Exquisite French fare in Sierra Nevada

21 Tables

Legendary for its exquisite cuisine and shimmering with an Old World luxury you’d typically find in Europe, Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant is tucked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Yosemite National Park. Erna’s is a fine-dining restaurant where guests are treated like royalty and the food is a work of art.

The Ambience

Erna Kubin-Clanin, proprietress of Château du Sureau, founded Erna’s Elderberry House in 1984. Her vision was to create a world-class restaurant and resort that evoked the sophistication and luxury of Provence. Striking for its subtle elegance, lovely setting and flawless service, Erna’s Elderberry House is adjacent to Château du Sureau and named after the fruit that covers the grounds of the estate.

Impeccably dressed in starched white shirts and black suits, the highly trained waitstaff anticipates your every need. Sip on a fine French wine and enjoy a view of the gardens while servers bring coursed plates and ensure your glass is never empty.

The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant has three dining rooms, each titled after a renowned French chef: Paul Bocuse, Fernand Point and Auguste Escoffier. The rooms are lavishly decorated with French oil paintings, medieval tapestries and antique mirrors, handpicked by Kubin-Clanin, who travels extensively to find these treasures. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings and tall arched windows filter natural light into the restaurant. Tables are draped in fine linen and set with Italian tableware and crystal.

The Food

Erna’s specializes in farm-to-table seasonal cuisine. The prix fixe menu changes daily and is whipped up by Jonathon Perkins, an emerging young chef who has gained international recognition for the flavorful meals he creates. With exquisite dishes such as brioche-crusted halibut, curried eggplant soup, spruce- and blackberry-braised wagyu short ribs and roasted hazelnut panna cotta, this elegant experience is a must.

Need a glass of vino to complement your farm-fresh California feast? During the five-course meal, each plate is paired with a bottle from the restaurant’s extensive cellar. With more than 750 wines from regions such as France, Spain and Italy, the cellar lets you sample vintages from all over the world.

The Extras

Don’t miss the Sunday brunch at Erna’s Elderberry House. Known for its tantalizing cuisine and communal atmosphere, the spread is an all-out breakfast experience. The five-course meal offers selections such as local farm eggs with potato rosti, nectarine-passionfruit frappes, beef filet medallions and seared Maine scallops. You are also served complimentary freshly baked croissants, and a glass of brut or sparkling cider.
Want to learn how to cook like chef Perkins? Don a white coat and learn from a team of highly skilled toques who will teach you how to concoct world-class dishes with local ingredients.

Aspiring chefs should take the three-day cooking class and create a delectable luncheon and six-course dinner. For those who wish to re-create a classic recipe from the restaurant’s menu, half-day sessions are also available.

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Samuel Aguilar

Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant

Wine Director

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