manzanita loungeAt the F&W Classic in Aspen last week, chef Traci Des Jardins announced details of her anticipated restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe, including the name—Manzanita. And other facts: opening date (December 9); number of seats (94 in the restaurant and 70-odd in the bar); some of the dishes on the California mountain menu (grilled cheese with a daily changing cheese selection, rotisserie quail with bread salad and pancetta, red-wine-braised short ribs with horseradish-mashed potatoes). We’ve loved Traci since she was an F&W Best New Chef back in 1995, but this could be her best food to date. Traci, who’s done runs in Tahoe for 20-something years, says she never cooks better than after a big day of skiing.