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Ciera Rocks the Sierras (A Virtual Restaurant Review)

One of the great things about having an invisible boyfriend is that your husband almost never finds out about it. Also? Other people will think you’re crazy and leave you alone for once in their lives.

When I made my OpenTable reservation at Ciera (a steak joint inside the MontBleu Casino in South Lake Tahoe) the other day, I requested it as if it were just one person. They don’t need to know my personal business. I mean can you imagine them guiding me to my red velvet-curtained private booth and constantly poking their head in to see who the devil that four-eyed tablecloth-sucking wino is talking to and occasionally making out with?

As far as they were concerned I had that booth all to myself.

Dinner booth in Ciera in montbleu in tahoe

Yeah, baby, Farkwith and I had this whole boudoir of gastronomy to ourselves.

You know what I like in a waiter? When you ask for a red wine and he doesn’t recommend the most expensive one. So either he saw me pull my shopping cart up to the door, or he knew our taste by the smell of Thunderbird on Farky’s breath. Regardless, I appreciated it.

While I perused Ciera’s menu, Farky asked me if I would run off with him to Barbados. I told him no and proceeded to order the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna appetizer, which was awesome, by the way.

Ciera Ahi Tuna appetizer

I judge raw fish by its lack of fibrous material that prevents me from being able to bite it in half so I don’t have to shove the whole thing into my mouth. My mandible is on the small side, so if I have to work in a whole piece of fish, then I can’t taste it. Plus, it’s horribly unladylike.

Ciera Ahi Tuna appetizer

I’m happy to report that this fish was melt-in-your-mandible fiberless.

When the bread guy came (“wheat, cranberry walnut, or three cheese”), Farky pleaded again for me to run away with him, that he would buy me a tropical castle made of ten thousand palm fronds, but I was too busy digging into the three different butters Ciera offers (regular, pesto and cranberry).

Ciera bread and butter

Farky will never learn that when I am consuming three-cheese bread with pesto butter, he may as well be invisible, because I lose my hearing when I taste good bread.

As our server brought my filet, Farky began accusing me of loving my husband more than him, which is true, actually, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I blurted out, “No, baby, I love YOU more.” Our server may have looked at me funny, I’m not sure.

Filet at Ciera Steakhouse

This was the six-ounce filet (there is also a ten-ounce) and it’s medium rareness was PERFECT. I should also mention that I hate vegetables, yet I found myself eating the yucky juliened squash because it actually tasted good. The Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes were simply gorgeous and a flavorful pile of carbohydrate heaven. You can quote me on that if you like.

I told Farky that the last time I was there, I had the Lobster Ravioli which is super delicious, if on the rich side. But he merely pouted because I hadn’t told him that I loved him some time during the last fifteen minutes. He’s a nice guy, but gawd, he’s needy.

By the way, you HAVE to order the coffee after dinner. Even if it’s decaf. Why? Because it’s fun!

Coffee at Ciera

Aside from cream and sugar, you get chocolate shavings, cinnamon sticks, rock sugar cluster thingies, caramel whipped cream and Bailey’s whipped cream. You have to have like eight cups of coffee just to sample everything.

ciera coffee with cream

ciera coffee with chocolate shavings

I had to pass on dessert because I knew what their wicked awesome chocolate lava cake would do to me. Here’s a bad picture from my cell phone when I ordered it the last time I was in Lake Tahoe. Holy Hot Chocolate, this thing is good:

Dessert at Ciera Steak and Chophouse

But no, I passed on it this time. I don’t know if our server felt the pain I was going through with my dining companion or what. I’m sure he heard Farkwith hounding me all through dinner, begging me to bail on my responsibilities back at home and go to Barbados on his private invisible jet with him. Maybe he felt sorry for me, our server, I don’t know, but he brought me this last little gift.

Ciera strawberry

A single chocolate covered strawberry atop an ethereal plain. Just one single strawberry. As if Farkwith didn’t even exist.

I knew right then and there what I should do. I told Farkwith that had he ever (EVER!) brought me such a work of art even once during our tumultuous relationship and that if he wasn’t so clingy, and smothering me all the time, and if he didn’t squeak and kerplunked when he snored, I would have left the country with him a long time ago.

Farky gasped. Then he stormed off. The ungrateful turd.

That’s okay though, I guess. There’s plenty more where he came from.

ciera plate

The lesson here is that the food, ambience, and service kicks ass at Ciera, even when one is accompanied by a whiny invisible boyfriend.

Ciera Steak + Chophouse

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A big THANK YOU to Kim Bauer for including Nanny Goats in Panties in her Top Ten List of Fabulous Niche Blogs by Women.

