The Best Hotel Restaurant in Every State Gallery
May 3, 2018
These hotels aren’t just great places to stay, they’re also great places to eat
The Best Hotel Restaurant in Every State
It wasn’t too long ago when “hotel restaurant” immediately brought to mind unremarkable dining rooms, warmed-over breakfast buffets, and bland, generic menus. But that’s all changing as more and more chefs and restaurateurs realize that opening up in a hotel has some major benefits, and nowadays some of the finest restaurants in a given city can be found inside its most popular hotels. We’ve tracked down the best hotel restaurant in every state and Washington, D.C.
Opening a restaurant from scratch is one of the riskiest business moves someone can make; a small percentage of restaurants survive to see their first anniversary, and there are countless reasons a restaurant can fail. By opening in a hotel, however, restaurant owners are able to share the burden with the hotel owners, and there are other added benefits like built-in foot traffic. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see some of the most popular chefs and restaurateurs in the country deciding to hitch their wagon to a hotel, like Grant Achatz’s The Aviary in New York’s Mandarin Oriental, Danny Meyer’s Marta in New York’s Redbury, José Andrés’ The Bazaar in Miami Beach’s SLS, and Andrew Carmellini’s Rec Pier Chop House in Baltimore’s Pendry. And we haven’t even mentioned Las Vegas’ massive hotel-casinos, where a who’s who of America’s leading chefs have opened restaurants in recent years.
In order to assemble our list, we began by combing our most recent ranking of the 101 Best Restaurants in America for highly-ranked restaurants located in hotels; we then went state-by-state, looking for hotel-based restaurants that are highly-praised by both out-of-towners and locals alike. Many of these restaurants have been named among their city’s best by local publications and have staked their claim as one of the best restaurants in town, period. We also awarded extra points for serving breakfast and/or lunch along with dinner, as many hotel restaurants serve three meals a day (and handle room service as well). Responsible ingredient sourcing, partnerships with local farmers and purveyors, and seasonality were also important to us. Not all of these are big-city hotels, either; many of them are main dining rooms of out-of-the-way resorts that have become destinations in their own right. Read on to learn to learn what the best hotel restaurant in your state is, and to also get an idea as to where you might want to stay the next time you travel!
Alabama: The Yard, Birmingham
The Yard Birmingham/Yelp
Birmingham’s Elyton Hotel is home to The Yard, chaf Haller Magee’s homage to globally-influenced, progressive Southern cuisine. Fresh ingredients are sourced daily, and they go into dishes including carrot-ginger soup with spring peas, goat cheese, fennel, and chervil; fried Tennessee quail with Parmesan grit cake, Bourbon-molasses glaze, pickled red onion, and house-made pepper jelly; crispy braised pork belly with smoked German potato salad and house-made choucroute; and braised Mississippi rabbit and grilled tenderloin with house-made pappardelle, spring peas, wild mushrooms, and local baby carrots.
Alaska: Crow’s Nest, Anchorage
Located in Anchorage’s luxurious Hotel Captain Cook, Crow’s Nest offers 360-degree high-floor views and an upscale menu from chef Reuben Gerber. It’s a AAA four-diamond restaurant with plenty of dark woods and a 10,000-bottle wine list, and the menu is positively luxurious: Indulge in foie gras with pistachio, gooseberries, apricots, and fruit coulis; a daily risotto; Alaska king crab bisque with sherry gelée; prime beef ribeye with roasted broccolini and bordelaise; and duck breast with porcini duxelles, Parisian gnocchi, duck pancetta, spruce tip salt, and crowberry gastrique. Grab a table next to the windows or a banquette, and you’ll be in your own little world.
Arizona: Elements, Paradise Valley
Acclaimed chef and Food Network personality Beau McMillan is at the helm of Elements, the flagship restaurant at Camelback Mountain’s Sanctuary Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. His Asian-accented menu changes seasonally, and is sourced with local and organic produce, hormone-free meat, and sustainable seafood. Standout menu items include barbecue duck and green onion pancake with Sichuan sauce and toasted peanut and cabbage salad; carrot and millet potstickers with tamari, chile, and black vinegar; five-spice hoisin-glazed double Kurobuta pork chop with Brussels sprouts and bacon; and braised short rib and mushroom ravioli with Chinese broccoli, portobello mushroom, tempura lemon, and black garlic chive butter.
Arkansas: One Eleven at the Capital, Little Rock
A serene and stylish white-tablecloth restaurant inside the Capital Hotel, One Eleven has hardwood floors, original artwork on the walls, and plenty of natural light. Executive chef Joël Antunes won a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2005 for his Atlanta restaurant Joël, and his culinary skills are on serious display here in dishes like cured and smoked pork loin with mostarda chutney; roast duck breast with duck tortellini and honey ginger sauce; grilled prime beef fillet with bordelaise; and seared diver scallops with shiitake mushrooms, potato gnocchi, and lemon beurre blanc. The wine list is also expertly curated.
