10 Best Hotel Restaurants in Europe (Slideshow)
December 12, 2014
10 Best Hotel Restaurants in Europe
The Daily Meal looks to its list of the 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World to round up the best dining experiences in hotel restaurants across Europe.
#10 The Dining Room at Domaine de la Baume (Tourtour, France)
Dinner inside chef François Martin’s dining room is quite an experience. It’s a three-course affair of Provençal cuisine at a fixed-price menu. A sample dinner menu includes chilled pea soup with mint and goat cheese crisp, spelt risotto, and pigeon with baby artichokes sautéed in garlic oil with sundried tomatoes. Head pastry chef Élodie Martin highlights the sweet fruits found in the South of France that come from local orchards in many of his desserts while also adding creative flair.
#9 Acquerello Restaurant at The St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace (Venice)
Under the guidance of executive chef Roberto Dal Seno, Acquerello offers a menu of locally sourced ingredients coupled with ingredients from the Adriatic coast while drawing influences from all around the Mediterranean. Appetizers include stuffed calamari cooked in a jar and “Venetian Hinterland," which consists of beef carpaccio with arugula salad, Parmigiano flakes, celery hearts, and organic salt. For mains, there are homemade and artisanal pastas along with fish dishes including cod or wild sea bass and meat dishes including veal or duck.
#8 Relish at The Westin Grand (Berlin)
"Feed the body, nourish the soul" is the motto of Relish. Diners can select a table in the dining room, on the terrace (in the summer) with a view of Friedrichstraße, or at the foot of the lobby staircase. In any of these, they will enjoy chef Peter Hampl’s seasonal menu of "international cuisine with French and Asian influences" — the likes of pan-fried Dover sole with spinach leaves, melted butter, and grenaille potatoes; cream of yellow beet soup; and even a classic club sandwich with grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, and potato chips, served with a spicy dip.
#7 La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri (Rome)
La Pergola, the only Michelin three-star restaurant in Rome, is a treasure trove for the senses, offering panoramic views of the Eternal City from surroundings stocked with Mediterranean antiques, along with a rare Aubusson tapestry, Sèvres porcelain, an eighteenth-century bronze candelabra, and a collection of hand-blown glass by Emile Gallé. La Pergola has a wine cellar of more than 60,000 bottles, a water menu featuring 29 choices of water, a cigar lounge, and a candlelit terrace. And then there's German-born executive chef Heinz Beck's cooking: fagottelli La Pergola, the restaurant’s version of spaghetti carbonara, is small pasta pouches filled with cheese and ham dusted with fresh black pepper. Other notable creations include John Dory in a parsley crust with olive oil, garlic and chile pepper; loin of lamb with mint sauce and pecorino puff; and filet of veal marinated in pepper on eggplant purée with veal reduction.
#6 El Motel Restaurant at Hotel Empordà (Figueres, Spain)
El Motel, under the direction of chef and proprietor Jaume Subirós, has continued in the footsteps of Josep Mercader, who founded the hotel — and contemporary Catalan cooking — in 1961. The place continues to serve the inventive, unfailingly delicious regional cuisine that has characterized the place for more than 50 years. A tasting menu, market menu, and à la carte options are all available, with dishes including cod grilled with Swiss chard and garlic mousseline and pork’s trotters with pine nuts, served Catalan style. Regulars always ask for an hors d'oeuvre of deep-fried anchovy spines. There is a small, superb list of Spanish wines, including a number of local vintages.
#5 Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons Restaurant at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons (Great Milton, U.K.)
Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire has maintained its two-Michelin-star status for three decades under acclaimed chef Raymond Blanc's leadership. The restaurant offers a fusion of classic British and French cuisine, serving, for example, both English breakfasts and French buffet breakfasts. Guests can choose from an array of gourmet menus ranging from five to seven courses, including the notre menu d’automne, a five-course culinary experience that features dishes such spiced cauliflower soup with roasted scallop, as well as Cornish mackerel with compressed apples, soy, honey, ginger, and lime. Also available are two seven-course menus for the ultimate dining experience at Le Manoir. In addition to creating gourmet dining experiences, chef Blanc also runs a cooking school at Le Manoir, where students can take courses in artisan bread-making, fish and shellfish, patisserie, and chocolate.
#4 Il Palagio at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze (Florence)
This award-winning restaurant is loved by both locals and tourists alike. Executive chef Vito Mollica, who was awarded a Michelin star in 2011 and was also named chef of the year by Italy’s most renowned dining guides, delivers a menu that focuses on traditional regional dishes executed with a contemporary flair. Mollica incorporates the freshest ingredients into his dishes from artisan producers. A tasting menu is also available, with fine wine pairings offered. A wide variety of à la carte items is also available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Equally as magnificent is the beauty of Il Palagio; guests can dine indoors under the building’s original high vaulted ceilings or al fresco in the hotel gardens.
#3 Le Louis XV at Hôtel de Paris (Monte Carlo)
When Alain Ducasse opened Le Louis XV, Prince Rainier III of Monaco set him a challenge: turn the restaurant into the first in the principality to be awarded three Michelin stars, and do it within four years. Ducasse succeeded after only three. When dining here, one can choose between two dinner menus: "Les Jardins de Provence," or "Pour les Gourmets." Some notable dishes include Mediterranean sea bass studded with olives and minestrone broth; milk-fed lamb grilled in the fireplace with stuffed vegetables; and homemade pasta from Tuscany with tomatoes cooked three ways, ground black truffle, and basil.
#2 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London)
Having given Britain some of the most scientifically advanced cooking in the world at The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal next embarked on a quest to give them some of the most historical. The conceit of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is to reproduce recipes from his country's surprisingly rich culinary past. The oldest example on the current menu is Rice & Flesh (rice with saffron, red wine, and calf's tail, from circa 1390). The most famous dish is Meat Fruit (circa 1500), a chicken liver parfait coated with, and resembling, mandarin orange. Spiced pigeon with ale and artichokes (circa 1780); roast halibut with leaf chicory and cockle ketchup (circa 1830); and an apple, rose, and fennel tart with vanilla ice cream (circa 1660) are among the other offerings. The nice thing about all this food is that it's very tasty and doesn't seem "historical" at all; it's a testament to the longevity of good cooking. And yes, to answer the inevitable question, it is also open for lunch.
#1 Epicure at Le Bristol (Paris)
At the three-Michelin-starred Epicure, chef Eric Fréchon lives up to his reputation as one of the best chefs in town with dishes like large langoustines and caviar, served cold, with fresh celery and Japanese lemon; blue lobster roasted in its shell with grilled chestnuts, sautéed celeriac, and juice of pressed heads; and milk-fed saddle of lamb nori crust roasted served with fresh herb gnocchi and cabbage purée. In wintertime, the restaurant occupies a remodeled interior dining room lit by decadent gold chandeliers; in warmer weather, the action shifts to a salon lined with windows looking out onto the hotel's French garden.