About River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant

Located on the banks of the Truckee River between Truckee and Tahoe City, this rustic old Tahoe lodge has been a Tahoe dining favorite for many, many years. Choose between a cozy table in our Fireplace Dining Room or along the river in our River View Dining Room. In the summer, dine on our patio that overlooks the river. Enjoy great food and drink that is creative and interesting while being delicious and familiar. The menu changes seasonally to ensure use of the most available sustainable, fresh ingredients.

2285 River Road
Tahoe City, CA 96145
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, American

Hours of Operation:
Weekend
Sat, Sun 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Happy Hour and Dinner
Mon–Fri 3:30 pm–9:00 pm

Cross Street:
Alpine Meadows Road

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(530) 583-4264

Website:
http://www.riverranchlodge.com/dining

Catering:
The River Ranch has a special large party menu for dinner parties up to 50 guests. Appetizer and buffet menus are available for large parties or weddings on our patio in the warmer months for up to 150 guests.

Parking Details:
All parking is Free

Public Transit:
Tahoe Area Regional Transit stops at the River Ranch sign.

Executive Chef:
Andrew Adams

Private Party Facilities:
For an intimate setting the River Ranch's Fireplace Room, featuring a beautiful river rock fireplace, provides a warm and festive atmosphere for private dinner parties, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, family reunions, company parties and holiday festivities.

Private Party Contact:
Event Coordinator: (866) 618-2579

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.9

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.7

service

3.7

ambience

4.3

value

3.4

Noise

Moderate

78% would recommend it to a friend

Scenic View (12)
Cozy (9)
Waterfront (9)
See All
Good for a Date (7)
Casual (7)
Special Occasion (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Neighborhood Gem (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Romantic (5)
Fun (5)
Authentic (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Seasonal (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Creative Cuisine (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Great Beer (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Fit for Foodies (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Healthy (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
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389 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

We've had one great meal here 3 years ago, and one poor meal recently.

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food2
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 (Tahoe)·Dined on January 6, 2018

We were very happy to return and give River Ranch another try. This time we weren’t disappointed. The service was great, the atmosphere was elegant and rustic with tremendous views of the river. It was so cozy with the fireplace burning. The only reason I’m giving it a rating of 4 instead of a 5 is because the prime rib special was more like a pot roast, as it was served in a bowl with mashed potatoes and root vegetables. It was delicious, but not what you would expect for a prime rib dinner. It wasn’t medium rare but more like a medium well end cut.
The wine, bread and spinach salad were excellent. We also enjoyed the creme brûlée and coffee for dessert.
All in all. we enjoyed our anniversary dinner and will be back again very soon.

Tags: Scenic View, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 4, 2018

I have been coming to RR for over 30 years and have always enjoyed the food and ambiance. However, this was, by far, the worst experience ever. Our waitress was polite and friendly but clearly very busy. They were out of 3 of the 9 entrees. My salmon was overcooked (like beef jerky) and on top of rice that was more like oatmeal; and It was lukewarm at best. My son's elk was tough but he said it had good flavor. And my other son's hamburger and fries had a long hair across the plate. This is one of the first times in my life that I have sent a meal back to the kitchen. The manager came over to graciously apologize and removed it from the bill. They also comped us a dessert. Throughout the night, I overheard the manager apologizing to other tables. Clearly it was either a bad night or they are working through some issues.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 1, 2018

When for New Year’s Eve and almost cancelled after reading the yelp reviews but I’m glad I didn’t. The food was fantastic and the service was great. Plus we were seated by the window with a lovely view of the nearby creek. It was a nice quiet NYE and they even let us move to their cozy fireplace for the countdown! Tahoe has a lot of fancy restaurants and big money and i think the bad reviews were written by people who’d prefer 5-star restaurants at the nice resorts. This wasn’t a 5-star restaurant, but it was just right :)

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Waterfront, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Cozy, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Avoid coming here for New Years Eve - not the regular menu but instead an overpriced pre fixe. Service was terrible - even by Tahoe standards. Food took forever to come and waiter literally no where to be found most of the evening.

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food2
ambience2
service1
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 (San Diego)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Food was horrible. Two entrees were sent back and removed from the bill. Descriptions on the menu were not indicative of what arrived. Worse yet, we overheard a server explaining that “the asterisk on the menu indicates an item is gluten free...but I don’t think that one really is.”

