Loews Hotels & Resorts welcomes a fresh batch of dining concepts across the country.
By Bridget Shirvell
Something special is simmering in the kitchens at Loews Hotels & Resorts in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. And while all these recently opened restaurants and bars are shiny and brand-new, there’s something rather familiar about them.
Combining traditional comfort food and classic cocktails with unexpected twists, chefs and mixologists have upped the ante on what’s considered straightforward sustenance. Nostalgic dishes and timeless drinks such as an Old-Fashioned, steak and eggs, sloppy Joes and clambakes are thoughtfully prepared with a modern touch, whether it’s incorporating artisanal ingredients or presenting them in unconventional ways. The result is approachable fare that pays homage to Americana while staying true to today’s trends. Reinvigorated interior design, meanwhile, breathes life into these spaces, providing the perfect modern backdrops to the menus.
We hope you’re hungry, because we have all the dish on the new restaurants at Loews Hotels & Resorts.
Precinct Kitchen + Bar
Loews Boston Hotel
Walk through the cobblestone streets of Boston and you can’t help but feel the history that surrounds you. The new Precinct Kitchen + Bar inside the Loews Boston Hotel is no different. The restaurant and lounge, with their cool speakeasy vibe, are all about the city and its cuisine, taking full advantage of the local food and craft cocktail movements. “We’re Boston centric,” says Grant Hewitt, food and beverage director of Precinct Kitchen + Bar.
That means diners will get the chance to savor classic New England dishes such as clambakes, which feature Cape Cod clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, shrimp, corn, red potatoes and local kielbasa—prepared in the open kitchen. After all, what’s more Boston than a clambake? Another great dish for sharing is the charcuterie board of Berkshire prosciutto, Napoli salami, chorizo, duck parfait, grain mustard and rustic bread.
And it’s not Boston without a good watering hole, so the team behind Precinct Kitchen + Bar transformed the old, somewhat dreary space into cozy yet contemporary digs full of light, warm wood tones and comfortable seating. The bar’s relaxed, rustic feel sparks nostalgia and makes for an intimate dining experience that is pure New England. “It’s very cool and very regional,” Hewitt says.
Here, diners won’t find run-of-the-mill beers and watered-down cocktails; rather, they’ll sip on a handcrafted margarita made of citrus, agave and sage or an Old-Fashioned infused with cinnamon, walnut syrup and bourbon. Plus, Precinct Kitchen + Bar’s mixologist hand-makes syrups for the drinks from locally sourced herbs and fruits, ensuring that every sip is seasonally fresh.
The restaurant features 70 seats inside the space and a lower-level 36-seat patio lounge with two outdoor fire pits, which create a perfect setting for alfresco dining and “urban clambakes.” And if clambakes aren’t your thing, there are plenty of choices for indulgence here—and you can bet that they’re all made with Boston pride.
Bank & Bourbon
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
You’d expect any place named Bank & Bourbon to have good bourbon, and Loews Philadelphia Hotel’s restaurant lives up to its name. “American whiskey is better today than it ever has been,” says the restaurant’s resident bourbon master Brian Bevilacqua. “We put a list together of American whiskey and bourbon to showcase the many different styles.”
With more than 30 types of the amber-colored liquor, there is certainly something for everyone, whether you’re a purist or favor the honey-infused varieties. “Our staff can put flights together based on style, history or distiller,” Bevilacqua explains. For those new to the drink, he suggests trying a wheated variety like W.L. Weller, Maker’s Mark or Bernheim. “They are more approachable and come off sweeter.”
In addition to the extensive bourbon list at the bar, Bank & Bourbon also offers the opportunity for guests to sample unique tastings from an in-house barrel-aging program.
But it’s not just the liquor selection that will have you smiling when you step through the doors: After 12 years as a seafood restaurant, Loews Philadelphia Hotel completely reimagined the space to create an extraordinary experience. Midcentury modern architecture and upgraded features include soft wood floors and low light fixtures, while open seating adds to the cozy, comfy atmosphere.
Harkins, who helmed the previous restaurant, says it was time for a face-lift, and this new concept stands up to the top restaurants in the Philadelphia culinary scene. His vision of rustic-meets-modern translates into classic dishes such as steak and eggs served sunny side up with flat iron steak, Swiss chard and marble potatoes. Even the sandwiches are elevated with gourmet flair.
