Our city is full of hotels, but we have more than our share of ho-hum hotel restaurants.
You know the deal. Too many places that cater to tourists with unadventurous palates and a love of bland food (broiled salmon and chicken alfredo anyone?).
But then there are those hotel restaurants that go the extra mile, with chefs that take an interest in the local food scene and dishes that continue to impress visitors and locals alike. Here are our favorite hotel restaurants – just in time to entertain all those out-of-town guests.
Four years ago Peruvian top toque Gaston Acurio planted his flag at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key and placed young chef Diego Oka in charge. Since then Oka has risen to the challenge at the helm of this contemporary Peruvian restaurant. His creative tweaks keep locals and hotel guests coming back for colorful dishes and a legendary brunch.
The menu is epic with lists of tiraditos, ceviches, causas, anticuchos, hot dishes and larger “Peruvian Specialties.” Gratis pre-dinner bites include a cone of yucca chips and a creamy tari (Peruvian pepper) sauce. The ceviche sampler bursts with fresh flavors from the nikkei (tuna, red onions, and tamarind leche de tigre), to the classic (fluke, cilantro, lima pepper, choclo and classic tiger’s milk), to the criollo brimming with calamari and scallops. The “Chaufa Aeropuerto” is a must-order heaping plate of fried rice with Chinese sausage, shrimp omelet and nikkei sauce.