South Tahoe French restaurant adds flavor to the food scene |

South Tahoe French restaurant adds flavor to the food scene

Jack Barnwell
Mirabelle at Lake Tahoe Chef Ken Druley (left) speaks with Elizabeth Needham during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the French restaurant. Druley purchased the restaurant along with Kathleen Pressey in November after the former owner closed it.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune | |

STATELINE — Since iconic French restaurant Mirabelle at Lake Tahoe re-opened its doors last December, it infused new flavor on the Kingsbury Grade.

Mirabelle at Tahoe celebrated a ceremonial grand re-opening Aug. 24 as the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce welcomed the restaurant back to town.

For Chef Ken Druley and floor manager Kathleen Pressey, it’s a show of support since they purchased the business in November 2014.

“For the Chamber it’s a grand re-opening. For us it’s continuing as usual, but with their backing and help,” Druley said.

According to Pressey, a lot of people still don’t know Mirabelle re-opened after its brief closure last September.

The restaurant originally opened in 2000 under Chef Camille Schwartz’s ownership. Schwartz closed Mirabelle because he wanted to spend time with his wife in Santa Barbara.

“When we re-opened, we knew that Camille had a very loyal following, so the idea was to keep the menu similar,” Druley said.

Druley said his cooking style differs from Schwartz, but most of the cuisine tastes the same.

He worked as Mirabelle’s sous chef for a year when Schwartz retired in September.

Druley had been in the Tahoe area for more than two years, and he has 20 years as a cook under his belt, including in kitchens located in Napa Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

He described Mirabelle’s menu as “County French.”

“The plating is a little more rustic, and you’re going to have one or two dominant flavors on your dish,” he explained.

With 16 tables, Mirabelle offers a cozy atmosphere with an intimate setting.

“It’s nice to be a small restaurant because it allows us to change our menus often,” Druley said.

“That keeps the local regulars happy, and it keeps myself and the kitchen staff from getting stale and bored with the food.”

New changes, at least for the summer menu, include a crispy sweet bread loaded with local nectarines, tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese.

Menu recommendations include foie gras and the chef’s pasta of the day.

Mirabelle now serves up lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner hours begin at 5:30 p.m.

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