Tags: Notable Wine List, Scenic View, Cozy
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food1
ambience4
service2
value1

vip
 (Cleveland)·Dined on December 31, 2017

It took an hour just to get our soup which was Luke warm. The server had many large parties and couldn’t handle it. We were a party of 2 and were not the priority. Also it was very loud as they were dragging chairs back and forth in the very narrow space we were in. Finally the prawns I ordered were cold which is very dangerous.

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food1
ambience3
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

It’s been ok before, but about last night... Worst meal ever in Tahoe region - everything was late, burned, and/or undercooked. Server seemed completely overwhelmed though she tried... they forgave cost of one entree and glass of wine but didn’t nearly make up for the disaster. Then to add insult to injury they told Open Table we were a no-show. Sorry but we did check in - 5 minutes early.

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food1
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 (Sacramento)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Unfortunate dining experience. We arrived early for our 7PM reservation and were seated right away. We brought our own wine which was fortunate because that's all we had as well as water for over 45 mins. When the salad finally came. two of the four that were ordered were missing dressing. Two of our party ordered the elk, it arrived raw and was sent back. When it came back one of the elk orders was missing most of the meat. The server seemed annoyed that we were asking what happened to the rest of the order. 45 mins. after ordering another of our party was informed that his pork chop order would have to be changed. The roasted vegetables were uneditable and we told our server and the hostess. They were never replaced and our server said that the chef was basically having a really busy night and she wasn't going to bother him about it until later. The entire staff seemed stressed and hurried even though there were empty tables in the dining area during the time we were there. The tavern food looked better than the regular entrees.

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food1
ambience4
service2
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·Dined on December 26, 2017

We went here for Christmas dinner. We were seated immediately. The prime sirloin dinner was fantastic. Generous portions. The soups were VERY tasty. We ordered four desserts, all delicious. The service was a ten. The manager even came by. Absolutely nothing negative. There was even parking available. My teens totally enjoyed your holiday dinner. Would definitely return.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 26, 2017

River Ranch is both a comfortable bar setting with lots of people and action, with good drinks, and bar food. The waitresses are terrific and attentive in this busy environment. Most of all however, River Ranch is also an elegant restaurant, with wonderful service and amazing food. The wine list is extensive. The food is fresh and perfectly prepared. After more than 25 years coming here, it remains a wonderful place to spend time with friends for apres de ski, or the most special occasions.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

Went here for a brunch on Christmas. Sat at a beautiful table overlooking the Truckee River. Food was excellent. We will be back

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Comfort Food, Cozy, Casual, Fun
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food5
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service4
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 (New York Area)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Poor service.

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food3
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·Dined on December 3, 2017

Absolutely a fantastic location right on the river and the building has so much old Tahoe Charm and character. The selection on the menu is quite vast. I would say some dishes are really good and others not so much. Just the burger is excellent. The employees are very nice and helpful. Food came out timely. We like to sit in the main area so we can watch the river go by. Just the location is a 10 as we plan to go back a lot.

Tags: Comfort Food, Scenic View, Good for Groups, Great Beer, Fun, Authentic
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food3
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 (San Diego)·Dined on November 28, 2017

The steak and side vegetables were so salty that I couldn't eat them. The server did take that meal off the tab.

Tags: Happy Hour
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food1
ambience4
service2
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·Dined on November 26, 2017

Some food was quite tasty like creme brûlée, chocolate mousse, crab bisque. Some like the hamburger and fish and chips was more average.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We were at River Ranch for Thanksgiving dinner last night. We have been there many times and have always enjoyed it. Last night was different. Our reservations were for 7:15 pm. Our evening started by waiting in a line by the hostess stand and being completely ignored for a good while. We had to wait over an hour to be seated. After we were finally seated, we sat there with no greeting and no water for another 20 minutes. We ordered the classic turkey dinner. They finally gave us some bread and water. When the soup arrived it was cold, the salad had raw pumpkin on it (like you just cleaned out your Halloween pumpkin and cubed it). The dinner was disappointing because there were no slices of turkey , just some chopped up remnants of turkey. Oh and no cranberry sauce either. The sautéed vegetables were mainly onions and some raw carrots and the dreaded raw pumpkin again. They were stingy with the gravy too! And we finally got our food at 9:20 more than 2 hours after we arrived! Oh I forgot to mention that they dropped off our food but we had no silverware and had to get up from the table to find someone to bring it. We were never asked how our dinners were. Basically we were abandoned for most of the night. Our desserts came and the pumpkin pie was good but my husband’s apple pie came in a heap with a doughy consistency and few apples in it. We finally finished at around 10:30 and were literally one of the last few tables left. I’m sorry to say that it was truly a terrible experience for our Thanksgiving dinner! We have enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner many times at River Ranch in the past, so we were taken by surprise by this disaster of a night!!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience5
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value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Food was great and the staff worked so hard but with a new computerized system and a dining room manager who decided to not work our Thsnksgiving night meal was not great. Food- very good but service was eternally slow. Had 6:45 reservation. Seated at 7:15. Waiter stopped by around 7:45 and finally got our delicious dinner after 8:15. The table next to us left...after ordering, but before food arrived. Hostess was amazing. Our waiter was MIA. Food great. Hopefully they will get the kinks out. Kudos to those who stayed through Thanksgiving night service.

