A new wine bar and eatery is now open in South Lake Tahoe — and just like its beer-slinging neighbor Lake Tahoe AleWorX, you don't need to flag down a waiter to get your drink.
Operated by chefs, friends and world-traveling ice sculptors Mark Davis and Edwin Winslow, Tahoe Pourhouse is the latest restaurant to open at The Crossing at Tahoe Valley. The restaurant's focal point is a 20-tap wine wall that allows patrons to taste test and pour their own glasses of wine with the swipe of a card.
"Last Father's Day we were sitting out at AleWorX having a beer and noticed that there was a 'for lease' sign at this place," said Davis. "We saw the garage door, the plaza was packed, and it looked like a good location to start a project."
Davis and Winslow had always talked about opening an Italian deli, and over the next year, the idea for the wine bar and restaurant began to take shape.
"We are trying to keep a more fresh and local sensibility to our food. We don't have a fryer. We're not going to serve mozzarella sticks or onion rings — we're not that kind of place," said Davis. "We're going to do a little more high-end food, but very approachable, letting the quality of the product speak for itself."
Tahoe Pourhouse's menu features an array of breakfast items, specialty salads, custom sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie boards, and small plates.
Inspired by Spanish tapas, the small plate menu includes dishes like Pork Belly de Patron served with piquillo peppers and eggplant sauce, Albondigas — meatballs of lamb and pork with tomato basil sauce and manchego cheese — and steamed mussels in a white wine chorizo broth with leeks and toasted garlic crostini.
Both Davis and Winslow have worked as chefs for a number of resorts and restaurants in Lake Tahoe and beyond, and Tahoe Pourhouse's menu reflects their commitment to high-quality, locally sourced food.
The wines offered on tap will likely be familiar to customers with brand names such as Cupcake and Sonoma-Cutrer.
"We've done a lot of research into what the most popular wines are," said Davis. "But we also offer what we call our 'discovery wine bar,' which is small producers and independent vintners who are doing wines in smaller quantities with more artisanal techniques, more adventurous blends."
Customers can enjoy these wines poured from bottles and even purchase them to take home.
"The retail section will also expand into gourmet food products, olive oils, and nuts. These will be some of the items that we feature in the foods we're making in the back," added Davis.
To accent its industrial modern décor, Tahoe Pourhouse has a rotating selection of art on display. Currently San Francisco-based fine artist Paul Glaviano's series of abstract paintings entitled High Sierra are on display.
With a garage-style door that opens up to the patio and stage shared with Tahoe AleWorX, Tahoe Pourhouse is poised to bring even more buzz to an already bustling section of the South Shore.