7 Fine-Dining Options in Fresno County
By MEGAN EILEEN McDONOUGH
Fresno has emerged as a food destination in recent years, and with a plethora of fine-dining options, it’s easy to see why. Whether in town for business or pleasure, there’s a restaurant to suit any mood and every craving. Due to popularity, we suggest making a reservation in advance, especially for large parties. Speaking of which, these hotspots are ideal venues for business dinners and company events.
1. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
If you're in the mood for a hearty steak dinner, there's no better place than Ruth's Chris Steak House. In fact, the California Restaurant Association voted this local favorite as the best steak in Fresno. The menu features USDA Prime steaks served on sizzling 500-degree plates. Plus, they boast an impressive, award-winning wine list, so why not pair your steak with a balanced red? Alternatively, opt for a signature entree, like the Personalized Potato & Vegetable Selection or the Stuffed Chicken Breast.
2. Elbow Room
In a nutshell, Elbow Room focuses on seasonal produce, calling it a "distinctly artisan approach to comfort food 364 days a year." From fresh seafood to exceptional steaks, there's something on the menu for every taste and temperament. The Harris Ranch Certified Natural Black Angus beef is always a crowd favorite, as is their famous steak sandwich, an entree that's been on the menu since their opening in 1955. Their French Quarter Prawns Provencal served in a savory wine broth is a must try.
If one steak night wasn't enough to curb your cravings, dine at another of Fresno's high-end steakhouses. Fleming's offers the finest USDA Prime beef. For those with an appetite for seafood, try one of the "steak companions," like the truffle-poached lobster. Steaks aside, there are plenty of mouth-watering entrees, such as the slow-roasted Barbecue Scottish Salmon Fillet.
4. Cracked Pepper Bistro
If a name like Cracked Pepper Bistro doesn't make you hungry, we're not sure what will! This warm, California-style bistro sources local ingredients for its seasonal menu, making sure to mix things up as much as possible. Start with one of the decadent appetizers, like the Black Chilean Mussels or the Beef Bone Marrow. As with many of Fresno’s fine-dining destinations, there’s an excellently curated wine list. Ask your server for suggested wine pairings.
Located in the charming Old Town of Clovis, this is one of Fresno County's most beloved upscale-dining spots. Chef Michael Shackelford and sommelier Chris Shackelford have been whipping up dishes made with fresh produce and packed with local flavors since 2006. Calling it “regional American cuisine,” Trelio’s menu changes daily, so you're always in for a pleasant surprise. For the ultimate splurge, order the Escargot and Roasted Iberico Pork Belly or Rack of Broken Arrow Ranch Wild Boar.
6. Five Restaurant
When you're in the mood for delicious Italian fare, head straight to Five Restaurant. The contemporary eatery serves pasta, pizza and a variety of other Italian dishes, all with a distinctive Californian flare. The outdoor patio offers a scenic view of the local surroundings, while the indoor seating contributes to a more romantic atmosphere. Feeling adventurous? Try the Pizza Prosciutto with roasted garlic, spinach, fuji apples, brie, parmesan cheese and, of course, prosciutto.
7. Max’s Bistro & Bar
Among Fresno County's most upscale restaurants is one of its most comfortable. At Max’s Bistro & Bar, guests can "experience California bistro dining in a place reminiscent of San Francisco.” From hand-shaken martinis to pan-seared scallops, every dish is made with love and served to perfection. For an innovative twist on a classic dish, order the Max Burger: sharp cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, grilled red onions and more.
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