An airy, modern den of whitewashed brick walls and curved banquettes, Le Meridien’s centerpiece restaurant serves as the first point of contact for the downtown boutique hotel, part of the international brand’s luxury 2014 revamp of the historic Canterbury Hotel. Its designers focused on Danish minimalism and a sleek motorsports theme, lavishing the charge-it-to-my-room set with sexy leather seating, chrome accents, and a private dining room in honor of steely-eyed race enthusiast Steve McQueen. So it’s no surprise that Park City–transplant executive chef Tyson Peterson sees Midwestern “bespoke food” through the same extravagant lens. That vision has included exquisitely marbled dry-aged Duroc pork chops, slow-cooked Kona snapper, and a hunk of crispy bass supported by charred-corn pudding, with marinated Brussels-sprout leaves and tomatoes adding an extra bit of acidity to the sweetness. Down-market hits like the Naughty Grl’d Cheese layered with fig marmalade, pickled red onions, and a swipe of salty nduja are made for bar noshing.
TIP: For pure gawking pleasure, the trek to the restroom, tucked deep inside the luxury hotel, is worth the trip.
DON’T MISS: The Nugs, a shared plate of chili-glazed meatloaf balls.
123 S. Illinois St., 737-1616, spokeandsteele.com
See all 25 Best Restaurants here.