California: The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
You have to marvel at Meadowood in Napa Valley, and at its chef, Chris Kostow. It was already a three-Michelin-starred restaurant when Kostow closed the place so that it could undergo a renovation under the direction of architect Howard Backen and designer George Federighi, one that stretched from the dining room to the kitchen. Kostow, one the country’s least hyped yet most amazing chefs, also reexamined his menus and reinvented the way he served his customers, coming up with a more curated experience for them, which the restaurant describes as "creating bespoke menus." Kostow says he sits down the night before guests visit to write out individual menus for the next day’s 70 customers. If you want to truly enjoy the experience, you should really stay at the adjacent luxury hotel, which will make the visit considerably more expensive but commensurately more wonderful. How's the food, you ask? Expect modern American cuisine featuring masterful technique and deft mixes of texture and flavor; alternately playful, straightforward, and serious. Meadowood is good. Really, really good.
Colorado: The Nickel, Denver
Located in the magnificent Denver Tramway Building, which was constructed in 1911 and converted into the Hotel Teatro in recent years, The Nickel is chef Russell Stippich’s ode to classic American fare, and it’s a true crowd-pleaser. Stippich works with local farmers, ranchers, distillers, and craft producers of all sorts to source the ingredients for his menu, and that — combined with the dining room’s high ceilings and stately elegance — has made The Nickel one of the most beloved restaurants in town. Start with a cocktail at The Barrel Bar and follow up with standouts like quail with Kansas City barbecue sauce and a poblano johnnycake; red snapper with smoked broth and lemon; scallops with foie gras, black truffle, and leek; and smashed potatoes with wagyu fat, lemon, and chive. Don’t miss the selection of cheese and charcuterie, and be sure to finish with a “chocolate bomb” with blueberry, passion fruit, and white chocolate pearls.
Connecticut: David Burke Prime, Mashantucket
David Burke Prime/Yelp
The best steakhouse in Connecticut is tucked away inside the gleaming and expansive Foxwoods Resort Casino. Executive chef Pedro Avila dry-ages his steaks on site in a salt-brick aging room, and the overall experience can compete with any of the best steakhouses in New York. Nearly all steaks age from 28 to up to 45 days, and the 55-day dry-aged ribeye for two is an absolute masterpiece. The menu is rounded out by live lobsters, massive shellfish towers, prime rib, and playful appetizers including surf and turf dumplings and candied bacon.
Delaware: The Green Room, Wilmington
The Green Room, located inside Wilmington’s elegant Hotel Du Pont, is about as ornate and romantic as a restaurant can get. The walls are oak-paneled, the ceiling is coffered and oak-beamed, rich draperies hang from the windows, and lighting is provided by ornate chandeliers and sconces. It’s also been recognized with the AAA Four-Diamond Award and Forbes Four-Star Award. Even though the setting may be dripping with Gilded Age opulence, chef Keith Miller’s menu is anything but staid. Standouts include pan-seared sea scallops with smoked blueberry purée and Cheddar grits; grilled veal porterhouse with roasted garlic demi glace, creamed fingerlings, and tri-color baby carrots; and fillet of salmon with red curry coconut cream sauce, forbidden rice, and local asparagus.
Florida: Norman’s, Orlando
Known as the founding father of New World cuisine, chef Norman Van Aken — a member of The Daily Meal Council — is acclaimed for his fusion of Latin, Caribbean, and Asian flavors using traditional European techniques. At Norman’s in the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, guests can eat in the opulent dining room or on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace overlooking the hotel’s lake, 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course, and lush gardens. The menu changes according to availability of seasonal ingredients; representative dishes include Florida cobia “aguachile”; guava-pasilla grilled pork chop with malanga-celeriac purée, chayote, and wild mushroom farro; and pan-cooked Atlantic wreckfish with squash purée, sweet potato gnocchi, and maduros.
Georgia: Southern Art, Atlanta
Two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Art Smith’s swanky restaurant and bourbon bar Southern Art calls the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta home. His ingredients are sourced locally and go into a menu that’s full of traditional Southern classics that have been given a high-end twist. Don’t miss the fried green tomatoes with local herb goat cheese and cherry tomato jam; Addie Mae’s chicken and dumplings; pimento cheese with bacon jam; legendary fried chicken; and coastal Georgia shrimp and grits with Spanish chorizo, soy beans, okra, and basil shrimp broth.
Hawaii: Ka'ana Kitchen, Wailea
The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is home to Ka’ana Kitchen, one of Maui’s most beloved restaurants. Classic Hawaiian ingredients like Kauai shrimp, octopus, Kona clams, lobster, bigeye tuna, and Waipoli greens are turned into simply-prepared dishes and served family-style (ka’ana means “to share”), letting the quality of the ingredients (many of which are sourced from local farmers and ranchers) shine through. Must-orders include Kauai shrimp risotto with Kula corn, miso, and XO sauce; fried chicken with bitter greens and mochi; ahi belly with Japanese eggplant, ginger, and yuzu dashi; wagyu hanger with Thai basil, green papaya, and peanut; and a vegetarian ceviche of cucumber, avocado, and coconut.
