Review: Fredrick’s Fusion Bistro (Lake Tahoe)

Admittedly my review is a little biased because I’ve already been a fan of the executive Chef Jacob’s website and podcast at freeculinaryschool.com. His podcasts and online videos help viewers learn about the cooking techniques he learned from his time at the California Culinary Academy. I started listening to his podcasts from the beginning, and couldn’t wait for the chance to go to his restaurant Fredrick’s in Tahoe. As luck would have it, I had the opportunity to eat at Fredrick’s Fusion Bistro this past weekend, and it was mind-blowing. We ended up meeting the chef and talking with him between courses. We also had the unique luck in being the only diners that night (possibly a product of the economy and the post-holiday lull).

To start, we ordered the chef’s recommendations of lobster dogs, angry ahi, and phyllo dough wrapped crab. Chef Jacob sent out a complimentary order of his signature salmon pate, which I thought was amazingly smooth and not at all fishy. Fredrick’s had won a Tahoe food competition for their lobster dogs, and for good reason. The whole lobster tail was battered in a combination of rice and AP flour, making the coating light and crispy.

We were pleasantly surprised with the phyllo dough-wrapped crab which was kind of like a super big crab cake sitting in a pool of a grapefruit-juice based sauce.

I think the biggest surprise for us was the angry ahi tuna which was described as being a maki-sized tuna roll with an angry ahi sauce. We were warned the sauce had a kick, and Chef Jacob definitely delivered.

For our entrees, we had the braised short rib, duck breast, and the seafood hot pot. The short rib was incredibly tender and had some strong asian flavors in the sauce. The duck breast (bone-in) was cooked to a perfect medium and had all the flavor with none of the super-gamey texture. I got the seafood hot pot, which combined some soba noodles, mussels, and shrimp in a coconut-based thai-influenced soup which was delicious as well.

The desserts we ordered were the chocolate-espresso bread pudding, butternut squash creme brulee, and the “coffee and donuts” local favorite. I normally do not like bread pudding, but the bread pudding was really chocolate-y and soft that I almost forgot it was bread pudding!

I had the butternut squash creme brulee and was absolutely amazed at how smooth it was and how the light sweet nutty-ness of the squash came through.

The coffee and donuts dish was actually a large cup filled with mini beignets and a mocha reduction with emulsified butter as a dip – inventive and delicious!

This was one of the two greatest eating experiences I’ve ever had, the first being at Devi in NYC. There is something about being able to connect with the chef that makes the experience even more than just about the food. We were lucky enough to speak at length with Chef Jacob, and after eating his food, I’m a big fan of not only his podcasts but also his food.

So if you’re going to be in Incline Village at North Lake Tahoe, make a reservation at Fredrick’s located at 907 Tahoe Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451 or call them at 775-832-3007.

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