Massive food festivals certainly have their place, but more intimate — dare we say special? — epicurean events are also demanding a place at the table at luxury properties across North America this summer as well. Here are five that have us salivating now:
Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Key West, Florida
Like other Waldorf Astoria hotels around the world, this resort offers the Taste of Waldorf Astoria Experience, an overnight package that features a three-course meal reflective of its location. In the case of this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Key West escape, guests who participate will get a beachside meal that includes lobster bisque, plantain-crusted grouper, shrimp risotto and coconut pie. Toast your indigenous encounter with a glass of bubbly, as a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne is also included.
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
The restaurant inside this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star waterfront hotel finally reopened in mid-June as Goldfinch Tavern. Four Seasons smartly teamed up with Ethan Stowell, a highly regarded Seattle chef, to get the 159-seat establishment going. Named after the Washington state bird, Goldfinch Tavern features Pacific Northwest cuisine (oysters, king crab) and a healthy selection of beef (Painted Hills steaks). Scenic views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains serve as a dramatic backdrop in the maritime-themed space.
The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
Those who love adventure and food will find themselves right at home this summer at this Aspen Five-Star resort — there’s a slew of culinary-themed things to do, including the Ride & Dine Series, which are cycling trips to Emma Farms (June 25), Home Run Ranch (July 16) and other nearby purveyors for a prepared farm-to-table dinner. The resort’s Five-Star restaurant Element 47 and its outdoor patio eatery, Ajax Tavern, will host specials all season long, too, ranging from Pink on the Patio’s unlimited rosé pours to the fourth annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival held on Labor Day.
Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Bermuda
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson debuted his newest restaurant in Bermuda in late May — reason enough to visit the luxury island destination. Named Marcus’, the eatery serves up globally influenced food with an emphasis on Caribbean and Portuguese fare (jerk pork belly, tandoori smoked salmon). The space itself is a tribute to modern art, with pieces by Andy Warhol and even Nelson Mandela throughout the restaurant. The hotel’s Stay and Dine package includes deluxe accommodations, a five-course meal for two at Marcus’, a signed copy of Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home and breakfast at Crown & Anchor.
Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia
For all Clifton Inn guests and rival properties who have wondered how chef Jarad Adams is able to cook up such wonderfully flavorful, locally sourced fare in his kitchen, they’re in luck through October as the Four-Star beauty is allowing peeks behind its culinary curtain with the Forage & Feast package. The two-night adventure lets you learn (garden tours), do (bird watching, trail hiking) and eat (two chef-orchestrated meals, a lakeside picnic) with Adams and other team members at The Dining Room at Clifton Inn. There is a six-person minimum for Forage & Feast, but considering how you’ll want as big an audience as possible for when you lure your trophy bass during the scheduled fishing outing, it all makes sense.