Idaho: Emilio’s, Boise
Located inside Boise’s Grove Hotel, Emilio’s serves a fun and eclectic menu of classic American cuisine. Chef Chris Hain, a Boise native, isn’t afraid to bring big flavors and think outside the box, giving American standards an unexpected twist. His signature dishes include shrimp corn dogs with pancetta and apricot mostarda; smoked Idaho trout poutine with lemon cream and dill cheese curds; beef short ribs with mushroom ragout and Asiago fondue mac and cheese; red snapper with jumbo prawns, orange chile broth, crème fraîche, and couscous; and bison meatloaf with wild mushrooms, PBR gravy, and celeriac mash.
Illinois: Somerset, Chicago
Chef Lee Wolen has been nominated for the James Beard Award twice at the helm of the Michelin-starred Boka, and he’s brought his formidable skills to Somerset, which opened last year adjacent to the brand-new Viceroy Hotel in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. And by all accounts, the restaurant has lived up to all expectations. The ambitious restaurant has a design that’s meant to evoke high society supper clubs of the 1960s and '70s, and the menu is eclectic and accessible, with something for everyone. Standouts include crispy corn and salt cod fritters; seared Spanish octopus with sweet potato and scallion; duck leg gnocchetti with kale, mustard, and Parmesan; roasted lamb loin and sausage; one of Chicago’s best new cheeseburgers, and a whole roast chicken for two.
Indiana: Spoke & Steele, Indianapolis
This sleek and stylish new spot is bringing locally-sourced American fare and top-notch cocktails to downtown Indianapolis, inside Le Méridien Hotel. Consulting chef Greg Hardesty’s menu relies on local farmers and artisans, and he’s serving house-made charcuterie, Southern-style biscuits, Fischer Farms flatiron steaks with Parmesan fries, a custom-blend burger, and sea scallops with edamame, radish, chile, and umami miso sauce to thankful locals and visitors alike.
Iowa: Main + Abbey, Sioux City
Sioux City’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts the music-themed Main + Abbey, “where Main Street USA meets Abbey Road.” Thirty craft beers, specialty cocktails, and a fun and creative variety of classic American fare all come together for a really fun time. Start your meal with a pretzel with Goose Island fondue, wild boar poutine, and several styles of grilled wings; follow up with a Certified Angus fillet, ribeye, or strip, lobster mac and cheese, fish and chips, or ribs, and wash it all down with a local draft.
Kansas: Harry’s, Manhattan
An institution inside the elegant Wareham Hotel, Harry’s has an elegant, romantic air highlighted by dark woods, crown moldings, white tablecloths, and a lived-in, old-fashioned vibe. Widely regarded as the finest restaurant in town, Harry’s menu is chock-full of upscale dishes, like cilantro rum lobster, pinot noir blackberry duck, filet mignon bordelaise, and rack of lamb. Its wine list has also consistently earned awards from Wine Spectator.
Kentucky: The English Grill, Louisville
The English Grill/Yelp
Louisville’s famed Brown Hotel is perhaps best-known as the birthplace of the open-faced Kentucky Hot Brown, and its main dining room, The English Grill, doesn’t just serve the definitive version, it’s also one of the finest restaurants in town. With wood paneling, equestrian paintings, rich carpeting, and its AAA Four Diamond award, The English Grill is decidedly upscale, and has the air of a private English club. Along with the fabled Hot Brown, the restaurant also specializes in shrimp and grits, gnocchi with duck confit, prime ribeye Delmonico, and crispy-skin duck breast. The wine list is, as expected, spectacular.
Louisiana: Domenica, New Orleans
BRG Hospitality’s Domenica, located inside the upscale Roosevelt Hotel, serves some truly spectacular Italian fare. Start your meal with high-end cheese and salumi or antipasti including short rib and scamorza arancini or octopus carpaccio, follow up with one of their celebrated pizzas (which are amazing enough to warrant an offshoot of their own, Pizza Domenica), share a small portion of pasta including campanelle with white bolognese and spring peas and squid ink tagliolini with blue crab and herbs, and finish up with redfish with fennel panzanella and salsa verde or a Berkshire pork chop with lime beans and salmoriglio. And make sure you save room for cannoli!
Maine: Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport
This legendary Maine restaurant is located at Hidden Pond, a luxury resort nestled amid 60 acres of pristine birch forest. Its restaurant, Earth, focuses on “farm to fork” dining, with locally-sourced meats and seafood, fruits and vegetables picked from two on-site gardens, handmade pastas, house-made charcuterie, wood-oven pizzas, and a spectacular wine list. Earth is Maine dining at its finest.
