PlumpJack Cafe is a restaurant in the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, at the Squaw Valley ski resort. They serve breakfast the hotel guests, lunch and dinner to all. A more informal bar right outside the cafe, also serves food. We were in the area and decided to drop in for a quick bite to eat.
Cuisine – American
Chef – Ben “Wyatt” Dufresne
Location – Squaw Valley ski resort
Opened – 1997
Decor, Vibe – PlumpJack Cafe is a small restaurant with upscale decor and lots of windows looking out at the snow-covered surroundings. The restaurant and bar were packed with hungry skiers and snowboarders. Lots of affluent families were dining here.
PlumpJack Cafe menu changes seasonally, based on regional influences, indigenous flavors and locally-farmed ingredients.
Signature Dishes – Seafood cones
Excellent homemade hot bread.
Hot rum punch ($10) sounded like a perfect drink on a cold winters night. The rum was strong and very evident. We feel that this drink could have been a little more sweet to mask the strong alcohol flavor.
Warm spinach focaccia salad ($16.00) Soft Cooked Farm Egg, Nueske Bacon, Maple Vinaigrette was recommended by our waitress and proved to be a good-sized salad with a large jiggly egg, Large bacon chunks, and focaccia bread croutons.
Korean spiced seafood cones ($15.00) Pickled Cabbage, Ginger, Tobiko Caviar is a signature dish, so we had to order it. It reminded us of French Laundry. The ahi tuna was fresh and the cone crispy with a little hint of heat.
Fulton Valley organic chicken breast ($26.00) Duck Confit Dumplings, Crispy Kale, Baby Root Vegetables, Miso Broth was an excellent piece of chicken breast, possessing a crispy outer layer and a perfectly cooked inside. The dumplings were stellar as were the vegetables in the accompanying broth. Eating chicken outside is almost a no-no for us, but this hit the spot.
Dark chocolates with Ginger were a nice closing touch.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Penne pasta – Butter & Parmesan ($7) was satisfying for kids, but wasn’t of top quality.
Fuji Apple terrine ($8) Maple Walnut ice cream, Lebanese date syrup, pomegranate was a complex dessert that was almost bread like in texture. Not too sweet and layered like a fancy Napoleon cake. This dessert is not for everyone.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Service – PlumpJack Cafe had solid very good service but could have used a couple more helpers to enable it to reach excellence.
Value – Prices are comparable to fine dining establishments in San Francisco.
Verdict – PlumpJack Cafe serves up some of the best food in this neck of the woods. If you’re in squaw Valley and want a great meal, this is a no-brainer. If you want to go a little more casual, eat at the PlumpJack bar, a fellow blogger’s review makes it look promising.
Extensive 20 page wine list with high markup, glasses of wine from seven dollars, bottles from $27, $15 corkage. 20% gratuity added to parties of 6 or more. Kids menu available.