Best Hotel Restaurant - 2002
L'Escalier (in the Breakers Hotel)
The Breakers has always been known for the quality of its services, and that operating credo extends to its restaurants. At L'Escalier, the waiters are more like butlers, just waiting to pull out your chair or refold your napkin should you retire to the restroom. Water glasses are filled like pools -- should the liquid drop below a certain line, an infusion is immediately added. And like the service, the fare is as exquisite as the tapestries that grace the walls: venison carpaccio, vegetable-hazelnut cannelloni, roasted duck with eggplant caviar, and mascarpone strudel. Only a year old, L'Escalier provides such a beautiful yet unpretentious experience that we wish other hoteliers and restaurateurs could take classes here. Is that too much to ask?