Maryland: Rec Pier Chop House, Baltimore
Rec Pier Chop House/Yelp
The Sagamore Pendry is an old Beaux-Arts pier that’s been converted into a luxury hotel, and it’s home to chef Andrew Carmellini’s Rec Pier Chop House, an “Italian rosticceria” specializing in 28-day dry-aged prime steaks from Virginia and Nebraska. As many ingredients are locally-sourced as possible, seafood is sustainable, and chicken is farm-raised and organic. Antipasti, salumi, cheese, and entrées including Maryland rockfish cacciatore and porcini-dusted veal chop round out the dinner menu. But Carmellini is best-known for his pastas, so don’t leave without trying his linguini with spicy Maryland blue crab, rigatoni with lamb bolognese, or spaghetti and stuffed meatballs.
Massachusetts: Scampo, Boston
James Beard Award-winning chef and Daily Meal Council member Lydia Shire is one of Boston’s legendary chefs, and her Liberty Hotel restaurant, Scampo, is one of the best Italian-ish restaurants you’ll ever dine at. While Italian at heart, Shire isn’t afraid to incorporate a tandoori oven or Spanish ibèrico ham into the mix, and the menu is fun and playful. Handmade breads come in seven varieties. There’s a full "mozzarella bar" five different seasonal fresh mozzarella-based dishes (just opt for the mozzarella tasting, you know you want to). Spaghetti comes topped with cracklings and hot pepper and pizza is topped with white clam and bacon, among other things. Entrées include brick chicken with black garlic purée and Meyer lemon risotto, cotechino sausage ravioli with truffle foam and purple kale, and braised short rib with whipped celeriac. It’s one of those menus where literally everything looks delicious… but we’ll be waiting for Friday night, when the special is roast suckling pig.
Michigan: Rugby Grille, Birmingham
The Detroit suburb of Birmingham is home to the elegant Townsend Hotel and its restaurant, Rugby Grille. The Grille has all the fine-dining trappings, like white tablecloths, fine silver, and crystal wine glasses, and a high-end menu to match: Creekstone Farms steaks, Imperial Farms wagyu, tableside Dover sole with green beans almondine and beurre blanc, chateaubriand for two, steak tartare, crab cakes, oysters, and a burger topped with wagyu short rib ragù and seared foie gras. It also serves a fabulous brunch.
Minnesota: Tullibee, Minneapolis
Chef Bradley Day’s showstopping Tullibee calls the Hewing Hotel home, and it’s an elegant and upscale restaurant with a New Nordic twist, centered around a large wood-burning grill and oven. Whole rainbow trout with kale, fennel, zucchini, quinoa, and grapes; Wild Acres duck breast with squash noodles, duck egg, and citrus soy broth; coffee-ribbed bison carpaccio with pickled beech, cherries, and micro arugula; house-smoked ham with local cheese; house-cured bacon with pickled onions, orange, and verjus glaze; grilled lamb with mushrooms, cippolini onion, and celery root purée; and Peterson sirloin steak with curly root vegetables and rosemary chimichurri are just a handful of representative dishes; wild game and off-cuts also pop up as nightly specials. An excellent burger, made with dry-aged beef and topped with local Colby and special sauce, is served during lunch.
Mississippi: Stalla, Biloxi
Located inside Biloxi’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Stalla is an unpretentious Italian spot specializing in traditional Italian fare prepared with quality ingredients, served in a beautiful dining room. Florence-born chef Paola Bugli has been with the restaurant since it opened three years ago, and is bringing some serious skill to the kitchen. Carpaccio with Grana Padano, horseradish, lemon aïoli, and arugula; Tuscan shrimp and grits with pancetta and smoked Gouda; pizza topped with béchamel, mozzarella, pancetta, cippolinis, roasted peppers, and oysters; handmade seasonal ravioli; Gulf shrimp fra diavolo; and veal cheeks piccata with capers, parsley, and spaghetti are just a handful of the standouts on Bugli’s menu.
Missouri: Cielo, St. Louis
Perched on the eighth floor of the St. Louis Four Seasons (complete with a terrace and a great view of the Arch), Cielo serves classic Italian fare in a lively and upscale setting. Executive chef Gian Nicola Collucci sources fresh and local ingredients to create dishes including octopus with farinata, mint, ricotta, and tomato confit; seafood ravioli with crab, shrimp, and lobster’ risotto with braised short rib ragù; bone-in veal milanese with truffle mashed potato; and a 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye with beet purée, eggplant caponata, and fingerling potato confit. Be sure to get the house-made gelato for dessert, and come back on Sunday for a lavish brunch buffet.
Montana: Ten, Billings
This white-tablecloth restaurant, located in the Northern Hotel, is a destination for locals looking to celebrate. Chef Nick Steen’s menu puts local ingredients to good (and creative) use in dishes like Montana-raised veal porterhouse with pesto couscous, sun-dried tomato cream, artichoke hearts, fried onion, and bourbon barrel-aged sherry vinegar; milk-braised pork shoulder with caramelized cabbage, local rye berries, and walnut gremolata; and local trout with white beans, Spanish chorizo, pickled peppers, and romesco. Be sure to start your meal with one of the classic drinks on the restaurant’s cocktail menu.
