Moody’s Bistro & Lounge Restaurant Review, Truckee
Posted by Foodnut.com
Moody’s Bistro & Lounge is a high end Mountain comfort food restaurant in downtown Truckee. Local, organic, seasonal focus or as they tell it – Moody’s food philosophy is “fresh, local, seasonal and simple”. Chef de Cuisine is Guy Frenette. The Restaurant opened in 2006 and is owned by the same folks who used own the now closed Baxter’s restaurant in Northstar at Tahoe. Moody’s has live music occasionally. Our last visit was during a trip to the mountains, at the end of 2012.
Decor, Vibe – Moody’s is housed in an old Truckee Hotel building with Mountain decor, lots of dark wood, bar in front with boothes and attached lounge area, main dining room, old pictures, pots hanging by the kitchen. Most folks coming up to ski/board, and some locals, mostly in their 30′s to 50′s. Pretty packed. They recently adjusted the room to make it more casual.
Moody’s Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Menu change all the time. Starters, House made Charcuterie and Offal, Soups, Salads, Pasta, Meaty entrees, and a single Vegetarian entree. They have happy hour at the bar with half off wine and well drink specials before 6:30 PM. On our last visit at the end of 2012, we noticed that they added a pizza oven.
The homemade Warm bread with a good crispy crust is stellar.
Mojito ($8) was tall, strong, and fairly well made.
Hot Buttered Rum ($8) Kraken Spiced rum, house made compound butter, hot water, nutmeg was perfect on this freezing winters night.
Pork Belly, Pomegranate glaze, Apples and Frisee ($11) was highly recommended, balanced between fruit and richness, and justified its fatty content.
Crab Toast ($14) dungeness crab / ciabbatta / butter / lemon is also a signature appetizer. This stellar starter comes with a huge mound of fresh crab with a bit of lemon zest on top of a thick toasted. Simple and effective. On our last visit it was on the vinegary side.
F.E.I Mussels with house Chorizo, White Wine, Saffron and grilled Toast ($13) had a fairly light broth and a moderate amount of mussels. Still a reasonable dish that requires lots of extra bread to sop up the broth.
Tomato Soup en Croute tomato / red wine / mint ($9) is also a long time signature dish. A thin and buttery puff pastry covers some very fresh tomato soup. The soup is not creamy, allowing the rich shell to balance out this dish. Great for vegetarians.
Beet Salad ($12) with red beats, strawberries, lite dressing was simple, very nice and refreshing.
Ahi four ways ($16) comes with seared sesame crusted lemon sauce, sashimi soy sauce with wasabi, tartare with a tartar sauce ala 1000 island, and seaweed wrap and fried. Stellar dish with fresh fish. A signature dish and must get. We actually didn’t follow the four styles precisely and mixed and matched to better effect. The soy glaze was a bit too salty, so we swapped it out.
Hedgehog Mushrooms organic polenta / shaw family farm sunny side egg ($13) had several very fresh mushrooms sandwiched between some creamy polenta and a perfectly cooked egg. Another excellent starter, also good for vegetarians.
Fusili pasta with duck ($18) had lots of tender meat and good pasta. We had to ask for more pasta because the amount of duck was so great.
Vignetto pasta ($18) braised beef, brussel sprouts, garlic, onion, lemon, Parmesan cheese was another hearty great sized pasta with lots of tender beef chunks. This semolina pasta was made without eggs and proved to be far better than most pastas we’ve had in San Francisco.
Spaghetti ($18) Four huge, fluffy but not dense meatballs. Balanced sauce and solid tender noodles.
Pizza ($13) Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and San Marzano Tomato Sauce looked wonderful and had a crisp texture. A bit on the cold side though. Probably was cooked and sitting around for other items to finish up.
Big ass pork chop ($28) with polenta, broccoli, Apple chipotle barbecue sauce glaze was one huge piece of delectable pork. It costs as much as a portion half the size in San Francisco! High-quality pork that was especially juicy once you past the surface cuts. This dish was extremely hard to cut, could have used a Santoku! A must for fellow pork fans.
Coffee raised Bison Short Ribs Organic Spoon Spinach, Brown Butter mashed Potatoes, Carrots and crispy Onions ($30) is another signature dish. Very tender, large portion, silky texture although it could use more flavor.
Filet Mignon Special ($38) is one of the most expensive things on the menu on our last visit. Tender, nice portion size, slightly overcooked as we asked for medium rare.
Wild Striped Bass ($32) Radish, Cipolini Onions, crispy Potatoes, Chicory and Citrus Beurre Blano was recommend and was very good. Cooked just right, flaky and flavorful.
Pan roasted Antelope ($32) Came cooked Medium rare and was excellent. Great flavors, not gamey, big portion size, tender brussels sprouts. It needs more starch! Are they catering to Atkins diets here? We used up a ton of bread with this. A perfect type of dish for this Sierra Nevada locale.
Grimaud Farms Muscovy Duck Breast and Confit of Leg ($32) with parsnip puree, black trumpet mushroom, pink lady apple and huckleberry sauce was a perfect medium rare. Cooked just right with a perfect sweetish accompaniment.
Grilled Asparagus meyer lemon / evoo ($8) was simple, fresh, and cooked in a healthy manner.
Fruit Crisp ($8) was HUGE and made with cranberries and apples. A loose crumble topped it off along with some quality vanilla ice cream. Not very buttery unlike other places. Food portion sizes are so generous, that is hard to order dessert. On our last visit, it changed to include a custard.
Pumpkin cheesecake ($7) was a very well done dessert. Rich cake with subtle pumpkin flavor.
Kingston’s brownie ($7) was recommended but simply wasn’t very memorable.
Moody’s Bistro & Lounge had friendly and competent service with servers continuously patrolling the restaurant. The service hiccuped on our last visit. Prices were on the high side, typical for high end places in a touristy locale, but portion sizes and food quality was extremely high. You can dip your toes by trying drinks and lower cost happy hour appetizers. With PlumpJack cafe, Moody’s, and Manzanita, North Lake Tahoe now has some excellent restaurants that we look forward to. You can stick around for the live entertainment at the bar.
Good wine list with high markup. Wine by the glasses from $8, $20 corkage. Happy hour 7 days a week 2:30-5:30.
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