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Jun 6, 2013 08:37 AM

Mammoth has some possibilities

Usually considered a culinary wasteland, a recent trip to Mammoth showed some credible possibilities. Since we were there in the down season midweek many places were not open but passing on the local buzz to give some new places and/or new chefs a try:

In the Mammonth Village complex: Campo - billed as rustic Italian
Twin Lakes: The Mountain Inn at Tammarack Lodge - new chef, new menu, wonderful old log cabin lodge setting
Skadi - Old Mammoth Road got peer recommendations from local chefs

Did try and was pleased: The Restaurant at Convict Lake, and The Smokehouse in the Mammoth Village complex.

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  1. I'll be there in August so thanks for the tips.

    1. The Lakefront restaurants looked like the most intriguing combo for dining and location and our biggest disappointment it was not open when we were there midweek at this time of the year - slow season. Hope you get to try it and bring back a first hand report:


      1. Campo in Mammoth is the sister restaurant to the original in Reno, from star chef Mark Estes, formerly of Moody's Bistro in Truckee. It's a great place and my guess is the quality will be the same.

        1. Anything good on the drive up 395?

          6 Replies
          1. re: PattyC

            If your timing is right, the Still Life in Independence has good French roots. They are open during lunch and for dinner, but not all day long. We stopped only for coffee and it was a beautifully made Lavazza french press: https://plus.google.com/1136618324752...

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Thanks, we'll try to make it for lunch.

              1. re: glbtrtr

                Just tried stopping for lunch at 1pm and they were out of everything except pasta primavera and bolognese. Guess you have to get there early. I think we're just going to push on to Mammoth.

                1. re: PattyC

                  We ended up stopping at the Great Basin Bakery in Bishop for lunch. Arriving at 2pm, the pastry cases were mostly empty as expected but they still had sandwiches. The Mt Tom turkey came with a sauce that had a nice kick and we got some asiago sourdough to go. We may stop on the way home to see what we missed.

                  1. re: PattyC

                    We stopped at Great Basin again on the drive down arriving at 8am this time to full pastry cases. Got a cinnamon roll and chocolate croissant to go and ate them in the Alabama Hills. The croissant was very respectable and the cinnamon roll had a lemony icing that was not overly sweet.

              2. re: PattyC

                Whoa Nellie is a hoot in the Tioga Gas Mart at the junction to Yosemite. They have some wonderful lunch fare.

                As an aside, if you have the time, check out Bodie, a former mining town that is very well preserved. It's very cool.

              3. Stayed at Convict Lake Resort last week. While the service was very attentive, I was a bit disappointed with the restaurant. I realize that there aren't a lot of fine dining options but check $$ before you commit. Check previous posts. Yes, the setting is beautiful but I don't feel I got the value for the price. I ordered Caesar salad, potato leek soup and goat cheese raviolis as my meal. I love Caesar salad because of the garlic and anchovies. Well, I know not everyone uses anchovies in their dressing but I would think with an up scale place I wouldn't have had to ask. While a pretty and generous salad, it wasn't Caesar. The potato leek soup was the best part of my meal. The raviolis were tasty but tough. My dining companion had the vegetarian entree of Portobellos. Her description of them was, "rubbery". They were neither grilled or seared. Our sons ordered steaks--top sirloin at $28 and filet Mignon topped with Maytag blue cheese for $38. While I didn't try the top sirloin, I had to help cut it because the 14 year old was a bit frustrated. I'm sorry to be so vague, I wish I could recall how he ordered it. My mistake letting the other one order filet Mignon because he complained that the steak had no flavor. I explained that typically, filet Mignon gets it flavor from whatever sauce accompanies it. Anyway, it was a lovely setting but I don't feel I got my money's worth. Had been to the Tammarack Lodge years ago and would love to go back as I do remember really enjoying the food but would rely on more current reviews.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Fru

                  Unfortunately the deal at Mammoth is if you even remotely enjoyed your meal, ........... you got a good deal.

                  Agree, the food was not top rate for the prices, but one goes for the uniqueness of the setting, the sincerity of the effort and the fact they are even trying to do things as nicely as they are in that remote setting.

                  One can appreciate dining for more than food; and sometimes the food more than the dining experience. That is what I like about Chowhound, sometimes it is just about ...eating.

                  1. re: glbtrtr

                    "One can appreciate dining for more than food; and sometimes the food more than the dining experience.With regards to the remote setting,"

                    I wish. As much as I love to cook, I would have much rather enjoyed this meal more than the meal I made the next night from ingredients purchased from Von's for less than $25 and eaten in the same setting. It kills me to pay top $$ for mediocre food. This isn't my first outing, much less my first time to Mammoth. Yes, the experience should be about more than just the food. I like to get a lot of bang for my buck. I would have been happy with The Stove.

                  2. re: Fru

                    We ate lunch here today. I had a very good duck confit salad and lunch prices were reasonable. What we found initially disappointing was the setting. Lunch is served on the lawn under aspens (which is nice) but overlooking a parking lot. We incorrectly assumed that the resort was located on the lake and didn't think to check. We almost left but were glad we stayed.