Creative cuisine | SierraSun.com

Creative cuisine

Located off of Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village is an elegant and cozy eatery that is shaking up North Lake Tahoe's dinner scene.

Bite American Tapas has been indulging the senses of patrons for the past 10 years, serving an eclectic array of bite-sized, gourmet morsels designed for sharing.

Small plates mean guests get to sample even more of their truly outstanding dishes after the doors open at 5 p.m. for nightly dining.

Last Wednesday, Aug. 16, each seat in the dining room was filled within 30 minutes, with additional happy patrons occupying standing-room near the bar area.

"We want people to feel comfortable here," said co-owner Brooke McCarthy, who founded Bite with her husband in 2007.

"This place, for some, is a casual neighborhood spot, while for others it's a fun and special night out," she said.

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McCarthy explained the vision behind the couple's hip hotspot, saying she wanted it to be a laid-back atmosphere with a killer menu that lends itself to sharing. They wanted to offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a more interactive dinner.

"We love Spanish tapas and wherever we dine-out we share every single thing; so we wanted to bring that same vibe here to Bite," she said.

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Guests could be heard commenting on their entrées, prompting one to ask what they chose from the menu. The reaction was unanimous; everything served — from snacks, soup and salad to small plates, sliders and sides — everything was a hit.

Clark Kayler of the Bay Area was dining at Bite and ordered the strip steak.

"It's cooked perfectly, it tastes aged — I'm no steak expert, but I do know it's cooked quite well," he said.

The dinner menu features an array of options for starters under their "snacks" section, and you really can't go wrong.

Someone looking for a decadent bite that is a sweet, savory and rich treat, needs to look no further than the bacon wrapped dates, they taste like candy.

Another fun flavor experience is a large selection of sliders including the flavorful and satisfying seared ahi sliders, featuring a crunchy toasted bun, tangy and light teriyaki type sauce and fresh, crisp arugula along with a spicy wasabi aioli and pickled ginger.

Each of the slider options is served two to a plate, perfect for sharing.

The small plates section allows guests to choose different flavors like their crab and corn croquettes — like the best crab cake around, perfectly seasoned and light, with a crispy outer shell and lemon-dill aioli.

For people looking for a heartier plate, the sweet chili glazed baby back ribs feature sustainably raised pork ribs, perfectly charred and doused in a finger-licking good sweet heat sauce.

The experts behind each of these creative culinary executions didn't forget about the sweet stuff either — their dessert section makes it tough to choose just one.

Patrons who are stuffed from the previous courses and looking to cap it all off, go for the ice cream sandwiches — mini chocolate cookies stuffed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a classic.

The staff attentively swaps out plates in between courses; ensuring guests have enough table room to share plates with ease, and they're more than ready to share dish suggestions with guests.

"A lot of love goes into these dishes," said Kat Moulder, whose been a personal friend of Brooke and started working at Bite last May. "Brooke creates all the dishes and hand-selects the wines on the menu, everything is really well thought out. This is the best food in North Lake Tahoe."

The interactive dining style brings fun into your gourmet meal as you share different plates with friends and family, while small portions mean you don't have to commit to one dish for your entrée.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.