5 Top U.S. Culinary Adventures

Mirbeau Inn and Spa

Mirbeau Inn and Spa at The Pinehills – Plymouth, Massachusetts 

These days, we in the mood for easy luxury. Perhaps we’re getting accustomed to comfort, perhaps we need to be waited on hand and foot, perhaps… we just won’t settle for mediocre. We want more!

So here are five properties in the US that promise to tickle your taste buds and treat you well:

1.      Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills (Plymouth, Mass.): Guests with a penchant for foraging can join Executive Chef Stephen Coe at nearby Plymouth Rock Oyster Farm for a tutorial on picking and shucking oysters. Groups of up to 12 are privy to a farm dinner thereafter including oysters, scallops, lobster, saltwater corn and prosecco ($75 per person). The program launches today and continues through early autumn.

1,000 Islands Harbor

1,000 Islands Harbor Hotel – Clayton, New York

2.      1000 Islands Harbor Hotel (Clayton, N.Y.): Another off-site adventure awaits in upstate N.Y., where guests head out on the St. Lawrence River to fish with Captain Jeff Garnsey.  The day’s haul is then cooked over a hardwood campfire for a traditional Shore Dinner (a Clayton staple since 1872). In a single cast iron skillet, Captain prepares salt pork sandwiches and fried fish, followed by French toast, served with local maple syrup.

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn- Chatham, Mass.

3.      Chatham Bars Inn (Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod): Not every culinary moment can or should be planned. The oceanfront resort’s luxury fleet stands ready to whisk guests to sea for big game sport fishing, among other leisure pursuits. (The biggest guest catch was a 350 lb. blue fin tuna.) When opportunity strikes, Executive Chef Anthony Cole will greet boats at shore and immediately filet fish for fresh sashimi, served gratis to guests on the beach with the fisherman’s OK.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Kaiseki Canapes

The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Kaiseki Canapes – Cary, North Carolina

4.      The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C., outside Raleigh): Herons’ seven course Kaiseki dinner by Executive Chef Steven Greene begins with a spectacular tableside tea ceremony (this video captures the wow-factor of the process). The drink is served in custom dishware by potter Ben Owen, whose large-scale works are showcased throughout the art-centric Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond hotel. This unexpected start to the dinner experience is a perfect complement to the “source local” mentality at The Umstead, which relies heavily on N.C. products and produce from its own garden and nearby farm.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain – Scottsdale, Arizona

5.      Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.): The “Mi Casa, Mi Chef” package takes the relationship between diner and chef to new dimensions. From the arresting vantage point of Sanctuary’s Mountainside Estates, guests work hand-in-hand with a Sanctuary chef (like Food Network star Beau MacMillan) to plan and execute their customized dining experience, letting the day’s best fruits, vegetables, fish and meat dictate the menu.  They join the chef in the kitchen of their private home, working side-by-side to prepare the feast. In-home spa treatments take the package over-the-top.

New Opening April 2013: Hyatt Union Square

Guest Room at the new Hyatt Union Square (Opening April 2013)

Guest Room at the new Hyatt Union Square (Opening April 2013)

A new hotel in Union Square for all you Big City Apples. Taking reservations for April 2013, the new Hyatt Union Square New York will be located at 134 Fourth Avenue. Channeling the energetic spirit of the area – known to many as the new Digital District – the new Hyatt plans to bring high-style design through artistic lounges and rooms, ranging from loft-style studios with and without outdoor terraces to two distinct presidential suites. The hotel will also offer new restaurants by One Five Hospitality Group, led by well-respected restaurateurs Jo-Ann Makovitzky and Marco A. Moreira, owners of the highly acclaimed Tocqueville and 15 East restaurants.The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Fourth, is slated to be an all-day American Brasserie that will serve traditional brasserie fare with a modern American interpretation. Singl Lounge (for all you Singls) hopes to be a new spot for locals and guests to catch up during the day or night.

Be on the look out for an extensive single malt scotch selection and single vineyard wines by the glass.

www.unionsquare.hyatt.com

Art in the City: Doug Argue’s The Art of Translation

Doug Argue's Drift Dive (Edelman Arts)

Doug Argue’s Drift Dive (Edelman Arts)

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

— William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

And man, don’t I wish my cavern had one of Doug Argue’s paintings on its walls? Reminiscent of Jasper Johns and Basquiat, Argue’s “The Art of Translation,” is a new exhibition of paintings by genre-busting painter Doug Argue. “Doug’s approach is as novel, and fully realized, as the works of Jasper Johns, Brice Marden and Jean-Michel Basquiat, at the height of their powers,” says Asher Edelman, founder of Edelman Arts and host of the soiree.

As Edelman Arts explains: “The painter puts his unique vocabulary to work with a visual and conceptual subtext of letters. From a distance, the paintings suggest color field painting or abstract expressionism. A closer look reveals the paintings are comprised of prismatic realms of flowing shapes and patterns. Painted with oil on linen, the letterforms are individually stretched and transformed, capturing language’s ephemeral, fluid nature.”

And in the artist’s words: “What’s important to me is the flux of language—changing constantly in meanings, sound, grammar, in every way—and letters as metaphors for molecules, atoms, and chromosomes—providing a system of combining and recombining with almost infinite variation, while providing continuity in the evolution of the universe, life, and language. The letters also represent sounds. When I use them and break them up, they turn into free-roaming sounds.”

While Abstract Expressionists’ paintings were retrospective—capturing or reflecting a prior idea or emotional state—Argue’s paintings seem propositional, anticipatory—projecting into what the Frankfurt theorist Ernst Bloch terms the “not-yet.”

Doug Argue (b. 1962) currently resides in New York City. His works are included in numerous public collections, including the Walker Art Center, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. In 2009, he was awarded with the Artist of the Year by the London International Creative Competition. Argue has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Prix De Rome, a Bush Foundation Fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Edelman Arts presented a solo exhibition of his works in 2011 and an exhibition of monumental works in conjunction with New York’s Haunch of Venison in June 2012.

Opening: February 21st from 6-8pm, 2013

Runs from: February 22nd – March 23rd, 2013

Edelman Arts

136 East 74th Street

New York, New York 10021

Top 10 Restaurants: New York

This week, Joanne Smith, gives us a rundown on the Top Ten Restaurants in New York City if you find yourself visiting the city (and – yum – we have to agree). You can’t go wrong with Daniel or Per Se.

Start spreadin the news...

Start spreadin the news…

New York City is full of art, entertainment, and fine dining. So, here are the top ten restaurants you should check out while visiting New York will complete your big city experience. As you’re filing your ESTA Visa Application and booking your trip, remember to fit a few of the following into your plans because nothing shows off the diversity of New York like these fine favorites.

Craft has a beautiful and calming atmosphere with farm to table dinners. Simplicity is the highlight here. Gramercy Tavern is a low key restaurant that’s reaching new heights with the talent of Michael Anthony (and a 27 out of 30 from Zagats). Your best selections are the braised meats and pork. If you like Italian, look into Torrisi Italian Specialties. An elegantly designed tasting room, they’ll serve you a 20 course meal that includes steak tartar. They were also ranked one of the best restaurants in NYC in 2010.

Octopus Corona - Torrisi

Octopus Corona – Torrisi

If it’s an elegant dining experience you’re in the mood for, try Eleven Madison Park. Trendy with a contemporary style, you get excellent service and Chef Daniel Humm gets down to the traditional favorites of fine dining. The restaurant is elegantly decorated, but it doesn’t feel intimidating. Corton is a very sleek and modern facility that has an excellent selection in their wine cellar, and it is a great spot for trying finer foods. Also fitting the bill for elegance is Daniel. This is Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant, serving French classics and haute cuisine. The very upscale dining room is perfect for romantic dinners (but you’ll definitely pay a pretty penny).

Daniel NYC

Daniel NYC

If you are the type of diner that enjoys seafood, give Le Bernardin a try. It is New York’s best spot for seafood. Chef Eric Ripert’s talent shows in the meals served by the top notch staff. Another good establishment for seafood is Per Se. Thomas Keller offers consistently wonderful dishes and the varied menu includes his Nova Scotia lobster and his signature Oysters and Pearls. Sam Sifton of New York Times puts Per Se on the ‘last meal’ list and explains, “It combines a sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters (small, marble-shaped, from Duxbury, south of Boston, fantastic) and a fat clump of sturgeon caviar from Northern California. These arrive in a bowl of the finest porcelain from Limoges. Paired with a glass of golden sémillon from Elderton, they make a fine argument for the metaphor of transubstantiation.”

Oysters and Pearls

Per Se’s Oysters and Pearls

Two of the most coveted dining locations are the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare. For $225 per person you can enjoy classic gourmet dining, with a 25 course meal, at Chef’s Table though reservations are hard to come by. This is true at Momofuko Ko too. They only accommodate twelve diners at each meal, but it’s well worth it.

Author Bio: Joanne Smith’s passion is to write for Travel Blogs. You can reach her here: @travelplex

The Belmont Stakes at The Warwick in NYC

The Belmont Stakes... at The Warwick

The Belmont Stakes… at The Warwick

This just in for those who want to catch the races! There’s a Belmont Stakes promotion taking place at Randolph’s Bar & Lounge at the Warwick New York Hotel this weekend! Randolph’s will be offering a number of specials honoring the race:

·         Patrons may tell their server or bartender, “I’ll Have Another” and receive a second drink on the house – buy one, get one!

·         Belmont Breeze, the official drink of the Belmont Stakes, at a special celebratory price of just $10. The first 20 patrons to purchase a Belmont Breeze will receive an official commemorative glass as a souvenir.

·         Belmont “Steaks” Quesadilla, an appetizer-sized portion specially prepared by Executive Chef Robert Hohmann priced at a lucky $7