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  1. All the dishes looks yummy…Thanks for the review. I liked it.

  2. Wendi says:

    We stayed there a couple of years ago, but I seem to remember all of my meals coming in a martini glass.

  3. Sue says:

    *sigh* I had Mr. Chicken for dinner tonight.

  4. gayle says:

    I am starving now! That food looks so yummy!!

  5. Lanita Moss says:

    Is there an airport near by?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Finally. Three tries to get into disqus. Why is life so hard? Why am I not at that restaurant eating?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I want that steak!!

    Love your review!!!

  8. Three different butters, but only one of three breads?

    Cranberry walnut bread would be amazing with cranberry butter, revolting with pesto butter.

    And the three cheese bread, I’m guessing, would be equally as vile with the cranberry butter.

    Otherwise, that meal looked fantastic.

  9. I have an invisible boyfriend who goes to movies with me. My husband knows about him and I have told The Husband that the minute he decides to go to movies with me, I dump my very tall, and very muscular (or so I imagine) imaginary boyfriend. I may have to up the ante and take my boyfriend out to dinner now…that looks freakin’ delicious.

  10. Timmy says:

    I dated an imaginary girl in High School named Farky. She was cute, but always talked about one day being an imaginary man. Could it be? If so, please tell her/him that Timmy said “hey”.

    1. I’m a little horrified that I didn’t notice it. They always say to check for the Adam’s apple and I always forget. Great, so now not only is he whiny, he’s also girly-necked.

  11. Jggaston says:

    Farkworthless… good one! And I’m so very hungry right about now.

  12. Oh boy does that all look good. I have to get me to Tahoe because we don’t serve fish like that in these parts. We only have the kind that’s cured with lye for a few weeks. Farky would be kicking your virtual shopping cart to the curb if you made him eat that stuff.

  13. Ron says:

    Ok, I just want you to know that I had a multiple food orgasms as I was reading this, and finally climaxed when I saw the ethereal chocolate covered strawberry.

    Ooooh…love to love you baby!

    OMG…this food looks AMAZING! The bread and cheese selections gave me shivers!

    Beautiful photos, Margaret! Fab post!


  14. Nezzy says:

    Oh baby….I wanna come…please!!!!

    Have a great week girl! :o)

  15. Carla says:

    That looks so very yummy

  16. Nicky says:

    Margaret, I’m assuming this is a brilliantly written review judging by the other comments. I don’t really know for sure because I cannot get past “three cheese bread with pesto butter.” Why would you order anything else after that?

    1. You’re right, Nicky. Because that’s probably the All You Can Eat portion of the meal, so no need to order expensive steaks at that point.

  17. Since I am heavily into praise I am always grateful for a menu and wine list that promises to compliment my dining experience. Almost as gratifying as an invisible boyfriend.

  18. Slommler says:

    What a fabulous dinner you had!! Had me drooling all over my keyboard!! And I think you need a new invisible boyfriend. This one is too whiny!!!

  19. Liz says:

    You had me at “boudoir of gastronomy.” Literary brilliance, I tell you.

    And I love me some ahi!

    1. Thanks Liz! Perhaps if blogs have their won Pulitzer Prize….. 🙂

  20. Margaret, I want to go there and eat all that! Damn! It looks wonderful. There’s a place in SF called “Sam’s” and it’s in an alley. It has the private booth things. They are very romantic! You could have let Farood slip under the table and massage your feet while you were eating. Ok, it’s not Farood, but Farood is a good name for an invisible whiny boyfriend too, isn’t it?

    1. Farood is a GREAT name for a whiny invisible boyfriend!

      1. If I have another son, I’m going to name him Farood. Or maybe Fabulous
        Farood! Or miraculous Farood which would be more the case.

  21. First of all, this is such an excellent post. And so well-written. Honestly, I tend to get bored when reading restaurant reviews – but NOT this time!

    Pesto butter is one of my favorite items on the planet and that Tuna looked AMAZING. And yes, I just might quote this line “The Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes were simply gorgeous and a flavorful pile of carbohydrate heaven” IF I ever have mashed potatoes that ARE that good.

    The whole meal looks and sounded amazingly delicious. And I laughed and laughed and laughed with respects to everything Farkwith!

    1. Thanks so much for retweeting this, Meleah! And for your awesome compliments.

  22. That looks gorgeous!

  23. Pricilla says:

    I lust after your virtual meal – well the publicist does. The lobster ravioli sound divine.

    Farkworthless sounds like he would make a bad meal worse.

    1. Farkworthless – HA!!! good one.