Spring is in the air and with it a host of delectable new culinary innovations from the five-star hotels of the Dorchester Collection. Slip into something fabulous, pull up a chair or a bar stool, and celebrate the season with imaginative offerings across the Continent and along the Left Coast. From a new yet historic grill menu to cocktails you can eat with a spoon, dining and drinking does not get more delightful.
Chocolate Jelly Shots at The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles: Cocktails by the spoonful? Bar NINETEEN12 is the place. Bar Manager Philip Spee recently unveiled Connect the Dots, a playful riff on the bar&rsquos popular Jelly Shots that celebrate the seven addresses of the Dorchester Collection. As pretty to peruse as they are tasty to indulge, each slightly shaky orb packs a wallop of chocolate liqueur paired with select flavors that capture the essence of each hotel. There&rsquos Watermelon Pucker for the Beverly Hills Hotel (a.k.a., the &ldquoPink Palace&rdquo); Crème de Menthe for Le Meurice in Paris; Godiva White Chocolate for The Dorchester; and four more. through June 2009.
Theme Menus and Spring Aperitivo at Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan: Continuing the successful Collezione Acanto, Chef Fabrizio Cadei has been busy fashioning new theme menus for guests of Milan&rsquos chicest address. Tuck into Acanto during May for food created from local ingredients (such as homemade buckwheat focaccina and oven-baked olives); in June for the elements (earth, water, fire and air, such as soufflé di pasticciere with cherry compote); and in July for lobster and then some (such as lobster-filled tortelli with peas and cherry tomatoes). Fancy a cocktail before to get you in a dining mood? Stop by the Winter Garden Bar for a Spring Aperitivo, including Bar Manager Enzo Mirto&rsquos selection of seductive martinis created tableside &ndash the only spot in Milan with such luscious service. The Winter Garden is currently in the midst of a redesign by Thierry Despont. Monthly themed menus from 75 Euros and tableside martinis from 20 Euros.
Authentic Parisian Déjeuner at Le Meurice, Paris: There are many places to experience the soul of Paris, but only one way to dine upon it: the new &lsquoTerroir Parisien®’ menu of Chef Yannick Alléno at Restaurant le Meurice. The Michelin Three-Star chef recently unveiled a new gastronomy that proves to be as entwined in the history of France as the 200 year old hotel itself. Traditional Parisian cuisine has been re-envisioned for the modern age and created from exceptional products from in and around the city, including honey from beehives set atop the Paris Opera. Old, forgotten or obsolete recipes have been reawakened by adapting them to today’s tastes with all the talent and savoir-faire of his team, such as Normandy sole, first served in the early 1830s at a restaurant on Rue Montorgueil, lobster à l’américaine, invented by Pierre Fraise (alias Peters), or Anna potatoes and puffed potatoes with Bearnaise sauce, created in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. His fricassée of Le Gâtinais chicken with artichoke and potatoes is his tribute, with a modern twist, to the dish served at Au Cabaret du Père Lathuile in 1790. With his Terroir Parisian menu Chef Yannick Alléno elevates, one more time, cuisine to the rank of fine arts. The Terroir Parisian menu is served from Monday to Friday, 12:30pm to 2:00pm, at the Le Meurice restaurant.
Sustainability is showcased at Hotel Plaza Athénée, Paris: His talents in the kitchen are beyond compare, but how is Alain Ducasse at the market? Guests of Hotel Plaza Athénée recently enjoyed the opportunity to find out at the first-ever Alain Ducasse Market in the courtyard of Hotel Plaza Athénée. The renowned chef, whose eponymous restaurant opened at the hotel in 2000, tapped 15 of his personal suppliers across France to offer the finest butter, cheeses, asparagus, mushrooms, wild strawberries, live langoustines, fish, and poultry directly to the guests of the renowned hotel. The first-of-its-kind tasting experience was born out of the chef’s observation that “Cooking is 60% product, 35% technique and 5% talent.” Next on the agenda? Creating a vegetable garden in the courtyard for the coming months, complimented by a new menu utilizing these locally grown ingredients with plates consisting of 80% vegetables. The new garden debuts on May 13, 2009.
Modern British at The Grill at The Dorchester, London: It didn’t take long for Brian Hughson to shake things up at The Grill. The new Head Chef brings 20 years of experience, not least cooking for royalty, and updates the traditional British dining room for the 21st century with a modern British menu alongside timeless classics. The new menu adds a contemporary twist to traditional dishes using quality, regional products sourced where possible from the British Isles such as beef, lamb, salmon and garden vegetables. Together with Head Sommelier Jason McAuliffe, the British duo and their team bring a buzzing atmosphere to one of London’s longest standing traditional dining rooms. Yum.