Recently, I have been eating a lot of hotel food.
If you are imagining limp Caesar salads and flabby prime rib, get out of 1980s Duluth! This is NYC, center of all things luxury, trendy, and tasty! If you have the money to spend, NYC hotels can offer you one hell of a lunch.
Steak and Blue at South Gate
This Essex House restaurant delivered on all levels. On service, when I spilled my water and it was instantly cleaned with a smile and a laugh. On price, when our lunches arrived in large portions and of excellent quality. And of taste – this is a fantastic steak sandwich. The meat is tenderloin steak cut into 3 large filets and cooked like the excellent beef that it is – medium rare and buttery inside and charred, smoky brown outside. It arrives with sautéed spinach and sweet red peppers with enough Stilton cheese to add a salty, funky edge. This is definitely for lovers of the funk – it’s an aggressively flavored sandwich. But, when dipped in the savory, slightly sweet steak sauce and served with a mound of addictively salty fries, it’s also the answer to all of your iron-craving prayers. Oh, and the bread it is served on is exemplary – hearty enough to stand up to all of the juices but soft enough to eat without tearing the roof of your mouth.
Burrata and Tomato Salad at 2West
Nothing unique here – just the best of some very standard ingredients. Burrata so silky and creamy that it rivals the best I hav eever had. Tomatoes so juicy and firm that it seems impossible that tomato season is nearing its end. A few shards of crisply fired basil, some syrupy balsamic and scattered grains of sea salt complete his incredibly simply and utterly delicious dish. Nothing that makes this spot a dining destination, but an absolutely stellar interpretation of a commonly prepared salad.
Pretzel bread at Jean Georges
I didn’t get a chance to cover this in my JG review, and…honestly…it is fantastic. The crust is thick and dark and the inside is doughy but not dense, with a slightly sour taste. It is simple, but great bread – served warm, might I say – truly pushes a meal from great to extraordinary. And a whole tray of soft, creamy butter doesn’t hurt either.
What are some of your favorite hotel restaurant dishes?