There are many ways to celebrate the 150th year since the signing of the Yosemite Grant Act that led to the creation of the national park. You could climb Half Dome or stay in Yosemite Valley and marvel at the wonder of its waterfalls and granite peaks.
Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst, Calif., has something more elegant in mind. The restaurant, part of the swank Chateau du Sureau near the south entrance to the park, has concocted a special dinner open to all on Sept. 12.
The meal is inspired by one crafted for Abraham Lincoln's inauguration, a restaurant statement says. Why Lincoln? Well, he's the one who signed the act on June 30, 1864, that decreed Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove would be protected wild lands that "shall be held for public use, resort and recreation."
And Abe (well, someone impersonating him) will be at Erna's dinner table too to talk about the role he played in Yosemite's history.
Back to the dinner. It has been created by chef Jonathon Perkins and will feature items such as brioche crusted Merced River trout, sugar snap pea soup, beef a la mode, Wagyu beef short ribs braised in red wine and spices and chilled lobster salad. Dessert is huckleberry tart.
The cost is $135 per person; reservations are required. Those who want to stay at the hotel can book a room starting at $295 a night.
Info: Chateau du Sureau, 48688 Victoria Lane, Oakhurst; (559) 683-6800