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Great American Hotel Restaurants

Hotels and restaurants have always gone hand in hand — they were more or less invented together, and they complement each other in obvious ways. So it should come as no surprise that a collection of the world’s most inspired hotels includes a generous helping of excellent restaurants as well. Here are ten American hotels, many of them new (to Tablet and/or the world), where the hotel’s own restaurant is not to be missed.

FAENA HOTEL MIAMI BEACH
Miami Beach, Florida
FAENA HOTEL MIAMI BEACH

The Faena is an Argentine production, sequel to a Tablet classic in Buenos Aires — so it’s only natural that it would feature the cooking of one of Argentina’s greatest chefs. Francis Mallmann is the master of the open-fire asado, and the cooking, though sublime, is as down-to-earth as the Faena is extravagant, a contrast you won’t soon forget.

ACE HOTEL DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles, California
ACE HOTEL DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

The folks at Ace know what they’re doing, of course, but their greatest strength might lie in knowing when to hand over the reins to their talented collaborators. Here that’s Jud Mongell and Ken Addington, famous for Brooklyn’s celebrated Five Leaves. At L.A. Chapter they open the kitchen up to a wide array of global influences, and the result is as eclectic and thrilling as Los Angeles itself.

21C MUSEUM HOTEL, OKLAHOMA CITY
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
21C MUSEUM HOTEL, OKLAHOMA CITY

Without question, the finest meal you’ll have in a former Ford auto plant will be at Mary Eddy’s, in the 21c Museum Hotel. Jason Campbell’s inspired New American cuisine takes center stage, against the backdrop of a classic industrial space updated by 21c house architect (and dean of the Yale School of Architecture) Deborah Berke.

CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
Chicago, Illinois
CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

This is a serious food town, and an upstart boutique hotel with culinary ambitions needs to make sure its ducks are in a row. Fortunately for Chicago Athletic Association, these are some organized waterfowl — Cindy’s, the rooftop restaurant, comes with incredible views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, while the Cherry Circle Room serves updated, upscale versions of Middle American classics in a swanky, clubby dining room.

MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY
Napa Valley, California
MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

In the diner’s paradise that is Napa Valley, it’s not hard to eat well. Meadowood, however, takes it to another level. Michelin stars aren’t everything, but it’s safe to say that when you earn three of them, you’re on the right track. We can’t quite guarantee that your meal will be a transformative experience, but if you want to see how a virtually flawless restaurant works, pull up a chair.

KIMPTON MASON & ROOK HOTEL
Washington DC
KIMPTON MASON & ROOK HOTEL

D.C. restaurants are perhaps more often thought of as the setting for one political intrigue or another, but there’s plenty to love for those who are more focused on what’s on the plate. Here the stylish and inventive fare belies the capital’s stodgy reputation — and a drink at the rooftop bar, whether before or after dinner, will help you see the city in a new light.

THE 404 HOTEL
Nashville, Tennessee
THE 404 HOTEL

With just five rooms, the 404 could easily skate by without a restaurant. Instead they’ve staffed their kitchen with a couple of talented Southern chefs who source their ingredients from the finest local purveyors, and thrown together an award-winning whiskey bar for good measure — and they stuck the whole thing in an old shipping container, just because they could.

HOTEL ZETTA SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco, California
HOTEL ZETTA SAN FRANCISCO

If you follow the S.F. food scene, you know Anna Weinberg, James Nicholas, Chef Jennifer Puccio from Marlowe and Park Tavern. If not, you’re about to know them from Cavalier, their London-inspired brasserie in the Viceroy group’s Hotel Zetta. And the thing about the Bay is, if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere….

HOTEL EMMA
San Antonio, Texas
HOTEL EMMA

As the great Seventies band Boston used to sing, this one is more than a restaurant. (Please do not attempt to correct us on this point.) Hotel Emma is not just a historic hotel reimagined by design geniuses Roman & Williams, it’s also part of San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery district, which, in addition to the hotel’s own Supper, comprises eleven restaurants, four bars, a café and an ice cream shop — plus the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America. If you go home hungry, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.

GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL
New York, New York
GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL

There are almost too many great hotel restaurants in New York, both new and old, to single out just one. What breaks the tie is the fact that your editor is Italian, and would walk through hell itself for a decent cacio e pepe. Luckily at Danny Meyer’s Maialino it’s much more than decent, and if you make a reservation, you don’t even need to endure a trial by fire.

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