At The Albert in Chicago’s Hotel EMC2, it isn’t nostalgia for restaurants inspiring the menus, but rather famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein.
The 120-seat contemporary American restaurant offers seasonal dishes inspired by both art and science. Executive chef Brandon Brumback creates menu items that include Atlantic Halibut poached with grapefruit, parsley, and red wine; Spring Chicken Presse with green olives, fingerlings, and trumpet mushrooms; and Chilled Sweet Corn Soup with blackberry, coconut, and jicama.
The “infusary,” a chandelier-inspired custom glass structure of tubes that infuses and pours house-made liquors, sits at the center of the restaurant. The space also features commissioned art from surrealist painter Paul Bond and local Chicago artist Jonathan Plotkin.
Opened in 2013, the Refinery Hotel is set in a former millinery factory and tea salon that dates back 105 years. The 197-room hotel draws on the building’s past for its design, with an industrial aesthetic that carries over to the restaurant concepts. Parker & Quinn, the hotel’s signature restaurant, serves a seasonal menu created through relationships with small farmers, fishmongers, and other local producers. Refinery also houses a Prohibition-style jazz bar in the lobby and a rooftop restaurant and bar with views of the Empire State Building.
At the McKittrick Hotel in New York City, dining options include two concepts, The Heath and Gallow Green, plus a jazz-inspired concert hall and cocktail lounge. Recently, a limited-engagement dining concept, The Club Car, was introduced that ran for just three months. The temporary concept has included the residency of chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, co-executive chefs of the Michelin-starred Minetta Tavern.
Offering a prix-fixe surf-and-turf menu that combined French technique and a chophouse feel, The Club Car offered guests a three-course meal suited for pre- and post-theater dining. Nasr says the menu was inspired by the chefs’ mutual love for the steak joints that used to populate Manhattan, like Beefsteak Charlie’s, and was combined with the simplicity of French chophouses like Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte.