Stella & Cedar House: Active gourmand in Truckee/Tahoe

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, WE DISCOVERED A Tahoe-Truckee retreat that combined a passion for food and wine with European-style lodging and a love of the outdoors—Cedar House Sport Hotel. Each year, Cedar House refines its theme, becoming more imaginative.

Under owners Patty and Jeff Baird, Cedar House is redolent of the small, family run hotels you find in the Alps. It has expanded to incorporate its avant-guarde Stella restaurant and a guide company, Tahoe Trips & Trails, under one roof. Their motto: “Three adventures: One base camp.”

The combination is enticing, and it is now drawing loyal customers from Reno, Sacramento, the foothills and beyond—for dinner, an overnight stay or a guided adventure. Stella is run by Executive Chef Jacob Burton, one of the most creative chefs around. His menus are inventive and reasonable for their impeccable quality. From an open kitchen, you can watch Jacob and his staff prepare dishes from fresh, local ingredients—some of them grown in a garden just outside the door.

The menu changes seasonally, but examples might include an artful dish of Hamachi sashimi, Wakame salad, pickled cucumbers, cantaloupe and sesame oil as a starter. A dinner entree might be roasted Alaskan halibut, marinated tomato and Panzanella salad and lemon-caper beurre blanc, or a filet of beef, roasted broccoli and Monterey mushroom salad.

To finish, there’s Mascarpone cheesecake or a summer pudding with berries, crème anglaise and lemon ice cream, among other desserts.

Active Gourmand Tahoe/Truckee
This summer, Cedar House is offering a five-day program that combines scenic day hikes, followed by an early evening cooking class and multi-course wine dinner.

On one day, guests will accompany Chef Jacob to the Truckee Farmers Market and learn how to look for great produce. Called “Active Gourmand Tahoe,” the trips are available July 22-26, Aug. 12-16 and Sept. 2-6.

For more information, visit

Cedar House Sport Hotel
10918 Brockway Rd., Truckee, 866-582-5655

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