Grille, The (Morrison House Hotel)

A modern American dining room in a luxurious, historic hotel.

From January 2005 100 Very Best Restaurants

For luxury and intimacy, nothing matches this restaurant formerly called Elysium, located in the Morrison House Hotel, possessor of the coveted Relais & Chateaux hotel insignia. Brass chandeliers and paintings of the English countryside set the tone in a room that holds just nine tables. (Smokers can be seated in another dining room, which boasts a lively piano bar.) Traditional service–very good traditional service–has replaced a system in which the chef came out from the kitchen to negotiate a list of courses with each table.

Standouts at a recent meal were a carpaccio of beef with sweet-corn kernels, arugula, and shaved Parmesan cheese; a tempura of tiger prawns with buckwheat groats and a roquette coulis; a poussin with a terrine of pumpkin and a red-pepper coulis; and a filet of Black Angus beef with red-wine-infused butter and a parsley coulis. A rack of veal might be recommended were it not for the undersalted and overcooked tagliatelle accompanying it. The delicious chocolate cake beat out a good field of desserts. The wine list is enterprising, with such unusual choices as a Maranges Premier Cru from Burgundy.