The big picture is finally nearing completion. The proverbial light is appearing at the end of the tunnel. The long period of renovation at my workplace, the Elms Hotel and Spa is still ongoing, but the results continue to materialize and they are stunning, by and large. Many, many people have worked very hard to bring about this elegant rebirth for the hotel and it is worth the multitude of madness that all of us have weathered to see this new renaissance.
Said renaissance begins with me as you might suspect: the food. The few times I have worked a Manager on Duty shift, I have been able to experience the knockout food in the 88 restaurant created by Executive Chef Steven Cameron and his talented sous chefs Jacob Moeller and Joe Spiegal. I was thrilled to see Joe's Seared Wild Cook Inlet Canadian Sockeye dish with the mouth-watering black-eyed pea relish and smoked tomato continued on as a menu highlight. I have also tried the Pan-Roasted Barnham Farms Chicken Breast with that delectable spring-pea rice pudding and it is delicious. I have to agree with restaurant manager Erin, though...the small plates are the way to go. I have had several and have reveled in them all. The light and citrussy heirloom and tomato salad with the zingy serrano dressing....the surprising layers of flavor in the Heirloom Tomato Risotto with thyme creme and cinnamon basil grown in the Elms Garden....the bright tang of the Wild East Coast Sea Scallop Ceviche with cucumber noodles and celery ricotta...the savory potato and parmesan gnocchi with sweet corn, crumbled sausage and braised fennel. For lunch, I dig the Pulled Pork Street Tacos with that spicy jalapeno slaw. I will work my way through that entire menu, mark my words. We have also returned for Sunday brunch recently and it was a scrumptious affair, once again.
The ballrooms were mightily decked out in splendiferous decor by Russ and the Changing Seasons crew for a recent wedding show and it made for another glorious look at the hotel. Lots of fascinating touches abounded from Russ including jars with spools, unique bridal bouquets that included Scrabble pieces and a head table centered by a working fountain. The Elms culinary team worked up some awesome edibles like Thai peanut chicken lollipops, bagel and lox bites with onions and capers and roasted fennel and goat cheese pizzas. Had to love the cookie and milk shooters and mini-chocolate purses as well. Good show!
Finally, that crucial and somewhat overdue piece of the rebirth, our spa, is finally coming to life. The Roman bath-like grotto is still a ways off but the retail, quiet and treatment rooms are coming together and they are gorgeous. The excitement is truly building for what is sure to be one very special centerpiece for the Elms.
So much happening. So much yet to come....