Yes, Tahoe is beautiful. But take Tahoe, with lots of snow from a torrential downpour of powder the previous week plus a day full of sunlight, and you have gorrrr-geous! To elevate it a notch above that? Hit Manzanita, Traci Des Jardins‘ baby, at the Ritz Carlton Highlands.
With 1 kid in ski school (yes, he has raccoon eyes now), my husband and I decided to take our 3 year old and 8 month old to lunch at Manzanita, hoping and praying and crossing our fingers that no one would get out of line (read: scream). The day was gorgeous and we decided to sit outside, where it was so hot that we had the staff open the umbrella to give us some shady respite. The big kids menu had a variety of starters, pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers; the little kids menu had a nice variety, featuring most of your usual suspects. Despite the potential ferocity of 2 menacing little ones who could blow at any time, the service was indulging and welcoming, even gracious at times.
The food was easy, accessible comfort food elevated with decadent ingredients (example: ”foie gras butter”). Manzanita is a perfect mix of food, location, and ambiance. It’s how you want to eat after a day of skiing or like me, in lieu of a day of skiing. Though I did not imbibe that day, I knew the meal would have been even better if I had a glass of vino or a big fat stein of beer in my hand. I liked it. My husband liked it. And good gracious, my kids liked it enough that they stayed silent and perfect for the entire meal, tricking everyone around us that we had two little dah-lings on our hands. A perfect day, in many ways.
Flatbreads with chimichurri, goat yogurt, babaghonoush
Charcuterie and cheese platter
Accompaniments to the charcuterie and cheese platter
Fingerling potato, mushroom, arugula pizza
One angel baby reading the menu