VOLANTE Lola Cristall has found some very chic, must-visit dining spots in New York, Washington and Baltimore, including some hidden gems
Main photograph by Wayne E. Chinnock
Lola Cristall is Paris editor of Lucire.
The luxury, elegance and sophistication of a venue help make for a memorable dining experience. And New York City, Washington, DC and Baltimore have a few notable spots that truly deliver on these counts. (Photos of each property after their description.)
New York, NY
First up, Brigitte in the Lower East Side offers French-inspired food with a Provençal and Brazilian twist. The discreet location is described as a ‘hidden gem’ where friends, family and neighbours can indulge in delectable food, great service and a simple home-like ambiance. Brigitte’s whole sea bream is presented elegantly, with a light lemon dressing, thyme and rosemary oil. Provençal pissaladière onion confit with anchovy filet, olives and Dijon mustard delivers an appetizing thrill. Dairy-free cauliflower purée, chickpea salad, and light polenta fries add to the taste buds. Other meal options include cheesy risotto, gnocchi à la parisienne and a smoked paprika octopus cauliflower. Desserts are simple yet tasty, including their delicious almond crunch and their rich chocolate cake cup. The service is familial and welcoming.
Eduardo Cerruti and Stephanie Draime for Dimanche Creative
Moving more uptown, Gloria provides an inviting, clean setting and tantalizing gourmet cuisine. The new location that opened its doors in March 2017 brings critically acclaimed personalities together, including chef Diego Garcia and Phil Johnson, mixing enticing, bold tastes and trendy décor. Start with their hot corn bread followed by a simple beet salad with homemade ricotta and chimichurri. Enjoy the taste and texture of their wild mushrooms in a dashi broth. Spanish mackerel accompanied by trout caviar and squid ink bursts with tremendous flavour. Whole wild black sea bass is just as phenomenal with a simple shallot lobster sauce.
For a more laid-back ambiance, Tonchin is one’s go-to. Founded in Tokyo in 1992 by Toui and Anan Sugeno, the concept soon became international with more than 70 locations throughout Asia and now in North America. With its New York City grand opening in November 2017, the cozy little location is a perfect place to enjoy good food amongst friends and family. The Japanese chain focuses on fresh ramen dishes with hot broth and a slew of captivatingly delicious vegetable- and meat-based ingredients.
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment provides guests with an elegant Victorian high tea experience at their Times Square location in Manhattan. Their extensive selection of teas accompany savoury and sweet options. The vast space and intricately designed ambiance adds polish. Their lemon tart with fresh strawberries, strawberry sherry trifle with fresh fruit as well as their earl grey crème brûlée are intense guilty pleasures for any guest’s sweet tooth.
The Inter-continental New York Barclay Hotel opened its doors in 1926 and, decades later, remains a well known hotspot for city visitors and locals alike. After undergoing thorough restoration and renovations, it continues to exude luxury, grace and sophistication. Their Gin Parlour is a Dutch- and English-inspired gin destination with more than 80 high-quality gins to choose from. Their seasonal menu is sophisticated and delicious. From pizzas and hot pretzels to salads and delicious pastas, the Gin Parlour offers a selection to satisfy anyone’s palate.
Ashok Bajaj’s the Oval Room on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC emphasizes enchanting luxury and classic appeal. Steps away from Lafayette Park, the ravishing space is famed as a charming, pleasant hotspot for zestful cuisine. The menu brought to light by executive chef Bryan Muscatel and pastry chef Anwar Hall features mouthwatering parmesan consommé onion soup, caramelized uni-emulsion sea scallops with caviar, porcini mushroom tortelloni and dry aged duck breast with accompaniments such as candy squash, blood orange polenta and endive. Separated into three distinct rooms including the Main Room, the Green Room and the Curtain Room, the Oval Room welcomes guests into a stunning contemporary space with art pieces by Alenoush Ghondikiar and Jennifer Bartlett.
Greg Powers Jessica van Dop DeJesus
Washington, DC also offers diners formal options. All Set Restaurant & Bar in Silver Spring is a New England-inspired destination with a nautical look emphasized by ‘rope art’ installations. The relaxed ambiance, fulfilling dishes and friendly staff all provide a cozy vibe. Jennifer Meltzer, managing partner, Edward Reavis, chef–partner, as well as executive chef Eric Greenwalt come together to ensure that new and recurring guests enjoy hearty dishes from chickpea fries to fried oysters and grilled chicken sandwich. Popular New England dishes are a highlight on the menu, from creamy clam chowder to flavoursome crab cakes. Their desserts are just as luscious and rich. Ricotta doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, crème anglaise and chocolate ganache, mixed berry shortcake with rosemary whipped cream and fresh berries, as well as their powerfully divine chocolate chip cookies are all perfect ways to top any meal.
Wayne E. Chinnock
For traditional Mediterranean cuisine of Sicilia, Cosima in Baltimore, reputed to be Baltimore’s best new restaurant, is surely a place to visit. The welcoming cobblestone ground and glass door lead guests into a vast industrial and historical renovated space. Executive chef Donna Crivello brings her Italian roots to the table with family-inspired dishes sure to lure a whole crowd. Stuffed eggplant, grilled octopus with soft polenta and fresh marinated tomatoes, roasted pear with gorgonzola and wine-soaked figs, as well as wood-fired oven pizzas are among her delicious creations. A range of pastas, fish and meat dishes are just as intense in flavours. For Cosima’s range of dolce, their cannoli with candied orange ricotta, their chocolate hazelnut torte and Sicilian doughnuts burst with flavours. •
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