While on a recent camping trip to the Eastern High Sierra, my wife and I were pleased to fine a new restaurant in the small town of Lee Vining, CA (population about 250) which is located along Highway 395, near Highway 120 which leads to Yosemite Park. The restaurant appears to be a converted house and has inside dining for about 25 people. There is also a lovely outside, park-like dining area surrounded by trees and has a view of the adjacent mountains and nearby Mono Lake. During our trip, we stopped by for both breakfast and dinner.
The breakfast menu is small but intended for travelers on the go. I had the organic steel cut oatmeal with granola, raisins and cranberries. Served with milk and maple syrup to add, this large bowl of oatmeal filled me up and was delicious. My wife had a fruit bowl and a raspberry scone and just raved about the scone, which was made that morning on site. Their organic coffee was strong and tasty but refills are a dollar each. All in all, it was a very satisfying breakfast. They also have yogurt bowls and a bagel plate for other breakfast fare. Breakfast prices range from $5 to $10. The only disappointment was they no longer serve any egg dishes for breakfast. Breakfast is served from 7AM-11AM.
Lunch is served from 11AM to closing (9PM). We didn't have time to stop for lunch, but their menu selection ranges from Panini sandwiches to cheese steak to hummus plates to Caesar salads, etc. Lunch prices range from $5 to $13. There are also daily specials such as homemade soups and a half sandwich, soup, and salad combo. They also have fresh baked daily desserts and other baked goodies.
On the last night of our trip, we stopped by for dinner. (5PM to 9PM). This is where their name of 'Epic Café' really comes to the fore. Each night, their dinner selection changes and contains 3 or 4 specially prepared meals. On the day we ate, their selections were rib eye steak, pork tenderloin, or duck breast. I had the rib eye steak which was served covered with a red wine sauce. This steak was huge and so tender and tasty. It came with some wonderfully prepared red potatoes cooked with bacon, and fresh vegetables. This was probably the best steak I've ever had. My wife had the pork tenderloin which was covered with a sauce made from locally grown apples. It also came with the red potatoes and vegetables, and my wife couldn't stop talking about wonderful it was. This meal was truly 'Epic'! Dinner prices are a bit pricy ($31 for my steak), but well worth it. This was gourmet dining in a mountain setting.
For drinks, they have a selection of juices, sparkling water, tea and lemonade. The also have a small selection of domestic and craft beers, along with moderate wine list.
The owners, Linda and David Dore, were very friendly and charming, and their wait staff very pleasant and helpful. This restaurant is one that we will visit every time we are in the area.
Oh, it should be noted that this is a seasonal place due to the harsh winters. They open from sometime in May and will close for the year sometime in mid to late October. As well as dining in, they also do take out.