Inside the Cultural District’s stunning new Crescent Hotel, this contemporary dining room offers Mediterranean cuisine by chef Preston Paine. A veteran of Eleven Madison Park in New York and a recent Food Network competition, Paine impresses with subtle spins on mostly Italian classics. Making his sumptuous bolognese sauce with the trimmings of dry-aged steaks and infusing it with baking spices adds nuance, while grilled lemon and charred cauliflower, drizzled in a pickled pepper vinaigrette, bring a smoky essence to delicate roasted chicken. Polenta fries dusted with shaved Parmesan are brightened by a rich arrabbiata. In the same vein, roasted-tomato jam and basil oil lift lush house-made burrata. At happy hour, we popped into the adjacent Circle Bar to sip a Paper Plane cocktail (rye, amaro, Aperol, and lemon) and nibble on olives teased with tangerine and dried chiles. Soon, we intend to return for a tasting menu that stars dry-aged duck, in the restaurant’s special Blue Room.
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Elegance is served in ample portions at this new, contemporary hotel showplace.