Or, perhaps, the roasted corn and snap pea salad made of goat cheese, sesame granola, petite greens and citrus vinaigrette is a beautiful, light meal. For a savory option, try the 8-ounce filet mignon with roasted salsify, royal trumpet mushrooms and wilted spinach. And of course, you can’t beat the 32-ounce dry-aged Cowboy Steak, served with crispy fingerling potatoes, which can feed multiple cowboys and then some. To wash it all down, sip on the Secret Knock, a punch made of house-aged whiskey, green tea, lemon and clarified milk.
For year-round fresh fare, Bank & Bourbon’s menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert and drinks change seasonally, with items that incorporate fresh produce and regional flavors, so diners will have new tastes to look forward to upon each visit.
Loews Madison Hotel
In the past few years, the food scene in Washington, D.C., has flourished. While it’s possible to find almost any type of restaurant in the nation’s capital, one thing has been missing: a good Argentine steakhouse. Such is no longer, however, thanks to Loews Madison Hotel’s Rural Society, the brainchild of nationally renowned Latin cuisine chef Jose Garces. The restaurant is craftily named after La Exposición Rural, an annual agriculture and livestock show held in Buenos Aires.
Foodies will love the way plates are served here—steak and sausages to fish and veggies are grilled South American-style with charcoal or Argentinean wood. “We’re bringing the style of wood cooking to D.C.,” Chef de Cuisine Louis Goral says. “You can smell and see the cooking. It’s an experience you can’t find anywhere else.”
Since Argentine culture is widely made up of Italian and Spanish influences, you’ll see hints of cuisine from those countries, too. The menu includes staples such as flatbread, tapas, sweetbreads and provoleta, a traditional Argentine cheese. Start with the house-made chorizo with provoleta cheese, and then move on to the matahambre, a beef tenderloin rolled and cooked with herb pesto. Pair your dish with a wine from Argentina such as malbec, which is derived from vines planted more than 70 years ago. If you have brews on the brain, Rural Society has you covered, too. Try some traditional South American beers, including Quilmes (Argentina), Paceña (Bolivia) and Xingu (Brazil). There are also 75 whiskeys and 25 Italian aperitifs on the drink menu.
Specialty cocktails, including a gin and tonic infused with yerba mate tea, are inspired from Garces and his team’s travels to Argentina and Uruguay and pair delightfully with any dish. “Our recipes are twists on traditional Argentinean and South American drinks,” Goral says. Whether it’s for the wine, beer or wood-fired fare—or for it all—it’s safe to say that those yearning for a taste of authentic South American cuisine won’t have to travel far.
H2 Kitchen & Bar
Loews Hollywood Hotel
A name may not make a man, but it certainly played a part in the making of H2 Kitchen & Bar, Loews Hollywood Hotel’s new lobby bar, which was named after one of Los Angeles’ most legendary intersections, Hollywood and Highland.
When devising the menu for the restaurant, Executive Chef Mark Ching envisioned dishes that would be trendy and innovative enough for the fashionable LA crowd but recognizable at the same time. “We took something familiar and comfortable and [tried] to make it a little bit different—but not scare people away,” Ching says.
Egg2, for instance, come squared just like the name. The chef takes egg whites, fresh dill and scallions, blends them, then cooks them in a square mold. “People say, ‘Whoa, this is different,’ but [it tastes] the same,” Ching explains.
At H2, diners can skip being prim and proper and get a little messy with Bulgogi Joe’s, a take on one of America’s most nostalgic foods, the sloppy Joe. This reimagination uses Korean ingredients; ribs are cooked until tender, shredded, sauced, put on a slider bun and topped with cucumber kimchee. Or, there’s the spicy tuna taco, which is a No. 1 seller. A gourmet spin on a traditional taco, this dish includes shells made of taro that are stuffed with spicy tuna rolls and seaweed salad.
On the other hand, there are also delectable starters such as the kale salad with brined beets, tapenade and Gouda cheese. For more garden-fresh fare, sip on the Mother Mary, a twist on a bloody mary, which is made with an abundance of savory vegetables, including bell peppers, scallions and roasted garlic. The blackberry-basil mojito, which uses basil harvested from the restaurant’s rooftop garden, is also a must-try.
And just like the food, the decor is trendy—we’re in LA after all—yet still open and comfortable. With sleek gray granite bar tops accented by eggplant purple leather chairs, the contemporary design and relaxed vibe have already drawn a loyal following of hotel guests and LA locals.