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Another step up for room service

“In-room dining” is slowly but steadily evolving from merely existing as a wasteland of boring burgers and staid salads to flourishing as another venue for hotels to showcase their growing F&B prowess.

There are numerous examples of this transformation, but one that caught my eye recently comes from the JW Marriott Chicago, which is promising guests “an experiential culinary snack” in the comfort of their guestroom.

Specific offerings include the Chef’s JW Tasting (US$18) of nine savory and sweet bites such as pan-seared day boat scallops with tomato fennel broth, bourbon vanilla panna cotta and French macarons; a pairing of three local cheeses with three craft beers (US$28); and the JW Cupcake Flight (US$18). The hotel is even leveraging its Wine Ambassador program, pairing three dishes with a selected wine varietal that changes monthly (US$55).

“We wanted to offer options that were tailored tasting experiences, with which guests could expand their food and beverage knowledge from the comforts of their guestroom,” says Director of Restaurants Olivier Lau.

It’s an interesting idea, because even as hotels move toward creating increasingly social public dining spaces with features such as communal tables and open kitchens, sometimes it’s nice to have a little downtime in private, and how better to relax than with delicious food and drinks?

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