Platinum List 2019: Best Hotel Restaurants
Hélène Darroze, Blue, The Creek Bistro Chic, NoMad, The Restaurant at Meadowood
From Michelin-starred bastions of elegance to chic waterfront scenes, these restaurants guarantee guests never need to leave the property.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this month, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught has been renovated by French designer Pierre Yovanovitch, who reimagined the classically English interior by handworking the century-old wood paneling to a light matte finish. Blown glass from both sides of the Channel adds to the new look. “The design had to be a reflection of the elegance of her cuisine, as well as a celebration of quality,” says Yovanovitch.
During a recent visit, after walking by an impressive personal collection of Armagnac vintages, I was seated at a corner table commanding a view of the entire dining room. The customary amuses-bouches included scrumptious smoked-trout doughnuts topped with trout caviar, crisp cauliflower mushrooms with ponzu jelly and dill, and a sphere of piquillo-pepper gazpacho, followed by country bread still warm from the oven. Darroze has been inspired by the ingredients of her native Landes, the French Pays Basques and the British Isles, but her new chapter will include mostly British ingredients sourced nearby to assure peak freshness. “It is time for me to be more responsible about sustainability,” she says. “For this reason I am focusing on products from the U.K. I still have my passion for chicken from Les Landes and milk-fed lamb from the Pyrenees, but I will use those at Marsan, my restaurant in Paris. It is time for us to mainly work with U.K. products, as their quality is now at the top.”
My first dish, caviar topped with briny oysters and sweet sea urchin, was followed by a black truffle, meticulously cut in a lattice design, with a bright-orange farm egg yolk and barigoule artichoke. After a deep breath—I had been longing for Darroze’s food—red mullet from Cornwall arrived, seared and sliced, combining the contrasting flavors of chorizo and piquillo pepper in a savory sauce. Then came the fork-tender duck, its skin seared to caramelization, alongside barely cooked endive.
Dessert began with Gariguette strawberries followed by the chef’s signature baba, soaked in Darroze Armagnac with bourbon vanilla cream. A canelé, elegantly boxed with Hélène Darroze’s signature, reminded me the next morning why this place is so loved amongst travelers and Londoners alike.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Keeping within the spirit of the original NoMad in New York, chef Daniel Humm adapts to California tastes with dishes including kampachi ceviche with lettuce wraps and charred calamari with shaved baby artichoke.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Helmed by chef Eric Ripert, the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant serves iconic dishes from New York’s Le Bernardin prepared with locally sourced seafood.
Barcelona-born chef Omar Mallen creates Mediterranean dishes inspired by his mentors—chefs Sergi Arola and Ferran Adrià—and his love of fresh seafood.
Saint Helena, California, United States
This Michelin-three-star restaurant features chef Christopher Kostow’s modern approach to Napa Valley cuisine, with products from the region’s best growers and vintners.