You can smell it in the air: From pumpkin spice lattes to steaming bowls of butternut squash soup, the nose knows that fall is in full swing. And as the air gets chillier and the days get shorter, cinnamon and clove cravings have crept upon us. Luckily, our favorite hotel restaurants are spicing up their menus for autumn, featuring seasonal ingredients in innovative ways that are sure to make everyone's taste buds happy. So get your chompers ready -- those apple cider doughnuts (and more complex offerings) aren't going to eat themselves!
Ame at The St. Regis San Francisco
Ame opened with the hotel in 2005 to much critical acclaim, and its mixture of Japanese and New American cuisine is still a hit with locals and visitors. The chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, renowned for their Napa Valley debut restaurant Terra, refer to their cooking as "personal cuisine" -- a refined blending of local ingredients and the flavors of southern France and northern Italy that are then filtered through Sone's Japanese culinary sensibilities. The result is a seasonally changing menu with offerings such as butter poached Maine lobster and Hokkaido scallops with grilled cauliflower and pickled grapes in a curry brown butter sauce.
Luminaria Restaurant at the Inn and Spa at Loretto
Renowned for its “Conscious Cuisine,” Luminaria serves up scrumptious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this luxurious Santa Fe inn. Locally obtained ingredients are used as much as possible, consistent with Loretto’s dedication to operating as an environmentally-conscious hotel. The menu is seasonal and offers some organic selections. The Grilled Harris Ranch Beef Tenderloin, for example, is purchased locally and is served with roasted pepper ranchero sauce, grilled Spanish onions, and poblano chile.
Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel Boston
Serving contemporary New England cuisine for breakfast and lunch, Cafe Fleuri is helmed by Boston native Mark Sapienza, who boasts a direct relationship with the local farmers and artisan food purveyors who supply the restaurant. Sapienza selects ingredients from among the best meats, seafood, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the state, and menus are changed weekly to reflect fresh seasonal flavors. His signature dishes include house smoked maple cured salmon and corn flour fried Point Judith calamari.
Petrichor at The Cavendish London
The elegant Cavendish London has appealing dining options, chief among them being Petrichor. Named after the scent of fresh rain on dry earth, the restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine from seasonal menus that reflect a strong commitment to supporting local farmers. The menu features such delights as a slow cooked pork belly with a mini sausage roll and pea puree and a pan fried duck breast with celeriac puree, truffle potatoes, and kumquat glaze -- from local producers in Wicks Manor and Aylesbury, respectively.
Firefly at Hotel Madera
This Dupont Circle staple features a memorable menu and whimsical atmosphere that brings in hotel guests and locals alike -- a feat in our nation's capital, which is chock-a-block with fabulous restaurants. The menu focuses on contemporary American comfort food, organic offerings, and innovative cocktails, of which Firefly has debuted several new options for fall. The Bourbon Cream Soda mixes cinnamon-infused Maker's Mark with housemade vanilla syrup and soda while the Miss Figgy blends fig-infused Hennessey with port, apple juice, and lime. And to chew, Firefly offers such scrumptious fall bites as salt roasted beets with cherry glen goat cheese, Sicilian pistachios, fig vinegar, and micro arugula and chicken fried oysters with po'boy sauce.
The Breslin at Ace Hotel NY
This trendy, seasonally-focused restaurant (with a Michelin star to boot) comes from April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, the highly regarded culinary duo behind The Spotted Pig in New York's West Village. The menu at The Breslin is a hearty collection of meat-centric dishes and artisanal products -- most from local growers and small farmers. Flavors are rich and salty, relying on slow roasts and complex ingredients. The restaurant has also embraced a "nose-to-tail" approach to cuisine, serving handmade terrines, sausages, and charcuterie. This fall, diners can share a pig's foot, with creamy shallots and fried Brussels sprouts, and order a side of pumpkin with buttermilk and crispy sage. And just FYI, The Breslin also offers a "daytime pudding" menu. We're sold.