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In heaven, at Hell’s Kitchen

By Nora Tarte
Published: Last Updated on

I don’t usually write about restaurants outside of Reno because, well, there’s really no reason to with such a robust foodie scene right here. But some places in Tahoe are special enough to warrant a trip over the mountain.

One such place is Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen. One of three locations, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe in Stateline is home to this chic restaurant that set foodies across the globe abuzz (the other restaurants are in Las Vegas and Dubai). It took two months to get a Saturday reservation, but after the meal I can confirm it was sincerely worth the wait.

If you are a fan of Gordon Ramsey on television, you’ve likely heard of his Beef Wellington. The signature dish is served just one way—medium rare (and don’t you dare ask for it any other way). The entrée also comes with a smear of potato puree (i.e., mashed potatoes) and glazed root vegetables.

His other signature dish is the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Not usually a fan, this was my favorite dessert on the menu (yes, we sampled more than one—when in Rome), light and airy with rich speculoos ice cream melting on top.

One of each of the three desserts on the menu, clockwise from top: peanut butter fudge cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding and chocolate mousse cake. Image: Nora Tarte

Aside from the famous dishes, the menu is filled with other worthy options for dinner. The pumpkin soup was my favorite, simple in sound but not in taste. It’s served tableside, a bowl of spicy chorizo, crème fraîche and toasted pepitas doused in a thick, creamy and bright orange pumpkin soup.

Appetizers like Lobster Risotto are big enough to double as entrees, and the Roasted Rack of Lamb served over vadouvan carrots and Bloomsdale spinach with a lamb jus is cooked to perfection, perfectly juicy and not at all gamey for those who are picky about lamb.

While the entrees do come with their own accompaniments—something that can be rare at higher end steakhouses—there is also the option to grab additional sides. We used this as an opportunity to share a couple of things across the table including Baked Macaroni & Cheese, served crispy on top with smoked gouda and prosciutto, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts that offered a subtle kick balanced by a kiss of sweetness from the honey sriracha lime glaze and sherry-braised bacon lardons.

The Smoking Barrel.
Image: Nora Tarte

The only menu item I wasn’t scraping the bottom of the bowl for were the Wagyu Meatballs. While the meat was undoubtedly high quality, something about these fell flat. They were delicious but tasted a bit basic in comparison to the rest of the elevated menu. Plus, they were quite heavy, served in a slow roasted tomato sauce with polenta croutons, parmesan cheese and basil.

All of this and a couple of cocktails, which are truly over the top in presentation I may add (think a personalized Hell’s Kitchen stamp on the lemon peel in your Smoking Barrel or a private message from Gordon himself in your gin-based Notes from Gordon), and glasses of wine and we left the table full and satisfied. I wouldn’t hesitate to head back sometime soon for a second helping of that pumpkin soup and sticky pudding—however, it looks like I’ll have to wait at least two months before I get another stab at the menu.

Details

In person: Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Highway 50 at Stateline Ave., Stateline, Nevada 89449
Online: https://www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com/hells-kitchen-lake-tahoe/
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 4 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 to 10 p.m.

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