The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe at the Northstar ski resort near Truckee has a new slope-side BBQ restaurant with some excellent views of the ski runs. However, your taste buds might be too busy with the local, organic and long-smoked food of the Backyard Bar & BBQ to even think about heading out onto the cold slopes for some turns.
Backyard Bar & BBQ at the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe — Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann
The al fresco restaurant doesn't look like your typical BBQ joint. The food is served from a simple yet elegant structure, and the same goes for the bar that looks out over the steam-filled outdoor swimming pool. You can then enjoy your food at outdoor picnic tables surrounded by stylish heat lamps.
The food is not typical either: much of the meat for the BBQ is locally sourced and some of the meat, like the ribs and the pulled pork, are smoked for 12 to 24 hours. The Backyard Bar & BBQ even makes and sells their own sauces, including the St. Louis Voodoo sauce. Other items like brisket, burgers, red coleslaw, salads, wood-fired pizzas and some fantastic natural bratwurst are also available.
How to BBQ . . . — Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann
The bar features saloon-inspired cocktails and local craft beer. Bartenders will also make their creations, including the Sierra Sunset with bourbon. During the winter season, the restaurant offers après ski food and beverage specials to guests stepping off the adjacent slopes, and casual outdoor cookouts during the summer months, perfect for Lake Tahoe family vacationers.
The Backyard Bar & BBQ with its “blues, brews and BBQ” concept and vibe also features live music on some weekends and nights. They plan to host musicians from around the region, to add to the barbecue flavor.
The St. Louis-style ribs at the Backyard Bar & BBQ — Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann