Must-Try Dishes at Four Seasons Restaurants
When visiting these U.S. food cities, certain menu items are meant to be ordered and enjoyed.
Updated June 27, 2012–Mention Dallas and many people think barbeque. Name New York and soon those who have been there may begin to long for a pastrami sandwich on rye bread. The fact is that some destinations are forever linked with certain foods, which are almost iconic for the destination. When you dine at Four Seasons restaurants in U.S. cities from Boston to Scottsdale, Arizona, there, too, you will find dishes that come with the chef’s recommendation or are big customer favourites. Be they staple dishes such as a burger and fries or a Buffalo chicken sandwich, or more elaborate preparations such as caramelised quail or acorn squash tagliatelle and Maine lobster creole, the raves they garner make them worth your while. Here is just a sampling.
Four Seasons Hotel Boston
The Bristol Lounge: The Bristol Burger is this Hotel’s signature dish. “As our menu evolves,” says Executive Chef Brooke Vosika, “The Bristol Burger remains a staple on the lunch and dinner menus. [It] has become a sort of icon in Boston.” Made with quality beef and fresh, house-made ingredients, Vosika says, the restaurant sells about 20,000 Bristol Burgers annually.
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Seasons Restaurant: You’ve never had peanut butter and jelly until you’ve tried it at Seasons Restaurant. This is not your childhood PB&J. Executive Chef Kevin Hickey says, “The dish was born of the fact that every year Concord grapes come into season and need to be processed into various things quickly as the season is very short. Once you have that flavour you’re almost automatically compelled to want something creamy and peanut-flavoured to go with it. So we were inspired to create a very creamy foie gras mousse and crust it with toasted peanuts.”
Seasons Lounge and Conservatory: The short-rib sliders—meatballs served on little brioche buns—are particularly popular on the Sunday Game Day menu here, but they are a big hit any day of the week. Featuring Wagyu beef—a kind of prime-grade, densely marbled beef—the meat combines with minced braised short ribs. Once crafted into balls, they are braised in red wine demi-glace.
Café on the Green: Chef de Cuisine Kathleen Natale recommends the Serrano ham and egg. It is made with a fried polenta cake, julienne Serrano ham from Spain, two poached quail eggs, leek vinaigrette, a truffle cream sauce and fresh black truffle slices on top. “I like to call this a four-diamond eggs Benedict,” she says. As an appetiser, it “really gets the senses powered up.”
Acqua: Try the steamed sea bass with Moroccan spiced couscous, wilted greens and semi-dried tomatoes, all set over a light lobster saffron beurre blanc. A chef suggestion as well as a guest favourite, this dish’s delicate flavours and slight Southeast-Asian influence are a likely result of Executive Chef Patrick Boucher’s years of chef experience at Four Seasons Resort Bali Jimbaran Bay.
Bahía: Cuban food dominates menus in Miami. “The Cuban pork sandwich is a Miami staple,” says Chef Boucher. Bahía takes a twist on this popular menu item: The Cubano Wrap is a pressed panini with layers of pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and yellow mustard.
The Garden: Steak frites and a bottle of red wine are the perfect complement to an evening of good conversation among friends. Or enhance the wine experience with an artisanal cheese plate and a charcuterie tasting. You can nosh and compare notes on your favourites.
Fountain Restaurant: Chef David Jansen recommends the lobster and fresh truffle butter ravioli. The ravioli is crafted with a steamed lobster tail that rests on fresh pasta dough and a truffle-infused cold butter. As it cooks, the butter smothers the lobster and pasta. The butter dominates with every delicious bite. It is served with a lobster sauce and fresh asparagus.
Talavera: The Chilean Sea Bass comes with Executive Chef Mel Mecinas’ recommendations. It comes with potato risotto, artichoke and braised oxtail. For the risotto, the chef uses Yukon Gold potatoes cooked with shallots, thyme and cream. The result resembles risotto, but surprises the palate.
Crescent Moon: For a signature dish at Crescent Moon, try the crab jicama tacos. Chef Mecinas says the jicama wrapping around the crab makes for a refreshing twist on the typical tortilla that keeps the dish light and fresh.
Saguaro Blossom: Tequila-lime marinated chicken quesadilla with Oaxaca and jack cheese, charred red onions and a sun-dried tomato tortilla is a signature dish at Saguaro Blossom. It’s the tequila that makes this dish lively.
Bourbon Steak: Chef David Varley says one of the recent guest standouts has been the Squash Tagliatelle Special—acorn squash tagliatelle, Maine lobster creole and garden cavolo nero. “It is a total collaboration of our entire team. The dish was conceived by our cooks around the idea of making a rich lobster reduction, tossing a roasted squash pasta with it and cutting through that with a spiced lobster emulsion,” Varley says. “The dish is balanced with Meyer lemon and boosted with fresh lobster meat and baby Tuscan kale from our garden.”
Seasons: At Seasons, Hotel Executive Chef Douglas Anderson says the customer favourite is the Chesapeake skillet. “The skillet has wonderful local flavours: Old Bay spice, crab, corn and fingerling potatoes. All ingredients are roasted in a skillet, topped with rich hollandaise sauce and served in a two-handled cast-iron skillet,” Anderson says. “The dish is accompanied by a side of Turner Virginia ham, which has a rich, nutty, earthy flavour closer to Serrano ham, making it a perfect combination.”