Nebraska: Monarch Prime & Bar, Omaha
Monarch Prime & Bar/Yelp
Located inside the Hotel Deco, Monarch Prime & Bar is an upscale steakhouse and cocktail bar specializing in dry-aged steaks. The 21-day wagyu sirloin, 30-day bison strip loin, 45-day wagyu prime rib, and 60-day 45-ounce wagyu tomahawk chop are among the finest steaks in town, and chef Patrick Micheels’ menu is rounded out with appetizers including potato and trout, 30-day dry-aged bison tartare, addictive French onion dip, and chicken pate with black truffle and smoked fat and entrées including a Mornay-topped burger, short rib meatloaf, barramundi with black lentils, and lamb shank with polenta. Don’t miss the selection of expertly prepared classic cocktails.
Nevada: Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas
The cooking is simply exquisite in this opulently furnished dining room in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which was the only three-Michelin-star restaurant in the city when the guide covered Vegas. As the first restaurant opened in America by the famed, award-winning Robuchon, widely considered the greatest of modern French chefs, Joël Robuchon maintains the highest standards under the guidance of chef Christophe de Lellis. Everything is impeccable, from its superb service and impressive (and impressively pricey) wine list to such finely crafted dishes as Le Caviar Imperial, a disc of king crab topped with an ample amount of osetra caviar, atop a crustacean gelée dotted with cauliflower purée. The 18-course tasting menu, which was completely revamped a fewyears ago, is a truly memorable experience — as well it ought to be at $445 a head, wine not included.
New Hampshire: Harvest Tavern, Whitefield
The Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa has been providing luxury accommodations to vacationers since 1865, and its main restaurant, Harvest Tavern, is a big part of the draw. The homey and elegant restaurant specializes in authentic farm-to-table North Country cuisine utilizing local ingredients — there’s even a farm on the premises. They’ve also partnered with 16 local farms and distributors, and they’re a primary supporter of the North Country Farmers Cooperative. So what’s on the menu? Salads freshly picked from the garden, unique pizzas (try the one topped with barbecue pork and bacon), house-made cavatelli with lobster and cheese, 36-hour roasted pork ribs, heritage pork chop with braised greens and mashed potatoes, and a 48-hour braised Angus beef rib, among other crowd-pleasers. Come back for lunch to try the fried chicken sandwich and French dip.
New Jersey: Restaurant Latour, Hamburg
Located inside the bucolic Crystal Springs Resort, Latour is the playground of chef Aishling Stevens, who works closely with local farmers and purveyors to source the finest seasonal ingredients available and craft them into very pricey dishes. Two menus are available: a four-course prix fixe and a seven-course Chef's Tasting. The menus change regularly (sometimes even daily), but sample menu items include lobster with grabanzos and chervil, farm yolk raviolo with summer truffle and charred alliums, Mangalitsa pork short rib with apricot and mustard cress, and Miyazaki wagyu with horseradish and onion petals. The wine cellar here is also very impressive, home to more than 6,000 labels.
New Mexico: The Anasazi Restaurant, Santa Fe
Anasazi Restaurant & Bar/Yelp
The luxurious Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is home to Santa Fe’s most upscale eatery, The Anasazi Restaurant. Chef Edgar Beas sources much of his menu from 13 different local farms, and the end result is a quintessential New Mexican dining experience, especially once you factor in its rustic and romantic dining room decorated with light wood and adobe. The menu is constantly changing, but sample menu items include duck breast with smoked corn pudding, summer squash, and husk cherry; pork belly with Anasazi bean, huitlacoche, wilted chard, and pork jus; and dry-aged prime strip loin, local mushrooms, kohlrabi, onion marmalade, and fingerling potato.
New York: Jean Georges, New York City
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the few chefs in New York City with the distinction of four stars from The New York Times. At his eponymous restaurant in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, one of the few restaurants left in New York where gentlemen are required to wear jackets, his classic French technique bridges old and new worlds, eschews heavy sauces, and embraces the spice and flavors of Asian cuisine. The prix fixe menu at Jean Georges, executed by executive chef Mark Lapico, features an assortment of the chef’s signature dishes, like sesame-crusted foie gras with dried chiles. Vongerichten’s signature “Egg Caviar,” a lightly scrambled egg topped with whipped cream and osetra caviar, is one of the city’s great bites of food.
North Carolina: The Asbury, Charlotte
The Asbury is named after architect Louis Asbury, who in 1929 designed the building that’s now the Dunhill Hotel, its home. This modern Southern restaurant looks to the past in dishes like cast iron biscuits with bacon jam, a fried chicken sandwich with country ham and Cheddar, mac and cheese, “pork and beans” (pork cheek ragout with boiled peanut hummus, and mixed peas and beans), and fisherman’s stew, but it’s planted firmly in the present with barbecue scallops and octopus with a poached egg and spring vegetables, pea emulsion with uni butter and coconut, crispy pork cheek with ginger-carrot bisque and pea salad, and a whole spring chicken with n’duja-white wine butter. It makes good use of heirloom Southern ingredients and showcases ingredients from many local farms.
