Shanghai, China (April 24, 2014) – Anticipation was thick in the air at the first installment of the itinerant 2014 season of Chefs in the City.
Sitting atop Ritz Carlton Shanghai, Pudong’s immaculate shoeshine stand, ready for a quick polish, rainy weather and a strong appetite pushed me up fifty-two floors and into Scena Italian Restaurant.
Noticeably different from the rest of the hotel with its unique artistic décor and brightly lit throughout, the Ritz showed that it’s not afraid to take chances and compliments to the design firm SUPERPOTATO.
A fresh and innovative menu featuring seasonal seafood.
After a few months' hiatus, I returned to Putuo district, to Taopu Rd. and to the Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai Hongquan and was reminded why the hotel is a top choice of business travelers and tourists alike. Located near Metro Line 11 and numerous bus lines, the hotel is far enough from busier districts to be quiet but close enough that you're not in the middle of nowhere. Of the three full-service restaurants the hotel has to offer, we decided to dine at the Terrace that night to try their new menu.
First impressions are everything, but upon a return visit, when expectations have set the ‘edible’ bar, consistency is the dish of choice, and on a Friday evening, with every table full, Sheraton Hongqiao’s Italian restaurant Giovanni’s did just that.
The atmosphere was slightly bubblier than the usual five-star dining experience, yet maintained the expected classy ambiance. With a fresh basket of in-house baked bread and the Italian duo, olive oil and vinegar, I started with a light, crisp, Lindeman's Chardonnay (the hotel has its own somellier and welcomes the opportunity to pair.)
One Chinese restaurant and one Western restaurant seems to be the de-facto standard for mid to large-size five star hotels – in this case there is a place like home (I’m based in Beijing) as, just like the Ritz-Carlton, Beijing (Huamao), Guangzhou has chosen to go with Cantonese and Italian. This is good for me, because these are two cuisines that I like and am familiar with.
One half tranquil Mediterranean, the other classic Old World charm, the French Concession’s latest European immigrant, Bella Mia, which in Italian means, ‘My Beautiful,’ easily captures the essence of what this ristorante’s name implies.
The Italian team, Franco and Francesco, the former and head chef hailing from Rome, and the latter from the North, have put their combined culinary muscle behind the creation that is reminiscent of a Rome-style pizzeria with the warmth of a Mama-Mia dining room and kitchen.
Barolo, at The Ritz Carlton, is a glossy fashionable Italian eatery, offering some rather alluring Italian dishes.
Decorated with a slightly more shiny European style, Barolo is filled with marble tops, wood walls, and white leather stools and an open kitchen from which Chef Gian Luca Visani can easily make sure all customers are enjoying themselves.
Paride Noviello has brought grand changes to Trattoria La Gondola restaurant at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center. In two short but intense months, new life has been infused into this formerly somber quandary of a trattoria. Now Trattoria La Gondola lives up to its name, and feels like gustory joy. It’s hard not to describe it sense of narrative of unapologetic emotionality.
Northern Italian home-style dishes paired with northern Italian grape varietals.
I was so delighted to be invited to enjoy another Gourmet Wine Dinner at Intercontinental Shanghai Expo Hotel’s Basilico Trattoria & Grill. Casual relaxation and luxurious warmth were the undertones from which I’d bask in the evening’s comfortable environment, spectacular views, tempting food and wines, friendly hosts, and helpful staff.