Most people think of hotel food as something to endure, not enjoy. At some places, it’s as bad as you’d find at a hospital. But when it comes to knockout ambience, killer cuisine and a world-class experience, some luxury hotels bring their A game. Here, we’ve rounded up eight worth visiting just for a meal, based on cursory research and recommendations.
1. Wit & Wisdom at Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore
Michael Mina’s award-winning tavern is as American as you can get, with seafood thrown in for good measure. New Englanders will feel right at home with their lobster pot pie and grilled chicken breast, while adventurous types will spring for the beef tartare toast and uni hashbrowns with black caviar.
2. The J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln, Chicago
You’d have to visit the Willis Tower for a view that beats the J. Parker’s. Located on the 13th floor of the Hotel Lincoln, the restaurant serves up the usual suspects: crab cakes, grilled cheese sandwiches and spinach garlic dip. We advise ordering cocktails, preferably the one called Dangerous When Rested.
3. Huang Ting Restaurant at the Peninsula, Beijing
Luckily for travelers, the food at Huang Ting is as good as its ambience — and judging by the photos, the ambience is stunning. Designed to recreate a Beijing nobleman’s courtyard home, the restaurant serves Cantonese food with a contemporary twist. The equally elegant tea lounge is adorned with Ming Dynasty-era tables and parasols.
4. Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Dubai
The waterfront patio isn’t the only attraction at Nathan Outlaw — the seafood restaurant features a floor-to-ceiling aquarium. Also attractive: the lobster risotto, lightly pickled oysters and Dover sole terrine.
5. The Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa Valley
The $500 tasting menu may be outrageously pricey, but few would turn down the chance to sample one of star chef Christopher Kostow’s warm strawberries infused with anchovy or buttery oysters layered with sturgeon caviar. The drinking selection, which features mostly locally grown vino, is worth writing home about.
6. Borgne at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans
Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry have made Borgne into a destination for lovers of classic New Orleans cuisine, which may explain why it was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2013. Thursday’s special, fried chicken with homemade pepper jelly, may be worth skipping lunch for.
7. NoMad Restaurant, NoMad Hotel, New York
If imbibing an absinthe martini in the library doesn’t entice you, perhaps entrees like the signature roasted chicken will. Not convinced a trip to NoMad is worth it? The wine list is almost as tempting as The Restaurant at Meadowood’s, and the extensive selection of cocktails features something called the Drunk Monk.
8. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris
Jaw-dropping decor? Check. Wines as old as 55 years? Check. The subject of a film (“Naturalité”) because the shojin cuisine is so memorable? Check and check. Basically, the restaurant is everything one could hope for from the godfather of French cuisine.
Save on Your Next Trip
Whether you’re planning to try the Drunk Monk or splurge on the tasting menu at The Restaurant at Meadowood, it never hurts to make a plan to save on your travels. Rewards cards can help you do that and rack up some freebies while you’re at it. Be sure to check out our roundups of the best airline miles cards and cards with no foreign transaction fees.
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