Restaurant review: Mattinson recommends Rafters

The following is a restaurant review by Sierra Wave’s Dennis Mattinson:

Rafters Restaurant and Lounge in Mammoth Lakes, has been brought back to life by the owners, Jim and Nancy Demetriades.

 I had heard about this place from our listeners, so off I went to taste the food and feel the service. Upon arrival, I met the Manager, Jack Carter and a little later, the Executive Chef, Kerry Mechler. I sat down at a booth across from the fire place.

 It was late Sunday morning and a good time to try a breakfast / lunch combo with a little wine. I must say that the innovative cuisine offered on the menu was tantalizing. Breakfast appetizers ranged from West Coast Oysters on the half shell with a Kumquat Serrano Chile sauce< TO> Warm Baked Brie with Granny Smith Apples, Dried Cherries and Toasted Almonds. Breakfast Mains offered items like Tiger Prawn Asparagus Scramble with Avocado, White Cheddar and roasted potatoes.

 The Lunch menu was equally interesting with offerings of homemade Thin Crust Pizza, Lou LaGuardia’s (made in Bishop) Spicy Sausage sandwich with Roasted Peppers, Tomato and Burrata Cheese <ALSO> Grilled Organic Scottish Salmon. So what to choose? I started with the West Coast Oysters (flown in regularly for maximum freshness) then the Tiger Prawn Scramble.  Boy the oysters were great and the Kumquat sauce was the perfect dip to wash down the oysters. 

Before long my waiter, Troy showed up with the Tiger Prawn scramble. The prawns were fresh and the eggs were scrambled just right, not to firm. The Avocado and asparagus added the right complexity to the dish. Soon the Lou LaGuardia, sausage sandwich showed up. Man, the sausage was rich and spicy with a great finish on the Pallet.

With all of this, Chip, the wine expert, brought over a sampling of Roses from Italy and Germany. The first, a Schnaitmann “Evoe” 2010 from Germany, was light and fruity with a touch of spice, great with the eggs. The Second, a Ricasoli “Alba” 2009 Toscana from Italy, was more complex, fresh/clean with great fruit and underlying complexity, wonderful with the sausage. Finally Chip offered up a fabulous summer red from the John Alan Winery in Paso Robles. This wine was called the “Malcontent” and was an unusual blend of Malbec, Zinfandel and Petite Verdot. This wine offered up a wonderful nose of fruit with a seamless texture of black fruit and creamy chocolate. It went perfect with my finisher cheese plate of Mt. Tam, Bermuda Triangle, Point Reyes Blue and an over the top Manchego.

If you like great service, wonderful freshly made food, a truly unique wine list (with good pricing) in a mountain atmosphere; I would recommend trying this upscale restaurant.

Rafters is located in the Town of Mammoth Lakes, at 202 Old Mammoth Road next to the Sierra Nevada Lodge. Hour of business are Breakfast 6:30 to 11:30, Lunch 11:30 to 2:00 and Dinner 5:00 to 9:00. Rafters phone number is 760 934 9431.


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12 Responses to Restaurant review: Mattinson recommends Rafters

  1. outdoorathlete July 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Thank you Dennis for the recommendation of a great place to dine, and with a menu
    that is different than what we see in our area. It seems like many people complain
    about our limited restaurant choices in our area, so knowing about the Rafters is valuable
    to many.

    I recently attended the Rafter’s wine dinner a couple of months ago, and it was
    one of the best meals I have ever eaten.

  2. Joann Lijek July 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    How long does it take to get from Bishop to where they have fresh oysters when you are on Foot?

  3. vegantothefifthpower July 21, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I actually don’t own a car and never in my adult life have had to. I use my two legs for transportation. Re-read what I originally posted. I can 98.9 % guarantee that none of those other items where grown in CA. Asparagus in July? Yeah…right.
    Just wanted to remind you of the impact of these issues. In the article it even mentions that oysters are flown in for freshness. Wouldn’t you rather indulge where they are fresh?

  4. Ken Warner July 21, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Point of interest: Did you know the Central Valley of California was once (not too long ago) one of the largest salmon fisheries in the World?

    Complicated history — but when all the dams were built to supply predictable irrigation waters for the Central Valley’s agriculture, those dams made impassible barriers that kept salmon from reaching their rookeries.

    • Rob July 21, 2011 at 11:08 am #

      There’s some great stories online of people Salmon fishing in the Ventura river.

    • Joann Lijek July 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      Same in Washington State, when we were kids they would show us how the salmon would use the fish ladders to return to spawn. Unfortunately not. Most of them just get slaughtered in the turbines. Hydroelectric power (renewable, “green”) was supposed to be the wave of the future. There are very few (if any) “alternative” energy “solutions” that do not have serious environmental consequences.

  5. Hamburglar July 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Gluttony is gross though.

  6. Hamburglar July 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    It occurs to me that most everything mentioned except the salmon, prawns, a couple wines, and likely some of the cheeses could well be from California. That said, if you really want to reduce your carbon footprint, drive your car less, and don’t pass gas. (Methane is probably a bad thing)

  7. vegantothefifthpower July 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Carbon footprint? I didn’t write anything about what you actually ate…just where in the world it came from! Gluttony is even grosser,btw.

  8. Ken Warner July 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Let see — Sunday I had about a quart of coffee — a hard boiled egg — a protein/yogurt/fruit juice drink and two pieces of toast with peanut butter. Made it all myself. I was stuffed…..

  9. Hamburglar July 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    In the immortal words of mothers everywhere… If you don’t like it, Don’t eat it. Although I respect your dietary choices, it’s only fair that you respect ours. Preachiness doesn’t buy much.

  10. vegantothefifthpower July 20, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Wow! Look at your carbon footprint on that meal! Organic Scottish Salmon? That’s funny! Seriously, maybe except for the almonds, avocados and some of the cheese(sounds like Cowgirl Creamery), the two things from CA was one wine and Bishop made meat in a tube! Think about where your food is grown and flown in from….before claiming about how tantalizing it is.


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