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We sent our younger daughter off to summer camp with our church and now it’s time for mom and dad to have some vacation time to themselves!!! Woohoo! We decided to head north to beautiful Lake Tahoe. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have the luxury of visiting the Lake Tahoe area at least once or twice a year, so we’re pretty familiar with where to find good eats.

We hit the road with no other plans than relaxing and eating at the best restaurants we can find and cooking a few good meals ourselves. Luckily, the Lake Tahoe area has a lot of great restaurants to offer. The restaurants up here range from elegant & expensive to a burger joint where you eat under the pines at a picnic table. We don’t discriminate in our family!

So we got out of church yesterday and by the time we got home it was about 1:30, but we weren’t starved yet and decided to hit the road. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be late for vacation!!!! We decided to eat the snacks we had in the car and save our appetites for one of our favorite restaurants. Riva Grill in South Lake Tahoe that sits right smack dab on the lake! The views are great! It’s one of the few restaurants right on the water in South Shore. Of course, we had to get a table on the patio facing the lake! This is the life!!!

We started our lunch by ordering a couple of drinks. My husband couldn’t resist their Mai Tai. They make them using the Trader Vic’s recipe. Vic Bergeron invented the Mai Tai and that guy knew what he was doing! I decided to try their signature drink, the Wet Woody. OK, the name is a little embarrasing, but it is this fruity, blended rum concoction that is yummy! They have a variety of these drinks in different flavors. They are definitely worth a try.

On to the food!!! My husband’s meal definitely stole the show! He had a swordfish steak topped with an herbed butter served over this wonderful orzo and a side of broccolini. It was so fresh and flavorful! I ordered the Chipotle Chicken Salad. Honestly, it was disappointing. All the ingredients (chickien, corn, avocado, black beans, cotijo cheese, cilantro dressing) sounded like they would add up to a great salad, but not so much. The chicken was a little too charred and I hate that bitter burnt taste and the rest of the salad was just OK. Not bursting with flavor as I had hoped.

 But this hasn’t usually been our experience here at Riva. Their Ahi Poke Stack is to die for!!! We also had the cheesecake topped with blueberries and candied lemon zest. This was beautiful and delicious, so much so that we devoured it before I could get a picture.

Anyway, I do still recommend this place and we will go back. Maybe even on this trip!

Oh! And we had our first bear siting of the day. It’s garbage pick up day and the bears around here seem to think it’s a buffet meant just for them! Everyone needs a little fine dining in their life, right???