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If you're not caught up on Chicago weather, here's what you missed this past winter: horrifically low temperatures, dizzying amounts of snow, and foggy rain to wash it all down. Nothing sounds better than a little taste of summertime right now, so it's lucky that two Chicago hotels are serving up heaping portions of classic picnic fare.
TheWit Hotel may have just launched a super-health-conscious new menu, but chef Evan Percoco understands that we all need a little fried chicken from time to time. His first-floor restaurant State & Lake has just introduced "Fried Chicken Sundays." Good for your soul (if not for your heart), the menu includes two sizes of buckets stuffed with fried chicken and biscuits; there are also growlers, or big old beer jugs, on offer.
Following an extensive refurbishment, this month Grace Hotels formally takes over Washington, Connecticut’s Mayflower Inn & Spa — and introduces an impressive new dining destination that would put the first Thanksgiving to shame. The 58-acre property, a favorite respite for moneyed New York power brokers and politicos, is now the Mayflower Grace: the second American location for the luxury hotel group.
The centerpiece of the acquisition involves the launch of a fine dining restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, showcasing modern European cuisine: pretty contemporary plates that you probably wouldn’t expect in the quintessential Yankee environs of rural Connecticut. For instance, smoked lobster served in small, clear, egg-shaped orbs with screw tops is a bit more “Lady Gaga” than “First Lady,” but coming from Cartwright, a five star-awarded grand chef Relais & Chateux, the results remain unsurprisingly sophisticated and polished for the teeth-gnashing upper crust clientele.
It hews to the formula of his muse at The Vanderbilt Grace in tony Newport, Rhode Island. (Next: Kennebunkport’s White Barn Inn is re-launching as White Barn Grace later 2014, according to a press statement, though it has already adopted the new name on its website.)
Given its storied history, (host to John D. Rockefeller; birthplace of the original martini) we expected soon-to-be-restored-and-reopened Knickerbocker Hotel to be pulling out a few big collaborator names. And so we're not entirely surprised to hear that the hotel has grabbed one of the country's top chefs to oversee its entire food and beverage program.
Charlie Palmer, who is a hotelier as well as a master chef will be in charge of the Knickerbocker’s fourth-floor signature restaurant and bar, a ground-floor café, and rooftop lounge. Hotel guests will also get priority access and "preferential treatment" at Palmer’s flagship restaurant, the Michelin-starred Aureole, just around the corner on 42nd Street.
Hotel Restaurants / Boston Hotels / Daniel Boulud / Celeb Chefs / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
Asana at the Mandarin Oriental Boston is about to assume its final resting position. (That’s a yoga joke, guys.) The New American restaurant will soon be replaced by the third location of Bar Boulud, renowned French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s casual bistro and wine bar. Renovations to its ground floor space in the 14-story hotel will begin in June, and the new eatery is expected to open in Fall 2014.
His partnership with the five-diamond Mandarin marks Boulud’s first venture into Boston. Time will tell what culinary surprises are in store for the spot, though an announcement promises the type of French bistro fare and seasonal charcuterie similar you’d find at Bar Boulud’s existing locations in New York City and London.
It "will be filled with energy, a great range of wine selections and soulful bistro cooking to create a vibrant eating and drinking destination,” states Boulud. The Boston restaurant will be overseen by Aaron Chambers, most recently chef de cuisine at the Mediterranean-focused Boulud Sud.
While many hotel brands are getting in on the juicing trend (Kimpton Hotels just announced a hotel-wide program too), we were beyond excited to see that the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles embrace a new, healthy-eating trend with a special Paleo Menu at their Breeze restaurant, a first of its kind for a hotel restaurant.
For those not familiar, the Paleo diet is based on the food groups of our "pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors." Cavemen, really. Essentially, the diet is all meats and vegetables but only "clean" meats and vegetables, nothing processed is allowed. And sorry, dairy is not allowed either.
The diet not only claims to help with weight loss but also to help with autoimmune disorders and systemic inflammation. (Note: I personally try to follow Paleo for an autoimmune disorder that I have but goddammit, cheese is too often too good to resist.)
Like all diets, Paleo requires careful selection of ingredients (read your labels!) and time to prepare the foods. While it's possible to order around the menu options at a restaurant to meet your Paleo requirements, most of the time dining out Paleo-style can be difficult and near impossible when staying at hotels. But not at Breeze, Hyatt's all-day dining restaurant.
TheWit is the first hotel in the Midwest to partner up with SPE Certified, a restaurant certification program that was founded in 2011. Quick crash course: SPE is an acronym for the Latin phrase Sanitas Per Escam, which means “health through food.” The program pairs chefs with nutritionists to create create meals that are low in salt, saturated fats, and processed ingredients. What’s left? Lots of tasty stuff— and much of it comes from local farms.
