Elegant eggs

Zephyr Cove Restaurant serves up mouth-watering omelettes and coffee to die for.

Photo By Adrienne Rice

Rating: Incredible edibles

My fiance and his parents discovered the Zephyr Cove Restaurant while scouting out reception locations for our upcoming wedding at Lake Tahoe. The next day, I joined them for the trip up the hill and breakfast at the restaurant, which is snuggled up against the resort’s lodge and just a short walk from the shore of the lake. Looking out the wall-to-wall windows, I could see the M.S. Dixie II cruise ship pulling away from its harbor.

While perusing the menu, our friendly and on-the-ball server brought me a hefty mug of plain coffee, but “plain” is probably the worst word I could use to describe it. It was literally the best house coffee I have ever been served, as I exclaimed to my future in-laws with wonder. Perhaps “hearty” would be a more apt description, not to mention “fragrant” and “smooth.”

From there, my dining experience at Zephyr Cove Restaurant just got better and better.

Once I got over my java jubilation, I turned my attention back to the menu and immediately zeroed in on the pesto omelette. My relationship with the green, oily Italian sauce is somewhat new, but we’ve become fast friends in the course of many pasta dinners and focaccia sandwiches. But pesto in an omelette? Intriguing, and upon further digestion, surprisingly delicious in every way.

But on a recent return trip to the Zephyr Cove Restaurant, I was dismayed to discover that the pesto omelette had been omitted from the menu. I’d like to take this opportunity right now to beg for its speedy return, because I haven’t eaten an omelette this good since The Coffee Grinder on Keystone Avenue closed up shop, taking its mouth-watering turkey and Hollandaise sauce omelette with it.

In the meantime, there are a few other tasty-sounding breakfast choices I’m looking forward to trying, like the Greek omelette: diced tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onions, feta cheese and fresh herbs ($7.25). The hazelnut waffles ($5.50) and cakes ($4.50) also sound scrumptious. And if I only ate red meat—and Lord, don’t I miss it—the Woodwind omelette would be the way to go, with ham, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese ($7.50).

For lunch, Zephyr Cove Restaurant offers lots of creative sandwiches and burgers, not to mention “world-famous shakes and malts” ($3.95). I can’t verify if the treats are actually “world-famous,” but they have been voted “South Shore’s Best” by locals several times. And now that the weather’s turning warmer, I’m looking forward to enjoying a meal on the outdoor dining deck, looking out over the sparkling blue water in the shade of towering pine trees.

Zephyr Cove Restaurant’s décor complements the establishment’s menu offerings well, in a style management dubs "old Tahoe." Enlarged black and white photos from turn-of-the-century Tahoe decorate the beige walls with forest-green trim, and miniature canoes, paddles and other knickknacks give the place an outdoorsy feel. With its exposed beams and thick wooden tables and chairs, I’d describe the style as "country living meets sophisticated Californian." Kind of like … well, pesto in an omelette.