The Hotel Hershey officially debuts its retooled signature restaurant, The Circular, today, and though the eatery is a completely new concept for the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel — with fresh menus, sleeker décor and a noticeable absence of trompe l’oeil ceiling clouds — some of the things we loved about the space’s former incarnation, Circular Dining Room, remain. Chief among them: the 13 locally made stained-glass windows and the top-notch culinary team.
Under the direction of executive chef Ken Gladysz, chef de cuisine Aaron Fowler and executive pastry chef Cher Harris, The Circular’s menu offers innovative twists on American cuisine — sometimes literally, in the case of the pretzel-crusted rock shrimp appetizer. But this is chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey’s hotel, after all, so you’ll also find plenty of sweet treats at the bar (Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon) and the table (the Old Fashioned dessert features bourbon chocolate mousse, bitters foam and praline sponge with salted orange toffee).
The restaurant’s four-month transformation was a collaboration between The Hotel Hershey and Minneapolis-based design firm Shea, Inc. Neither was afraid of making dramatic changes; their modern touches include skipping tablecloths on the American-crafted wooden tables and replacing Circular Dining Room’s centerpiece torchiere with a soaring flower arrangement surrounded by a gleaming, circular (of course) bar.
A novel cocktail menu shows off Prohibition-era recipes. You’ll find us sipping The Traveler; made with chocolate bourbon, Aperol, sweet vermouth, B&B and Aztec chocolate bitters, the drink celebrates Mr. Hershey’s well-documented love of travel while showcasing his signature product. We can’t think of a sweeter hat tip to the imaginative chocolate maven who originally designed the space.
Photos courtesy of The Hotel Hershey