Food Glorious Food

| May 6, 2011 | 0 Comments
Wine dinner

Wine dinners at the Camp Lodge start with hors d'oeuvres followed by a multi-course meal.

The most popular spot at Martis Camp might well be MC’s Original Soda Fountain, tucked inside the family barn.

With an old-fashioned motto of “good eats and fountain treats,” kids dig it for the shakes, malts, floats, sodas, razzles, sundaes, splis (made with Tahoe Creamery Ice Cream) and pies. Parents love it because they can feed the entire family a tasty, even healthy, breakfast, lunch or dinner in a casual and comfortable setting, before the big sweet payoff.

“We originally built tat kitchen to service the pool,” says Martis Camp general manager Mark Johnson. “But people love the social engagement of coming in for a meal. And everyone is in their appropriate element of comfort. Kids can play after they eat, adults can linger at the bar. It’s easy to come and go.” At the peak of the Christmas/New Year holiday this past year, the Soda Fountain was serving upwards of 130 dinners a night, says Johnson. And that’s not just the all-natural, free-range burgers, dogs and chicken fingers. The something-for-everyone lineup also includes various cuts of beef, rack of lamb and king salmon to satisfy adult palettes.

If the Soda Fountain focuses on fun and family, the mountain warming hut, located at the Martis Camp Express lift, is all about the snow. There, during ski season, members slide off Northstar California’s slopes for lunch hot off the grill—Wagyu burgers, kosher brats and free-range chicken breasts.

And often what they order isn’t even on the menu. Grill man Wualdo Nava, who’s been at Martis Camp since May 2009, frequently cooks up something special for his clients, perhaps a recipe handed down from his grandmother.

“Members love his authentic Mexican dishes,” says Martis Camp director of food and beverage Michael McPhie. “They often order without even asking what it is that day.” The warming hut and eatery, for now a temporary yurt structure, will eventually be incorporated into the Martis Camp Mountain Clubhouse, a permanent building devoted to all things winter, slated to start construction this summer.

Those in search of a finer dining experience will likely head for the Camp Lodge, debuting this July. There, executive chef Mike Davis and chef de cuisine Roberth Sundell will collaborate with McPhie to produce exceptional seasonal menus.

“Menu writing is a group effort,” says McPhie. “We feel that the three of us can create something better than any one individual alone. We are inspired by small artisan local farms seasonally and source unique products elsewhere; we strive for all-natural, organic products whose flavor is not adulterated by chemicals, hormones or poor feeding methods. Seafood is wild and troll-caught when possible and never farm-raised. Meats are grass fed and allowed to roam freely, not caged or inhumanely treated. Our goal is to seek out smaller producers dedicated to preserving the tradition of handson production of a sustainable product that shows great respect for the environment.”

The Camp Lodge will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to members and their guests, who might be headed for the golf course or sitting down to a multi-course meal. No Egg McMuffins for breakfast here: Dungeness crab Almaviva means poached eggs over artichoke hearts with béarnaise sauce in a puffy pastry ring topped with fresh tomato sauce. At lunch, the BLT gets an upgrade with rare yellowfin tuna steak, smoked chili aioli and Nueske bacon.

While the dinner menu was still in the works at press time, some members might opt instead to start with dessert after gazing upon the white chocolate key lime tart: a pecan shortbread shell coated with white chocolate and topped with key lime curd, fresh fruit, apricot glaze and meringue, finished with raspberry sauce. A fully stocked wine cellar, fine china and stemware, intimate dining space options and knowledgeable servers are all complemented by those sweeping Sierra views.

Extremely popular with members, Friday night wine dinners— which move this summer to the East Patio at the Camp Lodge—feature multi-course meals paired with pourings from wineries from Keenan to Kistler. The weekly July through September event gives the Martis Camp culinary staff a chance to really show off their talents.

“We want our members to feel special,” says Johnson. Indeed, from simple to sophisticated, no culinary desire goes unfulfilled at Martis Camp. By Susan D. Rock.  TQ


Category: Wine & Dine

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