El Tovar Dining Room

**** (4 stars)

I had fond memories of this dining room from a trip thirty years ago when I was freshly married. In particular, the morning toast, which seemed to have been deep fried in bacon fat stuck in my mind (and arteries, I’m sure). Fortunately (or not, as you view it) the toast is gone, but the place still holds a certain charm. Along with the Awahnee at Yosemite, it’s the only remaining grand hotel in a national park. There’s something deliciously decadent about fine dining in the midst of hikers who’ll be having beans and sleeping in a bag. While breakfasts in the dining room are no longer special, dinner is still an event.

We had a lovely table next to a widow and watched a storm come in. We shared salmon and trout croscanti as appetizers. Both were really excellent. Dinner was salmon and Filet Mignon, also good. Because the hiring is seasonal, the wait staff is often recently trained, but our waiter was an expert, and also an interesting fellow. He had studied Physics in college and knew all about Niels Bohr and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and had even visited Copenhagen to see Bohr’s Institute. Chatting with him turned a pleasant evening into an also memorable one, and made the meal as special as the setting.

El Tovar Dining Room
Village Loop Dr
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
(928) 638-2631