One of our favorite things about summertime is the plethora of special menus and food-laden events that take place at some of the Forbes Travel Guide Star-Rated hotels and restaurants. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few timely mouthwatering specials that you’re not going to want to miss. Whether you prefer champagne and shellfish in Hong Kong, or elegant meals in a quaint North Carolina village, this appetizing lineup is sure to suit your foodie fancy.
Waldorf Astoria Chicago’s Posh Picnic in the Park
If you pine after the park atmosphere but crave the expertise of a high-end restaurant, take advantage of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Chicago’s Picnic in the Park, an outdoor culinary experience with a menu sure to raise some epicurean eyebrows through its September run. Prepare for gourmet strip steak sandwiches, garganelli and grilled vegetable salad, and cheese and charcuterie, classily embellished with a few glasses of Dom Pérignon. If you can’t bear to leave your furry friend out of the fun, the property also offers the Waldorf Woof picnic, which sets your pup up with a gourmet menu (steak tartare, chicken with rice, carrots and peas) to match his master’s. The Gold Coast gem even provides a personalized in-room playlist with fitting songs such as Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” and Elvis’ “Hound Dog.”
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s Lobster and Bubbles
For Hong Kong travelers craving some classy surf and turf, Café Causette, located in the mezzanine of the Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, has introduced a special summer pop-up menu featuring everything “Lobster and Bubbles.” Through August 31, feast on Boston lobster served as lobster tacos, lobster dogs, wonton lobster soup and other creative dishes. For the bubbly portion of the menu, choose from a selection of crisp champagnes and sparking wines such as Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve, 2011 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut and 2006 Emmanuel Brochet Le Mont Benoit. Through December 31, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is also extending the Celebration Retreat package to guests. The delicious-sounding deal includes breakfast for two, a room upgrade, a welcome bottle of champagne and a HKD 500 (about USD $64) credit we’d suggest applying to a meal at Four-Star Man Wah.
The Fearrington House Inn
The Fearrington House Inn, tucked into a quiet corner near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, wants guests to follow their noses to the property this season with its Gourmand Experience. The tasty overnight offering includes luxe accommodations, full gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea, a $25 resort gift card and dinner at Five-Star The Fearrington House Restaurant. The chef Colin Bedford-orchestrated meal of fresh greens and locally sourced game is accompanied by vino selections prepared by wine director Maximilian Kast and sommelier Paula De Pano. If all of that isn’t a recipe for a relaxing slumber, the rooms’ pillowtop featherbeds, wrapped in 300-count Egyptian cotton linens, most certainly is.
NYC Restaurant Week
If you’re a foodie looking for an opportunity to cross must-try restaurants off your New York City list in one scrumptious swoop, the three-course lunch and dinner options from Restaurant Week (through August 15) couldn’t come at a better time. Though there are more than 300 eatery options to choose from, the fresh traditional Mexican fare (not to mention a selection of over 100 different brands of tequila) makes the West Village’s El Toro Blanco worth a stop. We also recommend Four-Star Ai Fiori for lunch, which serves an exquisite mix of French and Italian cuisine (think housemade pasta ribbons with capers, taggiasca olives and tomato) that reflects the background of famed chef Michael White. A few other stops worth sampling on your food tour include: Tertulia tapas haven, Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine and Zengo’s Asian fusion.