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Top 10 Brunch Hotels in the U.S. 2007

Brunch is much more than just a combination of breakfast and lunch. With elaborate carving stations and extensive seafood bars, brunch is better described as a cross between breakfast and dinner—though somehow the term "brinner" doesn’t quite cut it. Humor aside, daytime dining on the weekend is practically a national pastime. Chefs, especially those at high-end hotels, are out to impress with inventive entrées, decadent delicacies, elaborate presentations and—if you’re lucky—unlimited Champagne. Here you'll find our selections for this year’s Top 10 Brunch Hotels, places where once you’re seated, you’re guaranteed to be sated in style.


Four Seasons Hotel Chicago:
Seasons Restaurant

The Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

An outstanding brunch of contemporary American cuisine starts at one of the world's great hotels with traditional breakfast favorites that include hash browns and homemade doughnuts. Savor a taste of the Midwest with basil-crusted rack of lamb in a Cabernet reduction, then follow a global trail strewn with individual quiches, Malaysian style beef, tabouleh with mint and cucumbers and shaved Parma ham with black mission figs. The usual omelet and waffle stations are enhanced with a smoothie bar composed of a variety of fresh juices, ices and more.



Orchids restaurant at the Halejulani in Hawaii

One of the most beautiful restaurants in all of Hawaii, Orchids boasts an open-air setting enhanced with stunning ocean views and an abundance of brightly-hued tropical orchids. Here, at this casually elegant oceanfront restaurant, the focus is on seafood. Specialties include ahi-seared sashimi with Cajun spices, island-raised moi with hearts of palm, and steamed onaga. There’s also a selection of dim sum and dishes from Thailand, Japan, Korea and the other islands of Hawaii. Ask for a table on the terrace, sit back with a Mai Tai and enjoy the live music.



Alden Houston:
17 Restaurant

17 Restaurant at Alden Houston

C17 takes its name from days gone by, when Houston was a city where seventeen railroads met the sea. Its three-course Sunday brunch is deceptively simple. Start with house-cured salmon on a toasted bagel or rock shrimp tacos spiced with cucumber salsa. Second courses include a croque madame (instead of a croque monsieur) and duck hash over poached eggs topped with black truffle hollandaise. Dessert poses a happy dilemma: your choice of crème caramel, sticky toffee pudding with ginger ice cream or banana ice box pie with hot fudge.


Hotel Bel-Air:
The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air

The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles

It doesn’t get any better than a sunny Sunday on the bougainvillea-draped terrace at this classic Los Angeles hideaway—unless you find yourself seated next to one of Hollywood's superstars while you’re dining on the simple but elegant three-course menu. Linger over pancakes with fresh raspberries, French-inspired egg dishes, warm shortcake topped with California strawberries and covered in whipped cream, or a trio of uniquely flavored and beautifully presented sorbets. In addition to the romantic woodland setting, your meal includes a glass of Champagne.


Castle Hill Inn & Resort:
The Ocean Room

One of the sunny dining rooms at Castle Hill Inn & Resort

Situated on a 40-acre peninsula and offering breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay, Castle Hill Inn & Resort offers guests oceanfront seclusion and fabulous dining. The resort's quartet of restaurants supports local farmers and fishermen, especially those who employ sustainable practices. Come Sunday, each of the dining rooms serves the same Sunday brunch menu, created from delectable organic ingredients. Try the tofu napoleon, the lobster hash and a luscious cheese plate composed of local artisanal cheeses served with poached pears, candied nuts, honey and toasted rustic bread.


Lotte New York Palace:

Istana at the Lotte New York Palace hotel

Sunday brunch at Istana doesn’t just start with a complimentary glass of Champagne and your choice of smoked salmon and caviar or the anise cured foie gras sandwich. Hovering in the golden hued background of this terribly elegant restaurant is the specter of Le Cirque, which used to be housed inside the lobby of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel. But Istana (Malaysian for "palace") triumphs with inventive takes on American bistro classics with European touches. Perhaps you’d enjoy the egg white and asparagus frittata or the lemon berry pancakes—and you can never go wrong with the dry aged New York steak frites with mushrooms and Burgundy reduction.

Editor's Note: Istana is no longer in business.


The Rittenhouse Hotel:

Lacroix at The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia

Situated in a gorgeous minimalist space, Lacroix promises an adventure in dining that should not be missed. Start with raw bar specialties—smoked trout, peppered mackerel, American caviar, Windy Point oysters—paired with the restaurant's own Cuvée Lacroix, an elegant Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut. Move on to hors d’oeuvre selections that include deviled quail eggs and crayfish mousseline married with a white Côtes du Rhône, and then finish with charred scallions drizzled with black truffle vinaigrette and a glass of crisp Riesling. Sigh....



The Palace Hotel:
The Garden Court

The Garden Court at The Palace Hotel

The rarefied atmosphere of this beloved local grande dame turns Sunday brunch into a very special occasion. There's no prettier room in San Francisco. Beneath a spectacular glass roof, elegant tables, chairs and willowy palms are arranged over a richly patterned carpet. Enjoy a selection of traditional breakfast items, plus Japanese sushi and sashimi, Chinese delicacies and a crêpe station. The grand dessert buffet, with its display of cakes, pastries and chocolates, is especially impressive. Free-flowing fizz is included, along with live jazz.


The Edgewater:
Six Seven

The Six Seven restaurant at The Edgewater

Perched over Elliott Bay in a historic property, Six Seven offers a lovely waterfront setting with spectacular views. Dine indoors or out as you enjoy a buffet created from chef Hans Reisinger's contemporary Pan-Asian twists on classic—mostly seafood—dishes of the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy beautifully presented traditional breakfast selections or tuck into a plate of oysters, crack a few crab legs, make your way through a mound of mussels, treat your taste buds to the smoked salmon and throw back a complimentary mimosa.


Jurys Washington Hotel:
DuPont Grille

The DuPont Grille at Jurys Hotel Washington

This upscale eatery enjoys a casual setting with glass doors-as-walls that let the outside in and vice versa, while the menu is ideal for those who want to sample American cuisine infused with flavors from France, Spain and Asia. Spend your time surveying the DuPont Circle scene and nibbling on vanilla pecan waffles with homemade caramelized banana syrup, crabmeat and exotic mushroom cheesecake or smoked salmon hash. Or simply head straight for the steak frites, a tender cut of grilled steak surrounded by thick, crisp fries.

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