Baxter's Bistro and Lounge
Photo © Baxter's and Moody's Bistro
Latter-day skiers, boarders, mountain bikers, hikers and mountain people have much in common with Sierra Nevada travelers from a 150 years ago. Back then, the Baxter family ran a trading post on Old Highway 50. It was a hospitable place catering to travelers. Today, as back then, when you arrive at Baxter’s you are greeted with good cheer, incredible live music and delectable food, all served in the restaurant’s dapper ambiance.
The Baxter family’s spirit thrives at the Village at Northstar, one of Lake Tahoe’s most popular year-round resorts. Open for lunch, dinner and drinks, you’ll find that the original artwork and décor lends a certain elegance, one that’s casually balanced by the area’s easygoing ski-town vibe. Regardless of where you plant yourself, the Lounge, Wine Cellar or Dining Room, Baxter’s refined and relaxed atmosphere is truly a timeless pleasure.
Hours Open: Mon - Thurs 12:00 - 9:00 p.m. Fri & Sat - 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Seasons Open: 12 months
Price Style for this Establishment: Mid-range
Many restaurants are depicted as “chef driven.” At Baxter’s, the management philosophy best characterizing Mark Estee and JJ Morgan’s partnership could best be defined as “passion driven.” Both bring their lifelong love of food and music to the restaurant. Estee’s culinary creations have earned him invitations to guest chef at the famed James Beard House in Manhattan, Yosemite’s Awahnee, and the Pebble Beach Food and Wine event. His talents have been described in the pages of the New York Post, Cosmopolitan, Plate, Wine Country Living and Ski Magazine. Meanwhile, Morgan’s reputation among jazz’s performing elite makes it possible for Baxter’s to host some of the nation’s most respected touring acts. It’s the duo’s similar back-of-the-house/front-of-the-house partnership that has made sister restaurant Moody’s Bistro & Lounge a success as well (Moody's is also named for a historic family that ran a lodge catering to travelers).
Both restaurants are located in Truckee, where Mark Estee and JJ Morgan make their homes.
Baxter's is ADA Accessible.
Chef de Cuisine Michael Plapp is committed to creating dishes that employ fresh, sustainable ingredients. Indeed, he and Executive Chef Mark Estee have close ties with a host of local growers, ranchers, dairymen and fishmongers. These relationships enable Plapp, Estee and the kitchen staff to prepare simple, artistic and flavorful lunch, dinner and appetizer menus. It’s a contemporary American cuisine that is fondly flavored with European and Sud Tyrol influences.
Plapp describes his culinary philosophy as "focused on maintaining the integrity of the food. I use the best, freshest, seasonal products available and emphasize sustainable produce, meat, seafood and artisanal, regional products (such as local farmstead cheeses). I use traditional cooking methods with simple, flavorful, authentic, rustic preparations."
The bar’s mixologists follow suit, crafting hand-built drinks that take into consideration the season’s available produce to complement the broad libations menu.
Chef Mark Estee and JJ Morgan pioneered the farm-to-table movement in the Sierra Nevada, starting an organized relationship with several farms in Sierraville that has grown to include about 10 other local restaurants. They continue to search for suppliers of local produce to fill out their menus.
Four season ago, Estee and Morgan took the dinner experience to the farm, starting the Dinner In The Barn series. Guests can take a tour of the farm that supplies Baxter's Bistro & Lounge and then sit down to a dinner in the historic barn that incorporates freshly picked produce, local meat, and local wines.
Leashed pets are welcome in the outdoor seating area in the Village at Northstar.