this day and age,” and is dedicated to translating that philosophy into this dining experience by “elevating the familiar and cooking with the seasons.”

Bourbon Pub Northstar is open year-round, remember, so après-ski this winter or après-golf come summer, you have a new spot to rest and rejuvenate.

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