UK / Europe

Finding flare in hotel kitchens

Uva at The Vine

Hotel restaurants have come a long way from being faceless rooms full of tired, grumpy tourists. Today most hotel kitchens are competing for Michelin stars as fine dining establishments that often celebrate local produce or pay homage to international cuisine. Here are a few of Lunch Magazine’s favourite hotel restaurants.

Bahaus on a plate:

The Moselle River in Germany is known for its pastoral landscapes, rustic taverns and traditional cuisine, so Becker’s Hotel & Restaurant is a refreshing change.

High expectations… Uva at The Vine

The hotel is elegantly modern – its architecture a nod to the Bauhaus style. This focus on unembellished modernist design fits in perfectly with the motto of owner and head chef Wolfgang Becker: “Only that which is meaningful makes it to the table.”

The restaurant was awarded with two Michelin stars in 2009 for its unique blend of contrasting tastes. Each evening, guests can choose between five or eight course menus, with delicacies such as goose liver with braised rhubarb, vanilla and coffee; and pink roasted duck breast with creamy savoy cabbage and potato patties. To complement the cuisine, the restaurant manager and sommelier Christine Becker recommends carefully selected wines, often from their own vineyards.

A taste of Napoli:

Located on the tenth floor of the Romeo Hotel, Il Comandante restaurant offers stunning views over the city of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Chef Salvatore Bianco’s a la carte dishes are infused with the flavors and aromas of the region and shortly after he joined the kitchen, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star. Signature dishes include caciocavallo risotto with citrus and meat sauce; grilled ricciola fish with creamed spicy pumpkin, salicornia and ginger; and lamb parmesan with grilled tomatoes, mozzarella and onion cream. As well as the a la carte menu, chef Bianco serves a daily tasting menu using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Contemporary… Il Comandante at Hotel Romeo

Double trouble:

The Met Hotel in Thessaloniki has not one, but two, amazing restaurants. Avenue 48, an elegant restaurant featuring modern Greek cuisine, is led by Executive Chef Dimitrios Tsananas, while CHAN serves up a Pan-Asian menu by star restaurateur Oliver Peyton in a dark, masculine space designed by Andy Martin.

Dining with a view:

Guests of Uva Restaurant at The Vine in Portugal experience an exquisite gourmet menu along with breathtaking views of Funchal’s harbor. In the kitchen, renowned chef Antoine Westermann combines French savoir faire with the finest regional produce. The restaurant offers three and four course menus with dishes such as fish carpaccio marinated with olive oil, apples, coriander and soft avocado cream.

Rome in NYC:

Located in the Gramercy Park Hotel, Maialino Restaurant successfully captures the warmth and feel of a traditional Roman trattoria. The décor is also influenced by this theme, from oak tables and tiled floors to checkered table cloths.

Broad windows offer guests a fantastic view of the Gramercy Park while Executive Chef, Nick Anderer, draws his inspiration from classic Roman dishes, using fresh seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms.

Guests can choose from a range of antipasti before moving to typical southern Italian dishes like octopus carpaccio and classic pasta dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole (pasta with mussels), garganelli al sugo di coniglio (pasta with rabbit) or coda alla vaccinara (oxtail with tomatoes and celery). Naturally, all dishes can be paired with the expansive selection of Italian wines.

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