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food5
ambience5
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We had a 515pm reservation. We waited over an hr to get seated Bartender was rude so waiting at bar wasn’t fun. I had to ask hostess for water for my son, because bartender wouldn’t help me. He told me he didn’t have glasses, though he kept pouring drinks for other people in what would be a water glass. Once we finally got to our table we had to ask for menus, water and bread. We got our food at approximately 730pm. We were starving. Instead of having an enjoyable dinner, we ate fast and left as soon as possible. Our waiter was nice, over-worked, he had too many tables to handle, he could’ve used at least a buss boy to help with water and bread. We won’t recommend this restaurant to our friends in the Tahoe area.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Our family of 6 attends Thanksgiving at River Ranch every year. It's a tradition. We've learned to make reservations early and arrive a little in advance. This year was horrible- By 5pm, they were backed up. The GM called in sick. Wait staff called in sick. They told us that we "might" get a table but we would just have to wait. Our party ranged in age from 8 yrs to 81 yrs, and we all arrived hungry.

After mush runaround and frustration, we were seated after and hour. Then came the service- although our waitress was nice, we hardly saw her. When 5 out of 6 plates were served, the waitress didn't seem to notice but was bringing waters to other tables. One of our party went to ask for the final plate after 10 minutes and they weren't even aware it was on the order.

Management needs to step up, not out, on Thanksgiving. And they should have a backup plan.

#Disappointed

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
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service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Went here five years ago for thanksgiving and it was amazing, something changed because this year was not as nice. Had to wait an hour passed our reservation time just to get seated.

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food4
ambience3
service2
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·Dined on November 23, 2017

We went for thanks given dinner but I wish it was like a buffet style paying that much ,for a plate no crumberry souce the pie was too cold not room temp but their other food is great but not the thanks given dinner though over alll is ok but their other food is great Good service .

Tags: Waterfront
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food2
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Fantastic meal. Katie (sp?) was fantastic, very attentive, great service, wonderful food.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 19, 2017

Excellent food, ambience, and service. The river view at dusk was beautiful.

Tags: Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Healthy, Fun
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food5
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service4
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Have eaten here many times and always love the ambience. Our server was exceptional....friendly and prompt. The food was very good, notably our dessert: a berry shortcake with whipped cream, and blueberries baked into the pastry.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Scenic View
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food4
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value4

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on October 4, 2017

quiet, great service and ambiance; we've been there many times and it is always a good experience

Tags: Notable Wine List, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Waterfront
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food4
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

One of my favorites in Truckee/Tahoe area. Love the view!

Tags: Waterfront, Casual, Romantic, Cozy, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch
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food4
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 (Atlanta)·Dined on September 28, 2017

Loved the view and the food! This is a lovely setting on the river.

Tags: Good for a Date, Scenic View, Romantic, Casual, Waterfront, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
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value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Food was pretty bad. The calamari was good but everything else we had was either dry from sitting under the warmer, or just not well prepared. If you say you are going to make "crispy duck" then you better make it crispy.

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food1
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·Dined on September 18, 2017

We dined here on a quiet Sunday evening, in the off-season, for my husband's birthday. The setting is scenic, right on the Truckee River. The atmosphere is cozy & rustic. There is outdoor seating on the patio where you can get food or take your drinks out from the bar and sit near the river. There are 2 dining areas inside - we ate at the more casual one and it was lovely. Bar fare is also available and looked yummy as well. The food was very good (duck and elk) although my carrots were a bit under done. The meat however was tender and succulent. Service was attentive and friendly. I would recommend River Ranch if you're in the area!

