When it comes to luxury hotels, an excellent culinary offering is right up there with the most important boxes to tick. After all, no matter what unique experience a hotel is offering, it always feels better after a good meal.
At Lartisien, so many of our partner hotels are home to unique culinary journeys, designed by some of the most recognized chefs in the world. We’ve compiled a list from our recent travels.
Carao, One&Only Mandarina
Purposefully lost in the middle of Mayan nature, One&Only Mandarina is a destination that invites travelers to experience a different side of Mexico, and yet, the most surprising is still to come for, at the very edge of the resort, perched on a cliff overlooking the shimmering waters of Riviera Nayarit, is Carao where Executive Chef Enrique Olvera imagined a sensory immersion into Mexican gastronomy.
Bathed in golden sunlight, Carao is open to the whims and wonders of nature, and that’s the part that really made us fall in love with it. There is a sense of complete trust in the environment – one that permeates the entire resort, but is felt with greater intensity at Carao, especially with the infinity pool that juts out over the cliff, extending the warm glow of the setting sun in the evening.
Sitting out on the terrace, around makeshift firepits, cocktails in hand and amuse-bouches within an arm’s reach, the comfort is unequivocal. On the culinary side, the experience is equally special and it is an outlet of creativity for the celebrity chef. The latter – who is also the owner and head chef at Pujol, one of Mexico’s leading fine dining addresses – has brought all his savoir-faire and profound love for Mexican recipes to this One&Only property.
Our favorites dishes:
Tapas: Charred avocado, scallops, yuzukoshó
Main: Grilled chicken
Sides: Mashed potato
Dessert: Plantain cubilete, pixtle ice cream, dulce de leche
Every day – 12h00 to 18h00, and then from 18h00 to 23h00
Al Mare, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah
This next restaurant takes you to the other end of the spectrum. Located at the heart of Knightsbridge, within the urban jungle that is London, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah is the Emirati brand’s flagship European address, bringing a taste of their flair for opulence and elegance to the British capital. The best example of this is Al Mare’s Italian cuisine, courtesy of Head Chef Marco Calenzo.
Through a separate entrance on Cardogan Place, enter the slick and elegant interiors of Al Mare. Modern and elegant with upholstered chairs, abstract paintings on the walls and a gorgeous blue and brass counter for a bar, the setting is one that seems to come straight from the 1920s. The whole place is also bathed in light through the glass façade that lets in views of the gorgeous Cardogan Gardens.
At the other end of the restaurant, you can also catch a glimpse of the team hard at work in the open kitchen, preparing the dishes designed by Chef Calenzo. The latter – who previously delighted patrons at the modern-Japanese restaurant, Zuma, in Knightsbridge- can finally put all of his knowledge to good use. Indeed, a native of Italy, Marco Calenzo has spent his career cultivating a knowledge of traditional Italian recipes and techniques, only to add his own contemporary twist to the delightful menu.
Our favorite dishes:
Crudo: Arancini di Tonno (Spicy bluefin tuna tartare & saffron arancini)
Antipasti: Carpaccio di Manzo (Beef carpaccio, rocket, parmesan cheese & datterino tomato)
Paste: Risotto all’Astice (Two-year aged Acquerello rice & blue lobster)
Carne: Vitello alla Milanese (Veal chop, aged parmesan cheese, rocket & tomato)
Dolci: Black Peruvian Chocolate Tart
Monday and Tuesday – 7h00 to 10h30
Wednesday to Sunday – 7h00 to 22h30
Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée, Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Next up is perhaps one of the most beautiful restaurants on this list! The flagship restaurant of the iconic Hôtel Plaza Athénée is the brainchild of Chef Jean Imbert, and the experience is nothing less than a spectacle for the senses.
From entering the room itself, with a new interior designed by Rémi Tessier, you know you are in for something special. And then there is the plat de resistance… the food. Filling the shoes left by Alain Ducasse – the previous chef attached to the Hôtel Plaza Athénée – is by no means a small feat, but Jean Imbert indeed manages to make the Régence dining room his own, with a menu inspired by the history of French gastronomy itself.
One of the most memorable events during dinner is the dessert service. At the sound of a bell, the lights are dimmed, and a window opens to reveal the cooks adding the final touches to the desserts, including classics such as “L’Ambassadeur”, the “Puits d’Amour” and the “Crêpe Soufflée à la mandarine”, all revisited by Pastry Chefs Angelo Musa and Elisabeth Hot. The result is a culinary excursion through time, and a veritable gustatory overload that earned the restaurant a Michelin star earlier this year!
Our favorite dishes:
Starter: Truffled Chantilly Tart
Main: Pithiviers de Saint-Jacques
Dessert: Puits d’Amour
Sunday and Monday – Closed
Tuesday to Friday – 19h15 to 22h15
Saturday – 12h30 to 14h15, and then from 19h30 to 22h15
The Sand Bar, Eden Rock St Barths
What made the Sand Bar so memorable for us was that we never expected such an experience in such a location. Of course, we knew the Eden Rock St Barths would deliver in every aspect, including the culinary side, but they went above and beyond what was necessary, and the result is something that truly makes the address that much more special.
The Caribbean hotel enlisted iconic Chef Jean-Georges to oversee its culinary offering, and the latter brought his own brand of fusion cuisine to the Oetker Collection property, infusing Caribbean and Western classics with a taste of the East.
Lounging the white-sand beach of St Jean Bay with a beautiful island décor, the Sand Bar invites travelers to enjoy its exquisite cuisine in a setting that is synonymous with relaxation itself. And it’s precisely this contrast between a fine dining experience and a setting that is so casual and laid-back that allows the restaurant to stand out.
Our favorite dishes:
Appetizer: Rice cracker crusted tuna, soybean and cilantro coulis.
Main: Dover sole Meunière, mashed potatoes
Dessert: Caribbean chocolate cake, crispy chocolate and extra virgin olive oil foam
Breakfast – Every day 7h30 to 10h00
Lunch – Every day 12h00 to 16h00
Dinner – Every day 19h00 to 22h00
For more hotel showcases, stay tuned! To follow brothers Ivan and Rouslan Lartisien on their travels, follow us on Instagram.