Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge, Dijon
Tel: 33 3 80 50 88 88
Concierge.com's insider take:
Dijon's hippest hotel-restaurant is the fiefdom of neo-fusion master chef William Frachot. Whether you order à la carte (about $115 per person) or select one of the many prix fixes ($55 to $136), you'll be presented with an exquisite orgy of edible exoticism—much of it complicated beyond reason, all of it presented like jewelry. The menu is seasonal, but expect dishes like soft-shell crab tempura in peanut sauce, crispy phyllo filled with chicken curry, Burgundy snails flanked by coriander-flavored yogurt, or roasted heirloom pork wrapped in Spanish Jabugo cured ham. Desserts are vertical and modular, a challenge to eat; don't miss the rum-caramelized banana on condensed strawberry jelly topped with chocolate sauce and paired with a ball of cocoa sorbet. Both the service and the clientele are casually hip yet thoroughly professional. The Asian-Californian feel of the dining room (black-rubber bucket seats with Plexiglass legs pulled up to linoleum-topped tables, back-lit bamboo poles behind glass panes, and black slate or acid-green walls) continues in the hotel's 30 air-conditioned guest rooms. But upstairs, comfort and practicality—big closets and bathrooms with full tubs and heated towel racks—outweigh wacky designer notions ($185 to $386).—David Downie
Open daily noon to 2 pm and 7:30 to 10 pm, mid-January through December. Hotel open year-round.