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Great Beer, Good for Birthdays, Scenic View, Cozy, Romantic, Special Occasion, Disabled Access, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 17, 2017

I don't think you can beat seating right on the Truckee River. So beautiful and fun!

Tags: Happy Hour, Live Sports, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Business Meals, Seasonal, Cozy, Romantic, Casual, Good for Groups, Scenic View, Bar Seating, Waterfront, Fun, Kid-friendly, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined on September 4, 2017

Service went beyond expected. They even held my card in their safe when mistakenly left. The food was better than anticipated. Always nice to dine next to a rushing river.

Tags: Tapas, Fun, Scenic View, Good for a Date
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food4
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service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 3, 2017

We have dined here many times over the years and always had a great experience. After this visit, I will never go again. The food was mediocre. My chicken was rubbery, my husband's pork chop wasn't good and our friends weren't impressed with their dinners either. Our waitress was HORRIBLE. We waited a long time for everything and the restaurant wasn't even crowded on the Saturday night of Labor Day weekend (now I know why). Our waitress was frequently chatting with people at the bar instead of waiting on us. When we asked for our check, we again saw her chatting at the bar, and then she went outside with another employee while we were left waiting for our check. My friend went outside to get her to bring our check, when she started yelling at us! We spoke to the manager, who said he had only been there a few months and had already fired half of the staff. I guess he forgot to fire our waitress. He apologized, but never offered us any compensation. Very disappointing.

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food2
ambience4
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value2

 
·Dined on September 3, 2017

I made a reservation for 7:00 and asked to be seated outside, I also mentioned we could change times if we needed to to make this happen. I received a phone call asking us to change our time to 7:30 so that we could sit outside. I said that would be perfect. When we arrived there was a couple checking in before us that said they had just called and changed their time to 7:30 and they were seated outside. The greeter took extra time saying he was trying two get us a really good table so I was very excited. He took us and seated us inside even though there was plenty of tables available outside. I explained to him about the phone call and he replied that just meant that they would try to get us outside. I completely understand this if the restaurant had been busy but it was not and there was plenty of seating available outside. The food was very good but the entire dinner took over 2 hours. We could have gone anywhere to eat but wanted to be seated outside and that was our big determination on where we were going to eat so we left disappointed.

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food5
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value3

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 20, 2017

The view of the river was very nice. The food was good and portions were large. Service was good also.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 18, 2017

Once we got seated it was great. Two women passed over once again. The bartender was wonderful!

Tags: Good for a Date, Seasonal, Waterfront, Healthy, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food5
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service5
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Located on the Truckee River, the River Ranch has a beautiful view and both indoor /outdoor seating. The menu trends toward fresh and local. Not a hugely creative menu, but it's good for a laid-back, relaxing meal. We went at 5:30 (opening time) and the restaurant wasn't really ready for us quite yet. After a drink in the bar, we received leisurely yet attentive/friendly service. Building is gorgeous in a woodsy, authentic kind of way. Food was fine (tasty, dependable, nothing extraordinary). It's a place to go if you want a good Tahoe experience among the beautiful forested area. By the way, there is an outdoor bar with some pretty amazing-looking nachos and burgers in case you aren't up for a full meal.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 10, 2017

The ambiance was good, though a band started warming up on the patio before the appetizer and was a distraction. $20 corkage seems a bit high. The cheese plate was very good. We both had the trout over Parmesan polenta, supposedly with a sauce. The polenta was inedible, literally. Cold and extremely dry, solid, would need a knife to cut it, but no need since we didn't want anymore after the first taste. The trout must have been prepared the day before. Very dry, cold, and with no discernible sauce. Brocollini would have been ok if it had been warm. Dinner for two topped $100, after gratuity, even though we brought our own bottle of wine. Overall a very disappointing dinner.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 9, 2017

Went there in the summer on a Tuesday night. Probably a big indoor bar scene in the winter and summer on the weekends. Food is mediocre.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Casual
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food2
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value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 8, 2017

Have come here for many years. Always a great spot. Food & service excellent. Love sitting on the patio next to the river.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Good for a Date, Scenic View, People Watching
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food5
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service5
value5

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