Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays


Everything about the new Four Seasons Hotel is exceptional and elevated to new heights: the hospitality, the amenities and, well, the price. But dinner at Cielo is worth the hefty price tag. (And hey, you're not paying.) After all, you don't just go to Cielo, you ascend to it — through the minimalist Four Seasons foyer that looks more like a modern-art museum than a ho-hum hotel entryway, up the elevator to the eighth floor, through the chic lobby and, finally, to your cushy seat overlooking the hotel's infinity pool (oh, and that little novelty we call the Arch). Executive chef Karen Hoffman cooks Italian haute cuisine that hits all the right notes, and the salads and small plates are particularly excellent. Pappardelle with veal cheek will send even the most jaded foodie into raptures — although, at $18 for a small portion, you'll be glad you're not the one whipping out the AmEx at evening's end. Other standouts include a Chioggia beet salad and perfectly prepared salmon; the workmanlike fish is rendered downright amazing by its accompaniments of pickled tomatoes and speck (similar to prosciutto, but cured boneless, and smoked). Several entrées break the $30 mark, and wines by the glass average about $12 per, but it's hard to put a price tag on the experience — and, seeing as how you're not paying, you don't have to.

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