Enjoy icy cool ambience and rich food at Baxters | SierraSun.com

Enjoy icy cool ambience and rich food at Baxters

Wendy Lautner, Sierra Sun Taking advantage of seasonal ingredients, the Dungeness Crab Tower features stacked pommelo, avocado, fennel and crab topped with micro greens and drizzled with Yuzu Vinaigrette.

The crowds have thinned and now its time to give yourself a little New Years treat. Take in the ambience at Baxters, the Village at Northstars newest restaurant. After dinner on Thursday at 7 p.m. enjoy the show when Jackie Landrum performs live jazz in the lounge area, or Friday at 7:30 p.m. when the New Orleans Style Quartet takes the stage. The SpacePositioned across from The Ritz-Carlton Club and near the gondola in the Village at Northstar, Baxters location adds another sophisticated touch to the pulse of Northstar nightlife. During a non-holiday week the place might be quiet, but expect live jazz in the lounge area every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in season. One would expect nothing less from owners J.J. Morgan and Mark Estee, who have led Moodys Bistro andamp; Lounge in Downtown Truckee to its reputation as a renowned fine-dining establishment and a cool, jazzy hangout. Baxters has potential for much of the same. The mood is speakeasy inside the bar and lounge area, but not in the same rich, red tones that color Moodys. Icy blues, aquamarines and snowball inspired lighting accent the dark dcor in the lounge and bar area. Seating is available on leather stools at the bar, at small two-tops along a long cushiony bench seat or at tables in the lounge and dining room area. The dining room, connected through a brightly-lit hallway (which also provides seating) is quite large with lighter accents of gold, tan and (of course) blue. The design seems to have a French theme which goes well with the menu. The FoodKnown affectionately by the waitstaff as the house of duck, it is true that Canard connoisseurs will find plenty on the menu to enjoy. The menu appeals to folks with fine, French tastes, starting with the melt-in-your-mouth French onion soup on the starter menu and followed by the Simple French Omelet offered at the top of the Entre menu and made of fresh duck eggs and served with fries or salad. The food is rich, (theres at least three listings of pork belly and five dishes with duck), and expertly prepared. The portions are small, as one would expect at a fine- dining establishment, and look beautiful on the plate. There also seems to be a strong seasonal component to the menu, with starters on the winter menu including Heirloom Winter Squash Soup, Beet Salad and a Dungeness Crab Tower. The owners classify the menu style as contemporary American, with a focus on Europe and the Sud Tyrol with Northern California sensibility. The DrinksA small handful of delicious and strong specialty cocktails, like the Blood Orange Cosmo, Naughty Cider and Jamaican Bobsled Hot Chocolate, accent the drink menu. There is also a long list of Ports, Scotch, Cognacs, and wine from every region imaginable with a focus on Pinot Noirs. And of course a few tasty brews on tap. Gotta TryIf youre craving duck this is the place to come. The Canard Au Trois (Duck Three Ways) with seared Foie Gras, Confit Rillettes, House Smoked Breast and Fig Mostarda, is particularly delicious. Price RangeThis place gets a $$$$. If youre looking to impress, Baxters is a good bet. Starters from $9 to $18 and entrees from $12 to $48; all cocktails are $9 as well.

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