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Nothing goes better with a great view than a great meal. Here are two fantastic restaurants to try when you’re in the scenic Lake Tahoe and Yosemite areas:
Since 1984 — well before the farm-to-table movement gripped the U.S. culinary community — Erna’s Elderberry House has been serving its customers California cuisine made with farm-raised meats and local produce. The restaurant’s prix fixe menus change on a daily basis but always include six courses and several bottles from its 725-bottle wine list. Given that the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant is situated in Yosemite, it's no surprise that it offers guests amazing views — windows frame vistas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the valley. You can even enjoy your meal on the terrace to be closer to nature. If you’re staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, be sure to dine at Manzanita, which serves California cuisine with a touch of French flavor. The food is delicious and locally sourced, and the views from this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant’s perch are lovely — you can gaze out at the snowy slopes while you dine. The hardwood tables and centrally placed fireplace bring the eatery a warm look in the winter. Grab a more casual bite here between ski runs during the day, or dress up and dine at Manzanita for dinner — on something like rack of lamb or pan-seared salmon.
Visitors to Yosemite cannot do better for fine ding than the Forbes 4-Star Erna’s Elderberry House within the Forbes 5-Star Chateau du Sureau, 16 miles from the park. Erna’s focused on local and farm to table cuisine decades before it became trendy, and offers daily multi-course chef’s menus with wine pairings. In South Lake Tahoe, the Ciera Steakhouse within the MontBleau Casino hotel is a very pleasant surprise, with top quality steaks, appetizers and sides, very professional service, and a great wine list. It is on par with better big city steakhouses, and easily the best in the area. Manzanita in the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe at the Northstar ski resort is modern upscale California cuisine at its best, with specialties such as chilled melon gazpacho and a drunken goats cheese and prosciutto pizza, all with a very heavy emphasis on local farms and natural meats, including bison.