The romance between celebrity chefs and hotels remains strong, with several new properties readying for a 2017 opening already touting who will head up their in-house restaurants. Here's a look at a few new eateries arriving on the hotel dining scene with high-profile chef power behind them.
This past October, Masaharu Morimoto, Japanese chef and star of the Food Network's Iron Chef America, who has a dozen restaurants in as many cities, made his debut in Sin City with the opening of Morimoto Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. The restaurant offers three distinct dining experiences, but its the teppanyaki tables, where food is prepared in front of diners on a hot griddle, that has been lighting up social media.
Now, Morimoto is looking to bring that same dining magic to the 839-room Pacific Beach Hotel on Oahu, currently undergoing a $115 million renovation. When completed in fall 2017, the hotel will be renamed the 'Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach, and some 15,000 square feet of dining space will feature two signature restaurants by the chef. Ramen and a wide variety of small plates will be the concept for Momosan Waikiki, which also will feature a beer garden. Morimoto Asia, the hotel's signature restaurant, will be more high-end and feature the chef's distinictive Japanese dishes that meld Western and traditional Asian ingredients.
Also looking to stake a claim on the Las Vegas Strip is celebrity chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network's Restaurant Impossible and Worst Cooks in America. Irvine has partnered with the 1,467-room Tropicana Las Vegas for this new venture, which is yet to be named. If it's anything like Irvine’s grand entrance during the press conference to make the announcement, where he rappelled down the 22 floors of the hotel's exterior, it should be pretty darn exciting. Opening in 2017, the new eatery will be right on the casino floor and showcase all-new modern American-inspired cuisine.
James Beard Award-winner and Iron Chef alumni Jose Garces will be the force behind Ortzi, a Basque-inspired tapas eatery that will be the signature restaurant at the 130-room LUMA Hotel Times, a contemporary boutique property designed by architect Peter Poon and set to open in the first quarter of 2017 in New York City. Earlier this year, Garces, with more than a dozen restaurants across the country, opened Amada, an Andalusian tapas-style eatery in lower Manhattan.
Two other powerhouse chefs also added their names to hotel restaurants this year, upping the ante on hotel dining. At the 287-room The Beekman, which opened this past August in a vintage 1883 former office building in New York City’s Financial District, Fowler & Wells is the brainchild of Tom Colicchio, the acclaimed cook and Top Chef judge. He is also the hotel's exclusive food-and-beverage partner for in-room dining and catering.
Farther uptown, in Chelsea, is the 313-room Innside New York Nomad, Spanish hospitality company Meliá Hotels' first property from its lifestyle boutique brand. Here, another Food Network star has set up shop with the Impero Caffè. Run by chef Scott Conant, judge of the popular cooking series Chopped, it's all about soulful Italian cuisine. Currently starring on the menu: olive oil poached octopus with tomatoes, capers and fingerling potatoes. But it’s the pasta al pomodoro that features the chef's signature ragù. Word is Conant learned how to make the dish by watching his Italian grandmother. Buon appetito!