North Dakota: HoDo, Fargo
This New American restaurant is located in Fargo’s funky Hotel Donaldson (hence its name), and it’s a cool spot serving inspired fare made with ingredients sourced from local farmers and ranchers. Standouts include Cajun shrimp with beurre blanc and sweet potato cakes, a daily risotto, roasted mushroom salad, salt-crusted filet, sherry-braised pork cheeks, chorizo-encrusted walleye, pan-fried pheasant breast, and a daily vegan special.
Ohio: Urban Farmer, Cleveland
One of Ohio’s most well-regarded steakhouses, the team behind this Westin restaurant sources local and organic ingredients for its farm-to-table fare. A wide variety of steaks are available, all sourced from the Plains states: corn-fed Creekstone, grass-fed Pasture One, and 21-day dry-aged New Creation (Colorado Wagyu is also available), with creative toppings like candied bacon, wagyu tallow and blue cheese butter, and maple-mustard bone marrow. If you can’t make up your mind, you can try a six-ounce strip tasting of the three non-wagyu varieties. Start your meal with French onion soup with braised beef, house-made charcuterie and local cheese, or rabbit and duck pierogi, and if you’re not in the mood for steak, other entrées include roasted lamb chop and shank with parsnip purée, an Ohio half chicken with butternut squash and mustard greens, and mushroom-crusted striped bass. And if you come for breakfast, don’t miss the buttermilk pancakes with blackberry compote.
Oklahoma: Mary Eddy’s, Oklahoma City
Located inside the 21c Museum Hotel (which is in turn located inside a former Ford assembly plant), Mary Eddy’s showcases chef Jason Campbell’s unique take on New American cuisine. The casual restaurant is fun and communal, and the menu is full of surprises. Carbonara is kicked up with lemon broth, local chicken is served with cornbread spätzle and farmer’s cheese, pork shoulder gets a ham-style treatment with grits and red eye jus, jalapeños are stuffed with bacon cream cheese and doused with barbecue sauce, and the lunch-only pulled pork sandwich is topped with pepper jelly, mustard barbecue sauce, and pork rinds. If you want to go all-in with a group of six or more, call ahead to order a spit-roasted whole duck, prime rib, or whole suckling pig.
Oregon: Departure, Portland
You may remember chef Gregory Gourdet from his star-making turn on Top Chef, and he’s demonstrating his ample skills and creativity at his Portland restaurant, Departure, located on the top floor of the Nines Hotel. This modern and inviting restaurant has two outdoor decks for optimal views, and showcases Gourdet’s menu of pan-Asian fare. Creative sushi (think beet-cured trout with peppercorn, cured egg yolk, furikake, and citrus); dim sum; kushiyaki, and specialties like halibut tom yum, whole-roasted Pacific snapper, beef rending, and chili prawns keep guests coming back for more, and it’s best experienced via an $80 or $105 tasting menu. Make sure you browse the sake menu, the largest in Portland.
Pennsylvania: Lacroix, Philadelphia
Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse/Yelp
Overlooking Rittenhouse Square in the posh Rittenhouse Hotel, Lacroix is a Philadelphia fine dining destination that’s also home to one of the city’s top Sunday brunch buffets. À la carte breakfast and lunch are served daily (if you go for lunch make sure you try the dry-aged roast duck for two or the city’s most high-end cheesesteak), but come dinner, chef Jon Cichon is serving a seven-course tasting menu utilizing only the freshest seasonal ingredients. Expect items like Alaskan halibut with morels, lobster, and smoked sweetbreads, Niman Ranch lamb with baby lettuce and black garlic, and king salmon with sorrel and mango, and expect to pay $115 for the experience, not including wine.
Rhode Island: The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn, Newport
The exclusive Rhode Island enclave of Newport is home to countless beautiful inns and mansions, and the Castle Hill Inn has been one of its loveliest hotels since it opened in 1875. Its main dining room (called, appropriately, The Dining Room), is a stately and elegant chamber offering stunning views of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows. The remaining décor is primarily made of light wood paneling and understated and elegant fixtures. Opt for the tasting menu and you’ll be treated to dishes including Angus beef tartare with caperberries, pommes maxim, and goat cheese; sliced Angus beef tenderloin and braised beef rillettes with fingerling potatoes and foie gras nage; and passionfruit soufflé with Sichuan pepper shortbread and banana sorbet.
