Friday, November 13, 2009

First Look at Elysian Restos, Bars

Bernard's, the second-floor lounge at the Elysian. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

312DD was at the not-yet-opened Elysian for a private party Thursday and at least three key members of the staff said with straight-up confidence the Gold Coast property is set to open on Dec. 10.

While most people are waiting with excitement for the debut of the hotel rooms, we're especially ecstatic about Elysian's four gathering spots for dining, drinking and cavorting.

Bernard's, the second-floor lounge at the Elysian. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

The first-floor lobby lounge (which has a fireplace!) plans to be a key location for casual meetings during the day, offering Continental breakfast and coffee and tea. By evening, look for it to be a sweet spot to catch an early cocktail or two before heading out for the night.

When it comes to more sophisticated cocktailing, there's no doubt Bernard's—named in honor of one of Coco Chanel's lovers—will be up there in the epic ranks of Four Seasons Lounge and The Bar at the Peninsula. Dark accents, including chocolate-hued seats and banquettes, set the mood for mysterious nights out. Small plates of contemporary American fare will be served and it'll stay open daily until midnight.

The lobby lounge at the Elysian. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

The third floor houses two American contemporary-focused restos, Balsan and Ria—both overseen by Executive Chef Jason McLeod.

Balsan's the more casual offering, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Look for seasonal comfort food, with specialties such as whole-roasted fish, flatbreads from a wood-burning oven, and daily housemade sausages from sous chef Daniel Grant.

The look here is very Euro and contemporary, with low-slung chairs, high ceilings and an extended bar where you can settle in for signature cocktails and local microbrews.

Balsan, the third-floor, casual eatery at the Elysian. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

And for a more formal dining experience, Ria sets the bar high, but not so high that it's stuffy. The design is clean and modern, with an inviting parlor, silk wall coverings and silver leather chairs. Chef McLeod's approach complements the setting with seasonal, globally inspired "land meets sea" dishes.


Julia Kramer said...

I love the chairs in that bar! Can't wait to check it out.

Misty said...

I love the decor... especially at Balsan. I can't wait to go!