Who says hotels are just for sleeping? Or stealing stuff? Sure, the dining options at the Snellville La Quinta may not be world renowned (although there's probably a Waffle House nearby), but some of the country's most exclusive restaurants happen to be hidden inside hotels. Here are 11 gourmet meals worth the trip.
NoMad, NoMad Hotel -- New York City
Signature dish: Whole roasted chicken for two, with foie gras, black truffle, brioche.
Designed to capture the belle epoque aesthetic of an early 20thC Parisian eatery, the cluster of dining rooms in this impossible-to-get-a-reservation spot surround a sun-drenched, glass-enclosed atrium. Food/drink-wise, expect classic cocktails and suckling pig to accompany your foie-gras stuffed poulet.
Wit & Wisdom, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore -- Baltimore
Signature dish: JM Clayton blue crab cake, horseradish creamed cabbage, heirloom beets, pistachio butter.
Located on Baltimore’s historic Inner Harbor, this "modern American tavern" cooks up "Eastern seaboard classics" like bourbon steak burgers and lobster pot pie in/on their hearth oven and live-fire grill, while outside the 85-seat patio (dubbed Wit on the Water) offers guests views of the harbor.
Parallel 37, The Ritz-Carlton -- San Francisco
Signature dish: Boneless chicken wings, poached hen egg, cannellini beans, persimmon.
With an interior highlighted by slab wood light fixtures, windows into the kitchen, and an etched swinging glass door (!!), this Nob Hill bar and restaurant focuses -- as the name cleverly hints -- on food from the Bay area and includes a five- or eight-course tasting menu for the table.
The J. Parker, Hotel Lincoln -- Chicago
Signature dish: J. Parker Burger, dry-aged beef, butterkase cheese, belly fire mayo, lettuce, charred onion, pickles.
With an epic 140-seat deck that sits atop the Hotel Lincoln, The J. Parker offers unobstructed views of Chicago and Lake Michigan to go along with a rotating-quarterly lineup of cocktails and smaller bites like burgers, braised beef, and hot wings.
Aubergine, L'Auberge Carmel -- Carmel, California
Signature dish: Sablefish, Napa cabbage, emulsion of oyster.
Tabbed as “Best New Chef” in 2013 by Food & Wine, Chef Justin Cogley is the reason to stop at Aubergine. Seriously, the dude used to be a professional ice skater -- although that's really more of a fun fact. As for the food, ordering is simple: there's a $110 five-courser ($20 extra for artisan cheese) or a $145 Tasting Menu that features over 20 ingredients like spot prawn, green tea, and fennel.
The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, Ace Hotel -- New York City
Signature dish: Chargrilled lamb burger with feta, cumin mayo and thrice cooked chips.
With a vintage decor hat-tip to old New York, this insanely popular no-reservation gastropub on 29th street allures with Scotch eggs and crispy pig's trotters, before smacking you over the head with a lamb burger considered by many to be one of the city's best.
Proof on Main, 21c Museum Hotel -- Louisville, Kentucky
Signature dish: Woodland Farm Hog Chop.
As would be expected from a restaurant in Kentucky (and in one of the most hipster cities in America), PoM does bourbon right, pouring over 75 varieties to accompany their locally sourced hog chops and bison burgers. Rotating contemporary art exhibitions, curated by the 21c Museum, make for a captivating decor.
Clio, The Eliot Hotel -- Boston
Signature dish: Roast Duck, licorice, fennel, pickled black radish, Buddha’s hand.
Chef Ken Oringer opened Clio in 1997 in one of Boston’s most well-known boutique hotels and the joint has been winning awards consistently ever since. In addition to a 14-course tasting menu that can last as long as four hours (about $300), the heavy-on-the-chemistry cocktail program could be taught as a course at MIT, and the attached sushi spot, Uni, serves some amazing late-night ramen.
Trace, W Seattle -- Seattle
Signature dish: Trace “signature roll” with crab and torched spicy tuna.
