Eat Pigs Tail at the Ritz Carlton

After seeing the Salmon run in Lake Tahoe, we headed to check out Northstar Ski Resort even though it was sans snow. It was also sans employees, visitors and any open stores. Apparently, the off-season is not the time to go to a ski resort in Northern California. But, it is the time to eat pigs tail. Who would have thought?

There was one place that was open, the Ritz Carlton. I suppose they are one of the few businesses that can afford to pay employees, even with very limited patrons. They were lucky, I was willing to patronize their establishment all in the name of helping to balance their months Profit & Loss statement.

I peeked my head into Manzanita Restaurant to access whether it was a place we wanted to drink & dine. I didn’t even need to get past the front door to decide. Just look at it.
Manzanita Restaurant in Lake TahoeManzanita Restaurant in Lake Tahoe

It was still quite early, so we took a seat in the bar to start with drinks.

They serve half glasses of wine. Music to my ears.

This did not make me happy because I could only drink a half glass of wine, but because I could mix & match. And I began to create my own wine-with-wine pairings.
Manzanita Restaurant Bar in Lake Tahoe

From the looks of the pristine and vacant kitchen they weren’t ready to cook us dinner right now anyway.
Manzanita Restaurant Kitchen in Lake Tahoe

Two hours later, my stomach was growling and there was nothing I wanted more than to make it stop. Fried Pigs Tail was a Starter on the menu and I looked no further. It was a part of the pig I hadn’t eaten yet. Piggy ears and pork cheeks…Yes. Pigs tails? Very soon.

The pigs tails came to the table uncurled. Confusing.

But, they were smothered in Buffalo Wing sauce. There was nothing baffling about that. Under the sauce, you could still taste the mild pork flavor of the tender meat.
pigs tails at Manzanita Restaurant Annette White eating pigs tail

I did a decent job cleaning the bones and Peter thought they were finger licking good.
pigs tail at Manzanita Restaurant in Lake Tahoe

As we were enjoying our tail, the chef came to our table, “We are testing out our new menu, would you like to sample a few items?”

“Nope. What makes you think I would like free, creative, hoity-toity food from a well renowned restaurant?” This is what I did not say.

He placed the first dish on our table and explained it as if we were judging Iron Chef. “What we have here is a seared scallop with port reduction, glazed brussel sprouts, pork and frisee.”  Both my eyes and taste buds were thrilled. But, not as happy as when the lobster gnocchi with english peas hit the table. The perfect potato pillows of pleasure melted in my mouth.

I would order both of those dishes. Even if I had to pay.
Scallops at Manzanita Restaurant in Lake TahoeLobster Gnocchi at Manzanita Restaurant in Lake Tahoe

The finale was a S’mores dessert, just because I hadn’t eaten nearly enough. Don’t think I didn’t dip my finger in that sauce and lick it clean. I don’t care if I’m in a classy joint, if there’s a decadent sauce, my finger is in it.
S'mores dessert

Five hours later, no exaggeration, we decided to leave the lap of luxury, pigs tail still on our breath. But, not without one last parting gift, a complimentary piece of pumpkin bread. Perfect breakfast for the morning.

Have you ever been comped a meal or eaten pigs tail? What was your longest dining experience?

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2017-04-28T16:47:22+00:00 January 13th, 2012|Categories: California, FOOD, North America, QUIRKY, TRAVEL|Tags: , , |

28 Comments

  1. John January 13, 2012 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Wow that's amazing. It just goes to show that there is DEFINITELY value in visiting places during the off season. Was there anyone else in the restaurant when you went or was it just the two of you?

    • Annette White January 13, 2012 at 11:37 am - Reply

      We were the only ones there for about 2 1/2 hours and then two other couples came in. I’m not sure if they were able to sample food too 😉
      But, it was a GREAT experience!

  2. Anita Mac January 14, 2012 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Looks like quite the culinary experience!  The S'mores dessert – I can only imagine how decadent that was!

    • Annette White January 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      I even like the traditional s’mores, so I loved this one!

  3. Andrea January 15, 2012 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Wow – that looks great. I've had a few complimentary meals but my longest (which we paid for) was at an awesome restaurant in Melbourne that no longer exists: it was called Interlude and they specialized in degustation menus up to 18 courses. The food was amazing!

