Yosemite's Luxe Side
- Yosemite's Half DomeFull disclosure: We didn't totally rough it while in Yosemite (left). Although we spent our nights on the valley floor in the $5-a-night backpacker's camp, we also ate our first meal in the Ahwahnee Dining Room, the park's best restaurant. Normally I would steer clear of a place like this: diners reserve tables weeks in advance, seemingly for the dramatic dining room steeped in California lore, leaving no real need for the chef to put out great food. But the Ahwahnee was much better than it had any right to be, even if the dress code meant I had to change from hiking boots to high heels in the lobby. The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was tasty: my Arctic char was flaky and perfectly seasoned, while my husband's venison was tender and paired well with cranberries and späetzle. The homey chocolate fudge–pecan pie was an indulgent, messy-in-a-good-way dessert—I'm not at all surprised they've kept the same recipe for decades.