Saturday, July 12, 2008
THE AHWAHNEE HOTEL
Yosemite could not escape the smoke and heat of last week. Its beauty did shine through. It was just the ticket for a couple of vacationing Mad Meat Genius. We needed some relaxation and refreshment and the Ahwahnee Hotel would suit the bill. The Ahwahnee Hotel is a Grand Hotel built right in the middle of the Yosemite Valley floor with Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite falls surrounding. It was built in 1925 and has attracted, Movie Stars,Presidents and even the Queen of England. We fit right in.
Our room was located on the fourth floor. We had a balcony with a view of Glacier Point. If you click the image, you can see Ms.Goofy waving at some celebrity. We had another window which had a view of Half Dome. We finished our complimentary basket of fruit and were ready for the main course. We made reservations for the elegant Dining Room at the Ahwahnee. The Dining room is an attraction in its own right. It hosts the Bracebridge Dinners in the winter. It hosts wine and cooking seminars. When you walk through the doors it is customary for your mouth to drop in awe.
We put on our finest threads. The Awahnee Dining Room has a dress code. It has been relaxed over the years. It used to be required to wear a dinner jacket and a tie but is business casual now. I think putting on some fancy duds, to chow down, places you in a more elegant frame of mind. The waiter gave us one of the most Stellar seats in the house. He placed us right up front in one of the picture windows. The Queen herself once sat at the table to our left. We were glowing with anticipation of the following meal.
We ordered a Heirloom Tomato and Truffle Tremor cheese salad. It arrived and was almost too pretty to eat. It had some Yellow tomato(guessing brandywine) sliced over a bed of arugula. It had fava beans,tremor cheese and was dressed with Meyer lemon olive oil. Ms. Goofy exclaimed,'What are those black flakes all over the salad?'. I braved one and told her that they were truffle shavings. The truffle had a very subtle taste. We both agreed that truffles are overrated. We were very pleased with the salad.
The main course was on its way. We paused and relaxed with a glass of wine. We just sat back and soaked in all the history and ambiance of this very special place. Ms. Goofy had the Prime Rib. It looked beautiful. Unfortunately it did not deliver. The Prime Rib had a funny texture like it had been reheated. It was served with Yukon potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. Asparagus and lavender sweet corn was a delicious accompaniment. I had the 'All Day Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder'. It was Neiman Ranch Pork that was served with black lentils,preserved lemons and tomato harissa with fresh herbs. This was melt in your mouth yummy. The pork was so tender. The tomato harissa had just a little bite that was the perfect partner to the lentils and pork. I was one happy camper with this dish.
Our dinning experience with the Awahnee Dinning room was a memorable event. The waitstaff is fined tuned to cater to you every wish. The food can be powerful in its presentation. Our only slight was the Prime Rib. We can and have overlooked this flaw because of the whole experience. We are looking forward to returning soon. I am trying to talk Ms. Goofy into taking on a side job so we can attend the Bracebridge dinners this winter.