New restaurant to bring ‘mountain Italian’ dining to Truckee: Great Gold to open in early November

A new dining option is coming to Truckee in early November as restaurateur David Steele brings his concept of mountain Italian fare to the area with the opening of Great Gold restaurant.

The restaurant will focus on local, seasonal ingredients, embracing what Steele calls California cuisine and its doctrine of whole animal butchery and utilization, farm-to-table ingredients, and a hyper-seasonal menu.

“When I go to different parts of America, and unfortunately even Tahoe, they’re getting vegetables from Mexico or other parts of the country being shipped in or canned in the name of cooking to recipes that are on the menu at all times of the year,” said Steele. “Which for me, borders on blasphemy.”

Great Gold’s opening in Truckee will be a rebirth of sorts for the restaurant, which due to the coronavirus, closed its doors at its San Francisco location in August.

“We come in with all the humility in the world and really deep respect for the environs of Tahoe and Truckee. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to bring our own perspective, but to also fit in and become part of the community.”— David SteeleOwner of Great Gold

“We had a landlord in San Francisco who was absolutely unwilling to give us any flexibility, which really put into question our financial sustainability,” said Steele. “With this opportunity in the Truckee space being incredibly welcoming and an incredibly generous landlord, we were just like, ‘We’re going to move up to Tahoe.’”

Steele said after many months of consideration, his team landed on the Pioneer Commerce Center for its new location.

Steele is best known in the restaurant world as the creator and restaurateur of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group in San Francisco. The group operates flour + water, Central Kitchen, Salumeria, and Trick Dog in the Bay Area. Steele has been splitting time between San Francisco and the Tahoe area for the past two decades and said he’s long envisioned opening a restaurant in the Sierra.

“We come in with all the humility in the world and really deep respect for the environs of Tahoe and Truckee,” said Steele on opening a business in the area. “We’re going to do everything we possibly can to bring our own perspective, but to also fit in and become part of the community.”

Part of fitting into the community will involve incorporating Steele and Chef de Cuisine Brandon Kirksey’s take on traditional Italian eats with dishes that feel more at home in the mountains.

“We did that because when you’re in the mountains it’s more common to crave simple proteins — smoked, grilled — and those are not things typically found in Italian cuisine necessarily, but they can be,” said Steele. “We’re trying to do a bit of an integration between some of the things you’d expect to see in the mountains and Italian cuisine.”

Steele said the restaurant plans to use local coffee, bread, beer, and will source meat and produce from the region.

Highlights of the menu are pasta made in house daily and dishes like Cavatelli cauliflower cacio e pepe, hand cut pappardelle with prosciutto Bolognese, a seven-layer lasagna with smoked brisket ragu. Main courses feature a crispy skin, whole smoked chicken with salsa verde and grilled lemon, Calabrian chile baby back ribs, and an eggplant parmesan. Great Gold will also offer Roman style pizza cooked in a 1,000-degree Marra Forni pizza oven.

Overseeing the restaurant’s wine and service aspects will be Randal Hutchinson, who has experience working locally at Pianeta. Hutchinson will be tasked with creating a wine list exclusively from Italy along with local wines made by those that specialize in using grape varieties that originate from Italy.

The restaurant will also include a bocce ball court and an outdoor gazebo that can seat 30 people.

Great Gold is tentatively scheduled to open Nov. 6, and will be located in the Pioneer Commerce Center. For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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