    • Annette White January 15, 2012 at 8:28 am - Reply

      I can’t even imagine how long it would take to eat 18 courses! Wish they were still open so I could try it 🙂

  4. […] TRAVEL & EXPLORE After our five hour dinner at the Ritz Carlton and a good nights sleep, we woke up refreshed and ready to explore Lake Tahoe. I wanted to make the […]

  5. […] our five hour dinner at the Ritz Carlton and a good nights sleep, we woke up refreshed and ready to explore Lake Tahoe. I wanted to make the […]

  6. Joe Baker January 25, 2012 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Do you think they knew you were "press"?  Pigtails and Smores look great!!

    • Annette White January 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      I think they were just bored and wanted to feed someone 😉
      I’m just really happy it was me!

  7. […] letting any part of the animal go to waste. This includes, but is definitely not limited to, tails, feet, tongue, offal & ears. When inquiring the server about its contents she simply said, […]

  8. […] was the flip-side of my 5-hour, 5-star meal at the Ritz Carlton in Lake […]

  9. […] was the flip-side of my 5-hour, 5-star meal at the Ritz Carlton in Lake […]

  10. […] I did briefly question my euro-to-dollar conversion, because even when dining at the pricey Ritz Carlton drinks were cheaper. The calcuation was spot-on, […]

  11. […] trying strange food, though mostly of the non-vegetarian sort; duck gizzards, lambs tongue, pigs tails, etc. Never have I been so intrigued by a fruit or […]

  12. […] Manzanita Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe just before snow season, in October, was empty which led to us being indulged with free lobster gnocchi. In March, in Florence I made same day reservations at the trendy il Santo Bevitore, otherwise it would have most likely been a week wait. Whereas, right now, in June, the Michelin 3-Star French Laundry in Yountville is beyond a whopping 8 week wait. I checked. That's okay, I just saved myself 600 bucks on dinner. […]

  13. […] Manzanita Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe just before snow season, in October, was empty which led to us being indulged with free lobster gnocchi. In March, in Florence I made same day reservations at the trendy il Santo Bevitore, otherwise it would have most likely been a week wait. Whereas, right now, in June, the Michelin 3-Star French Laundry in Yountville is beyond a whopping 8 week wait. I checked. That’s okay, I just saved myself 600 bucks on dinner. […]

  14. […] TRAVEL Besides this Maui Ritz Carlton stay, my only other experience with these luxury hotels was eating free lobster gnocchi and pigs tail at their restaurant in Lake Tahoe, California. It was a good one. From the title of this post […]

  15. […] this Maui Ritz Carlton stay, my only other experience with these luxury hotels was eating free lobster gnocchi and pigs tail at their restaurant in Lake Tahoe, California. It was a good one. From the title of this post it […]

  16. […] a black bean sauce. The color and texture of the talons immediately reminded me of the pigs tail I had eaten in California before. Though instead of pig, these chicken feet tasted like a […]

  17. […] feet with a black bean sauce. The color and texture of the talons immediately reminded me of the pigs tail I had eaten in California before. Though instead of pig, these chicken feet tasted like a fatty […]

  18. […] feet with a black bean sauce. The color and texture of the talons immediately reminded me of the pigs tail I had eaten in California before. Though instead of pig, these chicken feet tasted like a fatty […]

  19. […] this Maui Ritz Carlton stay, my only other experience with these luxury hotels was eating free lobster gnocchi and pigs tail at their restaurant in Lake Tahoe, California. It was a good one. From the title of this post […]

  20. […] letting any part of the animal go to waste. This includes, but is definitely not limited to, tails, feet, tongue, offal & […]

  21. […] for. I did briefly question my euro-to-dollar conversion, because even when dining at the pricey Ritz Carlton drinks were cheaper than Harrys Bar in Venice. The calcuation was spot-on, […]

  22. 72 Mile Drive Around Lake Tahoe January 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    […] our five hour dinner at the Ritz Carlton and a good nights sleep, we woke up refreshed and ready to explore Lake Tahoe. I wanted to make the […]

  23. Jamaican Ugli Fruit: Sweet & Tangy February 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    […] trying strange food, though mostly of the non-vegetarian sort; duck gizzards, lambs tongue, pigs tails, etc. Never have I been so intrigued by a fruit or […]

  24. Eating Alligator at Dick's Last Resort February 21, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    […] was the flip-side of my 5-hour, 5-star meal at the Ritz Carlton in Lake […]

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