Acclaimed for its decor, this two-year old spot in Seattle's revamped W rocks a sleek 10-seat sushi bar and plates a “localist” lineup of fresh seafood and Asian-inspired regional fare.
Blue Duck Tavern, Park Hyatt Washington -- Washington, D.C.
Signature dish: Wood oven-fired Wagyu beef, king trumpets, Béarnaise sauce.
Anchored by an open kitchen and wood-burning oven, the Blue Duck's rustic American aesthetic -- with dark oak and blue burlap accents -- fits its location in the nation’s capital nicely, as does lineup of regional dishes from Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault.
J&G Grill, St. Regis Bal Harbour -- Miami Beach, Florida
Signature dish: Local red snapper, nut and seed crust, sweet and sour jus.
Boasting ocean views and background jazz, this sleek spot overlooks the beach and plates a greatest-hits lineup from famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's other restaurants. Also, the wine vault holds over 2,500 bottles.
1. The NoMad1170 Broadway, New York
2. Wit and Wisdom200 International Dr, Baltimore
3. Parallel 37600 Stockton St, San Francisco
4. J. Parker1816 N Clark St, Chicago
5. AubergineMonte Verde St., Carmel
6. The Breslin Bar & Dining Room16 W 29th St, New York
7. Proof on Main702 W Main St, Louisville
8. Clio370A Commonwealth Ave, Boston
9. Trace1112 4th Ave, Seattle
10. Blue Duck Tavern1201 24th St NW, Washington
11. J&G Grill at The Regis Bal Harbour9703 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, this upscale Michael Mina seafood establishment focuses on local flavors and contemporary cuisine for which the area is known.
A restaurant inside the Ritz-Carlton is exactly as enticing as it sounds. Chef Michael Rotondo’s Parallel 37 puts a more casual spin on fine dining, and is Zagat-rated for having “one of the best tasting menus." The restaurant's focus is on “hyper-seasonal ingredients” found only in the Bay Area, so be sure to splurge on a tasting menu with a wine pairing, and marvel at the beautiful plating for each course.
This rooftop bar atop the Hotel Lincoln features an impressive cocktail list, views of the park/lake shore/skyline, and small bites so good you'll hang around for a dangerously long time--no big deal.
This 12-table restaurant features an underground wine cellar with 4,500 bottles from around the world (specializing in wines from Monterey County and France). The food's not bad either: the menu includes such inspired options as smoked potato with king salmon and mussel infused jus, and a mouth-watering duck rillette.
April Bloomfield's all-day restaurant inside the Ace Hotel is an upscale British gastropub in the heart of NoMad. The Michelin-starred spot serves an indulgent meat-centric menu whose greatest hits include a lamb burger with thrice-cooked fries and fried sweetbreads. Aside from the à la carte menu, prix-fixe group dinners with your choice of meat (roasted duck, fried chicken, whole-roasted suckling pig) are available for advance booking. And if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to get something from the pudding menu.
Located in The 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, a boutique hotel and art museum, Proof on Main serves up gourmet meals from Chef Levon Wallace, including a unique and scrumptious burger made out of bison and topped with a Jezebel sauce that gives it a fruity, earthy flavor, plus Tillamook cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon. You'll want to throw in a side of the crispy cauliflower, and top it all off with the s'mores dessert. This trendy spot houses the Proof Bar, too, which offers an enormous bourbon list (we're talking upwards of 50 varieties).
Stop in for truffle pot pie with a soft poached egg; duck drummettes with cocoa pimente in an XO sauce; fried chicken w/ kimchee & ginger mustard, pork belly, and crispy yuba buns; and a late-night ramen menu (avail Thurs-Sun).
Trace's varied menu includes sushi, sliders, grilled cheese, scallops, and creative cocktails.
A popular brunch, lunch, and dinner spot inside the West End's Park Hyatt, the Blue Duck Tavern offers up hearty fare with the likes of pork belly, short rib hash, and apple pie on the menu. Herald the arrival of spring by brunching al fresco on their outdoor patio, where you might sneak a peek at some seasonal flora and fauna (including a small family of those eponymous ducks!).