Cuisine tells the unique history of a destination, its ethos, and local culture. And for many culinary aficionados, it can be the driving factor when choosing where to travel and where to stay when they go. There’s nothing more exciting than a meal that takes us out of our comfort zone, shakes things up and makes us experience everything in an entirely new way. From remote islands and beaches to cosmopolitan cities, hotels with chef-driven restaurants are going above and beyond to offer award-winning dining experiences worth traveling for.
The Sushi Bar at Resorts World Bimini, The Bahamas
Just 50 miles off the coast of South Florida, the expansive Resorts World Bimini
sits on a beachfront complex on one of The Bahamas’ most charming islands. The seven-mile island is surrounded by the bright blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, meaning fresh seafood is of absolutely no shortage here. The hotel’s Sushi Bar offers a variety of specialty sushi rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and other delicious, classic Asian dishes — all curated by Top Chef’s season three winner, Hung Huynh. Hunyh’s portfolio includes serving as Executive Chef at worldwide restaurant CATCH, culinary consultant for Resorts World Bimini’s Sushi Bar, and owner of several other Asian restaurants, such as Warrior in LA and Mamaling’s Asian Street Food in Orlando, FL, among others. To taste Hunyh’s delectable creations at the Sushi Bar, hop on a 20-minute flight or two-hour ferry ride from Fort Lauderdale and quickly arrive in Bimini bliss.
Dirty Rascal at Thompson Buckhead, Atlanta
Slated to open this winter inside the brand-new Thompson Buckhead
, Dirty Rascal is an Italian-American restaurant by celebrated Atlanta Chef Todd Ginsberg and Rye Restaurants, a group known for its local concepts. With a vibe that exudes old-school New York, the restaurant features dim lighting, cozy oversized booths perfect for people-watching, and elaborate table-side service, with a mid-century design that pays tribute to a bygone era and an atmosphere that can be dressed up or down for any occasion. The name behind the Dirty Rascal stems from Ginsberg’s childhood; his mother would affectionately call him a ‘dirty rascal ’thanks to the young chef’s mischievous antics. Reminiscent of childhood rebellion and inspired by mama’s cooking, the new go-to spot features a menu of red-sauce classics that include fresh pasta made in-house, veal parmigiana, king crab scampi, and osso bucco. And the same sense of whimsy can be found in the restaurant’s playful fox logo and inventive cocktail program. In 2013, Chef Ginsberg and Rye Restaurants launched The General Muir, which pays homage to Ginsberg’s Jewish heritage and has become a staple in the local community. Ginsberg later went on to become a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef and was also named one of four “Chefs to Watch” by Esquire.
Brass Boer at Delfins Beach Resort, Bonaire
Situated on a golden sandy beach in the world’s first Blue Destination, Delfins Beach Resort is an idyllic getaway surrounded by the clearest turquoise waters. Guests can opt to bask in the sun by the resort’s expansive pool, learn to scuba dive at the on-site 5-star dive center or indulge at the property’s al fresco restaurant, Brass Boer, whose owner, Jonnie Boer, is a renowned Michelin-starred chef. Send taste buds on a trip at Bonaire’s trendiest new restaurant that serves mouth-watering dishes using fresh, local produce complemented by stunning seaside views. Don’t be surprised if Jonnie takes a seat at your table, he’s known to make an appearance from time to time, truly adding to this unforgettable experience. There’s a reason Brass Boer was rated the #1 restaurant in the Caribbean by Caribbean Journal.
W Punta de Mita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
A chic, indigenous-influenced beach resort located on Mexico’s coveted Riviera Nayarit, W Punta de Mita
is a foodie’s paradise with cuisine that ranges from traditional Mexican plates and coastal-inspired seafood spreads to the world-renowned Spice Market by Michelin-starred Chef Jean Georges. Inspired by Jean-Georges travels, eating his way through the food stalls and night markets in Southeast Asia, the restaurant features a Pan-Asian menu in a relaxed, yet sexy atmosphere with prime oceanfront outdoor seating and glittering twinkle lights overhead. Guest favorites include the Pork Belly Bao Buns, Spicy Chicken Samosas, Ginger Margaritas and more.
Hyatt Centric Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale
Located inside Fort Lauderdale’s newest skyscraper, Hyatt Centric Las Olas offers a sophisticated yet laid-back escape in the heart of downtown Lauderdale. The chic property offers close proximity to the area’s beaches, museums, galleries and cultural institutions while also featuring plenty of on-site amenities including its sleek 8th-floor pool & bar with panoramic city views, lobby-level restaurant Harborwood Urban Kitchen & Bar and guest room turned speakeasy called 901. At the helm of the hotel’s F&B is award-winning local Chef Greg McGowan, who has won numerous competitions and awards in more than two dozen years of being a professional chef. At 901, McGowan brings a curated menu of gourmet dishes that perfectly complement the cocktail menu. Menu highlights include Wagyu Beef Katsu Sando made with Japanese Milk Bread and Tonkatsu sauce and Pan Roasted Octopus with Ginger Carrot Puree and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes. Just prior to opening Hyatt Centric Las Olas, he was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City.