SPE dishes can be found through room service as well as at the hotel's first-floor restaurant State and Lake. Chef Evan Percoco’s menu now has 12 SPE-certified dishes (we’ve tasted some and they’re delish.) Options include a butter-and-cream free soup made with squash from a Michigan farm and deviled eggs with duck bacon from a Wisconsin poultry farm. There's seared salmon with chive yogurt, and Amish chicken with a mustard-maple glaze. For dessert, pastry chef Toni Roberts whips up inventive treats such as avocado brownies.
Or, you can skip dessert and head to the massage table instead.
Remember Cafe Marlton, which was due to open at The Marlton last fall? Well, it finally opened last week and it's now going by the fancier sounding name, Margaux.
Tucked into the rear of the hotel, occupying a light-filled space behind the lobby bar, the 98-seat Parisian-inspired cafe will be keeping long hours, opening from 7 a.m - midnight, and serving a daily changing menu of Californian, French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The kitchen is overseen by chefs Michael Reardon (formerly of Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, and Tra Vigne in Napa) and Jeremy Blutstein of Tremont, Eataly, and The Crow’s Nest in Montauk and dinner selections include the Farmer's Board of red-quinoa tabouli, beets and avocado hummus ($19) and the Dayboat Cod with sea bean ($24).
It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
OpenThreads are our way of handing over the microphone to you dear readers. We put forth a topic, a dilemma, a question, a preference, or an opinion and you let us know how you really feel.
Past provocative OpenThread discussions have usually involved something found inside the guest rooms (toiletry dispensers, bibles, tipping the housekeeper, etc. but this year's thread involved the waiters and waitresses working downstairs in the hotel restaurant.
Here's how it all went down for ASchecter in a Brooklyn hotel:
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Hyatt Hotels are going big in the big city this week. Not content with opening up the brand's largest NYC build in the past 30 years, today the Grand Hyatt New York is launching its first-ever artisanal chocolate line.
Available at the hotel's Market cafe, located in the lobby, the line features milk, dark, and white chocolate bars, and truffles in five flavors, each with a signature color and design: passion fruit, citrus, gianduja & white truffles, coffee, and dulce de leche (given that the chef is Argentinian, you've got to try that last flavor).
After a run of over a decade, Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at Claridge's Hotel in London closed its doors in June this year. Ramsay has kept busy with his many other ventures (including much-hyped Union Street Cafe in Southwark, in the end without pal David Beckham), but we now know what's to come for Claridge's too: chef Simon Rogan, of two-Michelin star restaurant L'Enclume in Cumbria, will take the helm.
The new restaurant will open in Spring 2014, and as befits a hotel like Claridge's, even the construction is done in style. Passing by the hotel recently, the restaurant section on Davies Street has been covered with a 'fake' facade, which pretty successfully obscures what goes on inside.
Honestly, life in the Big Apple is stressful enough without having to worry about the shopping, cooking and cleaning up of Thanksgiving -- isn't it supposed to be a relaxing holiday? Give yourself a break by making a reservation at one of these five hotels, which are generously offering to stuff the turkey and carve the ham for you.
1. The Eventi Hotel
For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah are on the same night, giving rise to the rather excellent neologism: Thanksgivukkah! At Eventi's Humphrey restaurant, you won't be forced to choose between latkes and turkey, because they will be serving both.
The restaurant, where tables will be decorated with both a Menoraj and Cornucopia, is offering a menu of both traditional Thanksgiving and Hanukkah favorites – available at the restaurant and in-room. Turkey will be served with a side of latkes and applesauce; pumpkin pie with a side of gelt, and cranberry sauce will be molded in the shape of a Dreidel. If the whole Thanskgivukkah concept is blowing your mind a touch too much, never fear: the restaurant will happily honor requests for a more traditional dinner, too. Dishes are priced between $12 and $23.
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Most high-end hotels take great care in creating impressive dining spaces, often luring in celebrity chefs and extra business along the way. But lately we have noticed a solid restaurant scene isn't always enough to draw in some extra business and hotels are going to greater lengths to bring in dollars, from opening up their pools so patrons can enjoy the sun and a cocktail, to installing full-blown art installations. Some hotels have taken to blending art and dining and the results certainly make for an eye-catching environment. Take a look at these six hotel restaurants where diners can take in both a five-star meal along with a helping of art and design:
SBE as a whole is an artsy and progressive name when it comes to hospitality and dining, working with big names to produce memorable venues like Katsuya and the SLS-branded hotels. The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Los Angeles is no exception with an eclectic design created, like most of their projects, by master Parisian designer of interiors Philippe Starck. Filled with seemingly random artistic pieces and a rainbow of colors, The Bazaar is anything but boring with a practically exhaustive small bites menu to match with everything from classic dishes to creations made using molecular gastronomy.