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In this week's Food & Drink, Mike Sula and Anne Spiselman check out some of the fancy-schmancy hotel restaurants that are springing up all over town these days-- rotten economy be damned. Sula found a lot to like about Perennial, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz's new restaurant in the new Park View Hotel. Boka executive chef Giuseppe Tentori and Ryan Poli, formerly of Butter, are, he says, "working excellent ingredients into appealing, often colorful creations" like semolina-beet gnocchi and a glistening watermelon-tomato-olive-oil salad.
Things didn't go as swimmingly at C-House, the new seafood-focused restaurant and bar in the Affinia Hotel, but Sula doesn't think in-house executive chef Seth Siegel Gardner is to blame. Instead he fingers globetrotting executive chef Marcus Samuelsson (pictured) for the uneven, sometimes outright wrongheaded offerings. Samuelsson may be overextended: in addition to restaurants in Stockholm, Tokyo, and New York City, he just opened Marc Burger alongside the other quick-service turns by star chefs on the seventh floor of the State Street Macy's. (By the way, guess which Top Chef contestant is waiting tables at C-House?).
Spiselman reports that Ajasteak, the new sushi-and-steak place in the Dana Hotel, has a few bargains for those of us who can't even dream of paying $18 an ounce (with three- and four-ounce minimums) for meat, no matter how premium. She found the maki ($7-$14) comparable in price to other contempo spots and "good as it was gorgeous." She also sussed out a deal in the yakitori appetizer of Japanese Kobe: two to three ounces for $18.