South Carolina: The Ocean Room, Kiawah Island
Perched atop a grand staircase on the second floor of the luxurious Sanctuary resort hotel on tony Kiawah Island, The Ocean Room is an upscale and elegant AAA 4 Diamond steakhouse, with plenty of windows overlooking the ocean, ample space between each of the roomy tables, elegant carpeting, and plenty of high-end fixtures and furnishings. The steak offerings include dry-aged bone-in strips, ribeyes, and T-bones for two (toppings include jumbo lump crab or broiled shrimp Oscar, broiled lobster tail with béarnaise, and a blue cheese crust). Non-steak offerings are equally impressive, and include braised octopus with scallop mousse agnolotti, butternut squash purée, squid ink sauce, aged feta, and frill mustard; truffle-encrusted halibut with littleneck clams, salsify, romanesco, leek, charred onion, pine nuts, and fumet blanc; and Storey Farms chicken with roasted carrots, smoked carrot purée, braised wheatberries, purple cabbage, and Madeira jus.
South Dakota: Legends Steakhouse, Deadwood
Deadwood Legends Steakhouse At the Franklin Hotel/Yelp
Located in the 1903 Silverado Franklin hotel in downtown Deadwood, Legends Steakhouse is a must-visit restaurant for those in town. The homey and elegant restaurant serves steaks dry-aged for a minimum of 21 days (top yours with crab and hollandaise, a lobster tail, or jumbo shrimp), and its slow-roasted bone-in prime rib is also incredibly popular. The classic steakhouse menu of escargot, Caesar salad, lobster, and cheesecake also has no shortage of creative surprises, like apricot-glazed duck wings, marinated beef tips with veal balsamic reduction, and shrimp crêpes with white wine cream sauce.
Tennessee: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland
The cuisine at The Barn at Blackberry Farm is so emblematic that it has inspired a new category: Foothills Cuisine (the foothills being those of the Smoky Mountains), a term that has actually been copyrighted. Nestled inside a luxury resort and functioning 4,200-acre farm started by Kreis and Sandy Beall more than 30 years ago, and housed in a turn-of-the-century bank-style barn located in the center of the FarmStead, this operation is helmed by executive chef Cassidee Dabney. If ever there was an appropriate use of the term “farm-to-table,” this is it. The Barn (think antique linens, custom chairs, and sterling silver — with gentlemen required to wear jackets) uses the estate’s produce and products in a dynamic menu of Smoky Mountain regional dishes with global flair like Springer Mountain Chicken with Carolina Gold rice grits, broccolini, and roasted mushrooms; apple and duck heart salad with hop vinaigrette, candied pecans, crème fraîche, and sage; and hearth-roasted celery root with parsnip, cippolini onions, and mushrooms. And while the restaurant is a destination unto itself, topping off a weekend at the resort with a meal here can be one of life’s great experiences.
Texas: Fearing’s, Dallas
Located in The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, Fearing’s features modern Southwestern-American cuisine with a farm-to-table approach. Indeed, along with Stephen Pyles and Daily Meal Council member Robert Del Grande, chef Dean Fearing (also a member of The Daily Meal Council) kind of wrote the book on modern Texan cooking (one of his cookbooks is literally called The Texas Food Bible). What does “modern Southwestern-American cuisine” mean? Barbecued shrimp taco with mango and pickled red onion; barbecued short rib enchilada with queso fundido; mesquite-grilled wagyu ribeye with West Texas mop sauce; and “Texas carpaccio” — wagyu beef with Texas olive oil, grana padano, crispy capers, and pickled golden beets. With many dining venues on-site, diners can choose from anything from the outdoor patio to the more upscale Gallery. If you’re dining chef-side in Dean’s Kitchen, or at the Chef’s Table, look for the ebullient chef; he’s almost always present. And make sure to order his signature tortilla soup.
Utah: Powder, Park City
Located inside Park City’s luxurious Waldorf Astoria, the season-driven menu at Powder is creative, delicious, and quite expensive. Relaxed yet upscale, with reclaimed wood floors and large windows overlooking the hotel’s courtyard, Powder is an ideal restaurant for both an après-ski meal or an anniversary dinner. Chef Michael Zachman’s menu highlights local, seasonal ingredients in dishes like pappardelle with rabbit ragout, wild mushrooms, truffle jus, and Parmesan snow; local venison with yam purée, baby carrots, wilted kale, and thyme veal jus; guajillo-rubbed buffalo tenderloin with winter succotash, beetroot purée, and huckleberry jus; and foraged mushroom pot pie with celery root, truffles, and Gruyère veloute.
Vermont: The Inn at Weathersfield, Perkinsville
This eighteenth-century farmhouse is a perfect retreat, and its restaurant is one of the state’s best. More than 75 percent of the ingredients used here come from within a 25-mile radius of the hotel, and a root cellar helps get it through the winter. Breakfast is only open to guests, but dinner is served to the public on Wednesdays through Sundays. The menu lets those local ingredients sing: heirloom carrots and beets are served with housemade ricotta, greens, and maple Champagne vinaigrette; charcuterie is made in-house and served alongside local artisan cheese, and local lamb and chicken is simply roasted and served alongside accompaniments like butternut squash risotto, heirloom cranberry beans, and roasted root vegetables.
