Manzanita Lake Tahoe is the new restaurant by Traci Des Jardins in the posh Ritz Carlton Highlands at Northstar Lake Tahoe. It opened in Decemeber 2009. Rooms here start at $350 a night. She is best known for Jardinière and Mijita Cocina Mexicana in San Francisco. Manzanita serves French inspired California cuisine with a focus on organic, sustainable, seasonal ingredients. Free valet parking for dinner guests. Our last visit was in early 2012 where we found prices had increased significantly.
Decor, Vibe – Manzanita Lake Tahoe located mid-mountain in Northstar resort, this brand new restaurant and hotel are a sight to behold. Contemporary design meets warm mountain feeling, lots of beautiful woodwork and art, wood plank ceiling, expansive state of the art open kitchen, transparent wine room, 94 seat restaurant and 71 seat dynamic bar/lounge area. Fairly loud restaurant with well heeled families, friends getting together apres ski, and lots of large parties.
Manzanita Lake Tahoe Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Manzanita Lake Tahoe Menu has a short menu that focuses on a wide range of starters, and more hearty entrees. Several items are taken from the Jardinière menu. Only one option for vegetarians. The menu changes often.
Nice warm sourdough bread.
Hot Buttered Rum ($14) Dark Rum heated with buttery sauce was perfect for a cold winter’s night. Topped with a swig of cinnamon.
YUKON GOLD GNOCCHI Porcini Mushrooms, Fines Herbes, Brioche Croutons, Truffle Cream ($16) what a wonderful, and rich dish this is. Lots of truffle flavor along with soft and fluffy gnocchi. This small portion was pretty sizable on its own.
Kid’s Manzanita Macaroni & Cheese ($7) was a big portion of high quality pasta with very good cheese. Sure to satisfy even big kids.
TDJ’s Warm Bread Salad ($14) Baby Artichokes, Bellwether Farms Crescenza cheese, local sourdough bread is a signature dish that was excellent. Large hearty salad with great cheese, warm bread chunks, Napa greens, artichoke, red peppers, and a very lite dressing.
KABOCHA SQUASH SOUP Amaretto Cream & Cookie Crumble ($14) was a perfect soup on a cold Winter’s night. A slight spicy note along with a luxurious creamy top coating.
TAJARIN PASTA Organic Tomato Sauce, Basil, Burrata & Argumento Olive Oil ($18) was a thin spaghetti like noodle that was homemade and possessing subtle flavors.
Maine Diver Scallops ($22 for appetizer) Potato Mousseline and black truffle nage had 3 small scallops that were cooked correctly and positioned on a bed of very smooth mashed potatoes.
Seabass ($34) Roasted Fennel, Crispy sunchokes and preserved meyer lemon was a healthy portion with a very crispy crust and tender meat. The crust was a bit too thick indicating slight overcooking. The vegetables below were cooked perfectly and tasted excellent.
GULF GROUPER Butter Beans, Artichokes, Olives, Pesto ($42) was a fantastic dish with two good sized pieces of perfectly cooked fish in a light pesto sauce along with tender beans. This dish was up there with the best in San Francisco.
Five Dot Ranch Prime Rib ($38) Baked Potato and sauce au jus was roasted then slapped on the grill, which surprised us. Good sized portion of tender meat and a large stuffed baked potato.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($29) Horseradish Potato Puree and Herb Salad is a Manzanita Signature dish. Tender meat that just falls apart, was bathed in a light wine sauce. Mild flavor to the mash potatoes. Could have used more of the fat trimmed off the ribs.
Side Order Seasonal Vegetables ($6) Kale, Garlic, mushrooms were a good sized bowl of healthy veggies.
Warm Chocolate Cake ($9) with blood orange sorbet and passion fruit essence was excellent. Almost as good as Picasso. Molten center, quality chocolate, and a nice tart sorbet to accent the bitterness.
Mojito ($10) was strong but not too sweet. Had to ask for more sugar.
Kid’s Tomato and Cheese Pizza ($9) was very thick and bready. High quality cheese, crispy crust edge.
Kid’s Rigatoni Pasta with Tomato Sauce ($9) was very good and huge. Light red sauce with a slight spicy tone.
BRAISED VEAL CHEEK Compressed Celery, Celeriac, Celery Seed ($17) was tender but on the salty side and a bit too meaty as an appetizer.
Manzanita Lake Tahoe had very good service with the manager almost coming over too many times to check on us. This is definitely the best restaurant in the area with prices in line for this caliber of establishment. Nearby places like North Tahoe’s Sunnyside fit in the same price range. Many times you pay a premium for a meal at a touristy spot and get so-so food, not so at Manzanita. We have no problem recommending Manzanita for anyone visiting this area. Good Wine selection with high markup. Wines by the glass from $8, bottles from $32. Kid’s Menu available.
Save money by visiting Manzanita for lunch or eating off the lower cost bar menu. Moody’s in Truckee is also a very fine restaurant.