Saturday night, we dined at The Fresh Ketch... less than a mile away from the rental. I liked the atmosphere of the place. Pretty laid back... a great balance of locals and tourists. The restaurant was pretty busy when we arrived, but we did not have to wait for a table. We sat out on the patio and the sun was still high enough in the sky to keep us warm. Service was mediocre. I get irritated with servers who get irritated with customers who are seated in their already full-to-capacity section (full-to-capacity does not indicate lack of tables available, but the number of tables the person can take care of at a given time). Our server finally got over any initial snippy-ness she had by the time she returned with the bottle of wine we ordered. (Sterling, Sauvignon Blanc, Calistoga, 2005) She took our orders without taking notes (I don't trust this practice, but OK) but still managed to deliver them all without mistake. The service was only so-so because the restaurant was so busy and seemed to be understaffed. We were informed the restaurant was undergoing a management change. OK, that's fine. We were hungry, so onto the food.
I ordered the Ketch Fish Tacos ($12.00) This dish was comprised of grilled mahi mahi (or blackened salmon) wrapped in flour tortillas with pico de gallo, salsa verde, cilantro oil & served with rice. Instead of rice, I ordered a salad. (Why order more starch when I am already having the tortillas?) The portions are not large, but my dinner was delicious. I highly recommend it. The fish was perfectly grilled and flaked apart delicately as I sunk my fork into each bite. A plate like this is something I can truly enjoy because there was nothing unhealthy on my plate! Even my salsas were lo-cal, and the cilantro oil was fine with me (because the body needs some fats to absorb the nutrients from vegetables, and it was used sparingly as a finishing touch). I only wish my salad had been a bit larger. My dining companions ordered the fish and chips ($11.00) and the hamburger and fries ($9.50). I did not have any of their dinner, but I can comment that I don't think I would have liked the fish--the breading was crumbly (large bread crumbs--not the smooth kind of breading (tempura-style). I also prefer thicker-cut chips--but these are the thinner ones. We did not order dessert––we opted to finish our wine instead.
I came back down to the restaurant later on to hear the live music and to have a glass of Zinfandel. More locals were there and everyone was so friendly. The Zin I had was Sogno--I think it had been opened too long, but I did not ask for a new glass. Met a few people––F & B––and got invited to join them at MontBleu Casino. Two words: MEGA FUN!!!
MontBleu Casino has recently undergone remodeling and is now THE place to be! There was a band playing when we arrived so it was on to the dance floor (at del Soul). Instead of any more alcohol, I ordered coffee. I did not want to fall asleep because I was having a great time. The casino area also has a bar area (called HQ), and has a fire display in the middle, surrounded by ice. On a trip to the restroom, I ran into someone I know from Sacramento.... and that is what I kind of love about Tahoe. It's like a vacation--getting away to somewhere you don't visit everyday--but yet it still feels like home and very welcoming.
It only helps that the landscape at Lake Tahoe happens to be completely gorgeous and picturesque. I can't wait to show my mom and regarding The Fresh Ketch, we'll most likely return to dine there (unless she would like to try another restaurant), as it was overall a great meal.