Petra’s Bistro is one of the finest options for dining in Mammoth, featuring the town’s only Cruvinet wine system and thoughtfully-crafted cocktails by penultimate professional bartenders. It was opened by brothers Robert and Kirk Schaubmeyer in 2003 and named after their late mother, Petra. Attached is a cozy, Austrian-themed hotel and awesome dive bar (the Clocktower Cellar) below featuring pub food and over 100 whiskies. The building really has it all.
Petra’s opens at 5 p.m. and has a great happy hour, where wines by the glass and cocktails are discounted. Thanks to the Cruvinet, which preserves bottles of wine once open, guests have the luxury to try multiple wines (Petra’s serves half glasses of wine as well) to pair with their menu choices. Wine Director Mitch Cahoon strives for a “balanced” wine list and if you catch him in a friendly mood, he’ll spend an inordinate amount of time talking vintages, bouquets and tannins. One of Cahoon’s passion is education, and guests have the opportunity to be schooled in multiple varietals during their visit.
Chef Radisson Williams honed his culinary skills as a fishmonger in Carlsbad, California, and it shows in the seafood dishes that Petra’s does so well. But the “turf” to their surf is also impeccably done—usually a fatty portion of steak like a Rib eye or New York finds its way onto the menu with hearty accompaniments like smashed potatoes or seasonal asparagus, and there’s usually a braised meat like a short rib. Petra’s changes its menu daily and seasonally and is one of the few restaurants in town that augments its menu with locally-sourced vegetables and eggs from down the highway in Bishop. Bar manager Lauren Jenks runs a produce collective in her spare time and if you’re lucky enough to have her as your server, you won’t be able to resist the siren song of a local heirloom tomato caprese salad in summertime.
Petra’s is open Tuesday-Sunday, 5:00 p.m to close (whenever it slows down). Visit petrasbistro.com.
Sarah Rea is a freelance dirtbag-turned-journalist who has been living in the Sierra on and off for twenty years, with eight spent in Yosemite National Park and five in Mammoth Lakes. She likes dogs, rocks, good food and jumping into cold water.