To find really good French food in French Polynesia, head for INTERCONTINENTAL TAHITI. There, are a boardwalk entry high above the turquoise Pacific lagoon, is Le Lotus Tahiti, by Bruno Oger. Every dish was superb, with exquisite tastes. Try Octopus and squid salad with bell pepper coulis, Provence anchovy cream and squid ink rice chips. Go on to Five-minute seared tuna, above, with galanga jelly from our garden, lobster raviolo, Thai-style foam. Like many of those around us, we drank local. Really? Yes, a really passable rosé Vin de Tahiti Rosé Nacarat Atoll de Rangiroa Tuamotu, made by its French winemaker Dominique Auroy. What a divine ‘last supper’ at the end of a divine stay in French Polynesia.
Sometimes local can be a surprise. At Michel Reybier’s HOTEL VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU in Interlaken there are mirabelles from the hotel garden, duck from the nearby town of Einigen, and and local plums with Meiringer curd cheese and homemade vinegar. These might all be on the menu at the hotel’s Radius by Stefan Beer. He offers nine-course ‘menü vo hie’ (local menu), which could also include Aemme shrimp with buttermilk, pears, and black garlic. As an alternative he has a seven-course vegan menu, with such dishes as cream cheese-buckwheat balls and tortellini with smoked pumpkin (the menu will obviously change based on what seasonal ingredients can be sourced from small producers locally.
The surprise in Los Angeles is that MAYBOURNE BEVERLY HILLS will be opening Danté in Spring 2023 – it will take over the poolside dining venue on the ninth-floor rooftop. New York Greenwich Village’s Caffè Dante was 2019-2020 World’s Best Bar. Its history dates back to 1915, but it was revitalised when it was bought 2015 by Australians Linden Pride and his wife Natalie Hudson. Today its reputation is led by negronis and, on the edibles side, burrata with sea salt and grilled peach, and home-made banana bread. Apparently the Danté-Maybourne relationship began early 2021 when CLARIDGE’S sent a pop-up from London to New York. And, as they say, one thing led to another.
Now let us listen to that top food conceptor (and operator and so much more), Elizabeth Blau: