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For the historic re-opening of Dorchester Collection’s Hotel Bel-Air, Master Chef Wolfgang Puck and his Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group debuted an entirely new food and beverage program at Hotel Bel-Air encompassing the restaurant, the garden terrace, the illustrious bar, in-room dining, banquets and special events. Anchored by a new signature restaurant called Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Puck’s vision for the property’s culinary concept focuses on modern California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences. All menus reflect the healthy California lifestyle and showcase the best of California’s ingredients, embracing produce from local farmers’ markets, all-natural poultry and sustainable seafood.
“To be a part of this extraordinary restoration is a great honor,” said Wolfgang Puck. “The Hotel Bel-Air is one of the most beloved icons in Hollywood history and has created many wonderful memories for such a long time. It was important for us to respect its heritage, keeping menu favorites like the famous tortilla soup, while creating an entirely new concept that features the wonderful, fresh and local ingredients which surround us.”
The indoor-outdoor dining venue of Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, was given splendid new life by famed design firm Rockwell Group, and reflects the essence of its storied past. A study of modern elegance in a traditional environment, the evolved, innovative cooking of Wolfgang, Managing Partner Lee Hefter and Executive Chef Sonny Sweetman emphasizes simplicity and freshness above all. Gardens peppered throughout the grounds create an ideal backdrop for a journey through modern California cuisine with quintessential influences from Spain, France and Italy. The tranquil and idyllic setting evokes nature, while the menu follows suit with its celebration of farmers, fisheries and ranchers.
From the farmers come harvest market vegetable showpieces. From the fisheries comes an assortment of sustainable inspirations from the sea. From the ranchers come hearty entrees comprised of all-natural poultry and meats.
For breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch, a sense of comfort and refined relaxation reigns supreme. At Sunday brunch, guests can enjoy a sit-down, three-course menu, including a choice of Champagne or mimosa, and an array of appetizer, entree and dessert options.
Simply named The Bar, the famous hotel hangout that has attracted so many notable regulars over the years is given a beverage revamp that references the heyday of cocktail cultures past, but with a decidedly of-the-moment twist. Classics consisting of a Hemingway Daiquiri and Bespoke Negroni meet new inceptions in the form of a socially aware HELP! Save The Bees with Limoncello, thyme and lavender honey and a nostalgic Monroe’s Passion with passion fruit rum, ginger juice and chili syrup, inspired by the lively former regular. Forward-thinking specialties incorporate cocktails made with various styles of premium Japanese whiskeys and house-made concoctions from Earl Grey-infused gin to peach and lemon bitters. Bar bites include savory morsels composed of Garlic Chili Chorizo Prawns, Arancini, Roasted Smoked Bone Marrow and the popular mainstay Mesquite Grilled Black Angus Beef Burger with aged Vermont cheddar, shallot-jalapeno marmalade and garlic aioli, all available throughout the afternoon and late into the evening.
In addition to the restaurant and bar, Wolfgang and his team oversee and cater the social celebrations and corporate events for up to 300 in The Garden Ballroom, Palm Room and Swan Lake-adjacent lawn. In keeping with the feel of the Rockwell-designed public areas, the flexible event spaces are residential in scale, with French doors opening onto the airy Bel-Air gardens. Pre-function entertaining areas feature leather-clad walls on one side and antique mirror-clad walls on the other, reflecting the nearby gardenscape. Luxe touches are marked by a marbled mirror bar and custom birdcage pendant fixtures inspired by outdoor lanterns. An outdoor cocktail area resembles a conservatory, with an added outdoor terrace surrounded by blossoming hedges. The scene of many spectacular weddings throughout its history, the verdant, spacious lawn features a towering 100 year-old Sycamore tree and live swans within the jewel-like lake.