Restaurant Review - March, 2005- Joanne

The Awahnee Resort
Dining Room

Visited: March 7, 2005 - Dinner

We visited Yosemite National Park and stayed at the Awahnee Hotel for three nights. The first night we dined in the much heralded dining room. The second night we ordered room service and the third night we ate at the Yosemite Lodge. The Entrees at the Awahnee Dining Room range from $24 to $40 (venison). We found the food quality did not meet our expectations or the prices charged. Breakfast at the table in the far end of the dining room is a great experience because of the gorgeous view of the waterfall, but the room at night is a bit cold and austere.

This is what we ordered:

Forest Mushroom pancakes
These were the good choice of the three appetizers we selected. Tasty little pancakes with a shitake cap on top and a balsamic sauce drizzled over them. Hey, they could have been better if someone else had made them. The shitakes were on the rubbery side.

Pan Seared Diver Scallops
A little on the past their prime – Trent wouldn’t eat them and that usually indicates something is amiss …

Buffalo Carpaccio with Jalapeno Jam and pickled vegetables and Johnny cakes
Weird. Buffalo sliced in almost perfect rounds. Maybe tenderloin? Pickled vegetables on the sweet side. Jalapeno Jam was very sweet.

Pecan Praline Crusted Organic Pork Tenderloin with pureed sweet potatoes, braised greens and dried apricot pan sauce
The pork was tender. The crust didn’t enhance it in any way. The sweet potatoes were inedible. They had been cut with something (carrot?) then over-salted, resulting in tart citric saltiness. The apricot sauce was also very over-salted and was terrible with the pork.

Seabass with Cappellini cake and accompaniments…
Jack was going to order the “organic” salmon but when he inquired where it was from, he was told probably Mexico – but then when the waiter returned after checking with the kitchen it turned out it was from Peru. The seabass was edible. Trent had some. But we would not to order again.

The next night we ordered Room Service at the Awahnee Hotel, catered by the restaurant. The menu is a slimmed down version of the Dining Room menu.

Dinner - March 8 (room service):

Forest Mushroom Pancakes
Shitake caps a bit rubbery but pancakes were tasty.

Crab Cake with cucumber and onion and avocado aioli
We actually ate it cold the next day (we refrigerated it overnight). Jack though it was pretty good. The sauce was moussey and tasted good.

Three Green Salad
A pretty normal salad. Ok.

Angus Beef Tenderloin: Charred, Peppered Filet Mignon, Humboldt Fog Blue Cheese Gratínee, Roasted Garlic Smashers (switched for fingerlings), Caramelized Shallot, Cabernet-Thyme Reduction served with asparagus.
This was a good steak. Jack and Trent finished it between them.

Shelton Farms Pan Roasted Chicken with bacon and leek (?) salpicon…Roasted garlic smashed potatoes (switched for the listed carrot risotto) Chardonnay Sage sauce
The exterior of the chicken was hard and dried out. Where the scalpicon touched the meat it was moist and succulent. The salpicon was mushy and pretty tasteless – I didn’t eat it. Mashed potatoes were pretty leaden – not much texture left – they weren’t eaten either.

(View from restaurant during breakfast)

Note on Breakfast: They have fantastic tasting Dark Bran Muffins. The top is hard and crunchy and the flavor is divine. If you get the pastries basket just ask for all muffins!

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