Virginia: The Inn at Little Washington, Washington
The Inn at Little Washington/Yelp
Self-taught chef Patrick O'Connell opened this restaurant in 1978 in what was originally a small-town garage, about an hour's drive from D.C. He formed alliances with local farmers and artisanal producers long before it was fashionable, and developed into a sophisticated modern American chef of the highest order. Menu items at The Inn at Little Washington might include classics like American osetra caviar with peekytoe crab and cucumber rillettes, napoleon of chilled Maine lobster with pommes Anna, and veal “Shenandoah” (prosciutto-wrapped loin with country ham ravioli and fontina); there are also vegetarian creations like apple rutabaga soup and cauliflower steak with yellow Indian curry, along with indulgences like hot and cold foie gras with sauternes gelée and quince marmalade. The Inn, a member of the Relais & Châteaux group, has a much-deserved AAA Five Diamond rating.
Washington: The Willows Inn, Lummi Island
This stunning destination restaurant is located a minute’s walk from the beach on a small island in the middle of nowhere near the Canadian border, but it’s a pilgrimage worth making for those who love food and have deep pockets. The only menu available is a tasting menu that utilizes the region’s stunning bounty and can stretch to nearly 20 courses. Take the plunge and you’ll be rewarded with dishes like a doughnut filled with smoked fish, poached rhubarb with lemon thyme, poached spot prawn and its roe, smoked mussels with potatoes, steamed yellowfoot mushrooms, elk tartare with wild herbs and rye bread, steamed steelhead with spring onions, whole barbecued lamb with rosemary and anchovies, and warm parsnip mousse with buckwheat. It’s Pacific Northwest cuisine at its finest.
Washington, D.C.: Plume
The luxurious Jefferson Hotel houses Plume, offering diners Old World ambience in a plush, nook-filled, super-romantic setting — complete with a fireplace — and inventive cuisine. The restaurant’s seasonal menu takes its inspiration, in part, from the produce in the kitchen gardens at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia. The pavé of striped bass with marinated beets, carrot emulsion, and bordelaise sauce is just one creative meal example; that might be topped off with a praline parfait dessert with pineapple and date chutney and caramel vanilla foam.
West Virginia: Main Dining Room, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs
The Greenbrier is one of America’s most beloved resort hotels, and its ornate main dining room has been serving graceful and elegant fine-dining meals for more than 100 years. The breakfast buffet is an absolute must for guests, but come back for dinner (wearing the required jacket and tie) and sample some truly luxurious fare, with many ingredients grown in the hotel’s 43-acre garden. Cream of asparagus soup with Meyer lemon and fresh watercress; five onion soup with chive Chantilly and fried shallots; chicken liver parfait with cherry aigre-doux and port gelée; seared diver scallops with spring peas and crispy lardons; pan-seared wild-caught halibut with spring garden vegetables and minestrone broth; herb-crusted lamb loin with mint and lemon-barley peach jus; rosemary-basted heritage pork loin with collard greens and bacon grits; and spice-crusted local duck breast with poached rhubarb and black lentils are a handful of current menu items.
Wisconsin: The Immigrant Restaurant, Kohler
The Immigrant Restaurant /Yelp
Destination Kohler is a resort village located on 21 pastoral acres formerly home to fixture company Kohler’s factory town (opened in 1918, it was one of America’s first planned communities), and its Tudor-style former main building, the AAA Five-Diamond, Forbes Five-Star American Club, has been one of Wisconsin’s finest resorts since it opened in 1981. There are five dining options in The American Club Hotel (including the former pub for Kohler employees, which is now a lively tavern), but the fine-dining The Immigrant is the true showstopper. Insanely elegant, its six rooms each pay homage to the different nationalities of early Wisconsin settlers. The menu is American with a European twist; opt for the tasting menu ($120 for five courses or $230 for seven) and you can expect dishes including crispy veal sweetbreads with pomegranate, pistachio, watercress, and sunchoke; Niman Ranch pork cheek with pork liver, pear, chipotle, sweet potato, chicory, and rhubarb; and A5 wagyu strip with wagyu fat fries, blue cheese marrow, almond, and kohlrabi.
Wyoming: Jenny Lake Lodge Dining Room, Moose
Jenny Lake Lodge Dining Room/Yelp
Located at the foot of the Grand Tetons, the Jenny Lake Lodge is an upscale AAA Four Diamond resort hiding inside a series of rustic-looking 1930s-era log cabins. Inside, however, it’s all sumptuous elegance (even though the log cabin vibe certainly carries over into the interior design). There are plenty of dining options on the property, but the crown jewel is called simply The Dining Room. Upscale and elegant, it boasts a five-course prix fixe dinner menu that changes nightly depending on what’s fresh, local, and in-season. Open annually from June to early October, it boasts high timbered ceilings, plenty of windows, large tables spaced far apart and topped with white tablecloths and flowers, and a rustic log cabin vibe. It’s a true culinary find in the middle of nowhere, just like these restaurants.