Bravo, Hotel Bel-Air…

Hotel Bel Air
Hotel Bel-Air

Momma Mia…what a brunch. I am still detoxing from carbo loading. You definitely need to be fortified for a busy, exquisitely planned, premature Mother’s Day.

Hotel Bel-Air’s brunch fulfilled our every culinary desire.

The setting is intoxicating. In fact, when David and I have our renewal ceremony I am going to book Hotel Bel-Air. Hopefully, the resort will still be standing in 100 years…that’s how long it will take to convince my husband to commit to such lunacy. He is still here so every day is a renewal in his opinion.

lobby bel air

The road that takes you to the idyllic resort is awe inspiring. The mansions are redundant. The air rarified. From the minute you turn off Stone Canyon Road into the Hotel Bel-Air you are treated like royalty. The attendants are gracious and welcoming. The arched bridge that leads you into the exquisite grounds is impressive. The path takes you through the elegant lobby with a roaring fire into the patio dining area, embraced by twisting tree limbs and vibrant flowers.

archway

The Hotel Bel-Air re-opened in the fall of 2011 after an extensive two-year re-design.

Live music waffs in from the Hot Club Vignati gypsy jazz duo. We sashayed to our seats in time to the music. Without missing a beat, the server approached with champagne, Bellini, Mimosa or Bloody Mary offerings.

bel bread

An ample and elaborate basket of freshly baked croissants (plain and chocolate), blueberry muffins, mini baguette, beignet were served up along with creamy butter and homemade blueberry, raspberry and strawberry preserves.

House Cured Smoked Salmon
House Cured Smoked Salmon

Brunch is a 3 course affair that can potentially last longer than your average affair. The appetizer offerings are a meal in itself. I ordered house cured smoked salmon that was paper thin and gorgeous. It was served with herbed creme fraiche, chives, capers and caviar…unbelievable.

Maryland Crab Cakes
Maryland Crab Cakes

My daughter selected the crab cakes, filled with luscious fresh Maryland blue crabmeat (no filler) and a divine basil pesto aioli and tomato relish.

Ricotta Blintzes
Ricotta Blintzes

David ordered the old fashioned ricotta-lemon blintzes filled with creamy ricotta and topped with market strawberry compote. They were light as air.  Other selections are tortilla soup, steel cut Irish oatmeal, market fruit and granola and Greek yogurt parfait.

Japanese BBQ Salmon Salad
Japanese BBQ Salmon Salad

Main courses consisted of a Japanese BBQ barbequed salmon salad with gobo, cucumber, seaweed, avocado and baby lettuce with ponzu sauce and the mesquite grilled prime black angus beef hamburger, which was as rich and tasty as a full fledged steak. It was served on a crispy bun with aged Vermont cheddar and garlic aioli.

Angus Beef Burger
Angus Beef Burger

Courtny and I always share so we went for the surf and turf combo (burger and salmon). Other temptations were a wide range of egg dishes, blueberry buttermilk pancakes and jidori chicken salad sandwich.

Tres Leche Cake
Tres Leche Cake

There were 3 dessert offerings. Tres leche cake…rich and creamy, tangerine granita and tapioca…refreshing and light and a granola and berry compote parfait with a pound cake crouton to top it off. We ordered all 3 and created a pu pu platter of desserts.

Parfait
Parfait

Service is impeccable and you can spend the entire day luxuriating in the splendor of the Hotel Bel-Air.

Tapioca and Granita Dessert
Tapioca and Granita Dessert

 Excuse yourself and check out the restaurant bathroom…gorgeous.

Bathroom
Bathroom

Saunter over to the pool and stroll the landscaped walkways. Meander down to the lake pathway that rolls past the elegant swans and waterfalls. There is romantic seating hideaways throughout.

Holy Mother, what a fabulous early Mother’s Day meal, although the Sunday brunch rocks any time of the year. This is a meal and location you absolutely must experience once.

stairway bel air

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Road Bel Air, California. Breakfast: 7-11am. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 11:30-2pm, Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 6-10pm and Friday-Saturday 5:30-10:30pm. Sunday brunch: 11-3pm. Afternoon tea on Friday and Saturday 3-4pm.

Valet parking. Restaurant validates. Reservations for brunch highly recommended…call or use OpenTable. Brunch is $68 for 3 courses and cocktail.

bel air pool

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