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Four Seasons Holiday Preview

November 3, 2009

Last night I was lucky enough to be included in an online media event at the Four Seasons downtown. Their goal was to show off all of the holiday offerings at the hotel, and we were able to check out the venue, the food, the cocktails, and spa treatments for free. Yes, I’m aware that I’m spoiled rotten by wonderful hometown.

The event was held in a gorgeous ballroom, with stations for cocktails, dinner, dessert, and hand massages, as well as a “live blogging and tweeting center” with laptops and wireless internet access. I have to say, I was very impressed with the event itself… these folks really know how to show off their assets. We were treated like kings and queens from the moment we arrived, and everything was impeccably planned.

Here’s the lowdown on the holiday goodness (can you believe it’s November? Sheesh!):

The Spa at the Four Seasons has a few new offerings, including a Peppermint Pedicure and the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Body Treatment. I had a wonderful hand massage with gold-flecked body oil and a dusting of gold powder… my hands were super soft and twinkly afterward. I’m seriously considering giving myself a spa day for Christmas. It’s so decadent! So girly! So relaxing! I forget about spas and massages and the like, but I do love them.

We were able to taste five different holiday cocktails (we had tiny tastings, but there were full cocktails on display so we could see how they’d actually be served).

four-seasons-cocktails

We tried:

  • Mistletoe Mojito – made with cranberries, rum and mint. This was really refreshing and light.
  • Yule-thyme Martini – made with herb-infused vodka, scotch and a Hen of the Woods mushroom garnish. I thought this was so interesting… it was actually inspired by stuffing! It had a strong thyme and sage flavor, and was definitely a drink to be sipped and savored slowly.
  • Brandy Melt – made with coffee, brandy, amaretto and white creme de cacao. This was like a warm cup of dessert. So cozy and delicious.
  • Flute Cocktail – Made with Prosecco, melon liqueur and grapes. This one was so pretty! And of course, you can’t go wrong with Prosecco.
  • S’more the Merrier – made with Godiva dark chocolate liqueur, vanilla liqueur and cream, then topped with vanilla bean marshmallow creme with a cinnamon graham cracker crumb rim. This was thick and sweet and rich, but so much fun.

I was so glad that Chef Todd Duplechan was around to chat about food and life and the search for a perfect after work hang-out. He stood by while we sampled dishes from the holiday menu. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego was also on hand to show off her amazing desserts. Trio actually has a $39 fixed-price menu, which is a great way to taste some of Todd’s dishes. There is a fall menu in place now, but starting December 1, it will be switched to the holiday menu. I think Justin and I might have a holiday meal here… a reason to dress up and get fancy and have a good meal. :)

We were able to try all the dishes on the menu, but I only have pictures of some of them.

Appetizers:

  • Winter squash salad with pine nuts, raisins and farm cheese (the squash was incredibly sweet and flavorful)

four-seasons-sweet-potatoes

  • Seafood souffle with tarragon and saffron (I somehow missed out on this one, but I heard it was great)
  • Pork belly with cranberries, napa cabbage and mustard (oh, how I love pork belly)

Entrees:

  • Pheasant with mushroom jus (I love, love, loved this… who knew that I would love pheasant? Chef Todd Duplechan, that’s who)
  • Wild salmon with crimini mushrooms and lingonberry (Mmmmmm)
  • Prime ribeye with horseradish and red wine sauce (So tender and juicy)

four-seasons-beef

Desserts:

  • Warm gingerbread cake with marzipan, tangerine gel, dried fruit puree and vanilla bean whipped cream (Wow… marzipan baked INTO the gingerbread? Wonderful)

four-seasons-gingerbread1

  • Chocolate-peppermint baked Alaska (holy moly… cold and clean and minty)

four-seasons-alaska

  • Trio of sorbets (mango, lemon and raspberry)

They really pulled out all the stops, and I’ve come to expect nothing less from the Four Seasons. Sometimes I forget that it’s there, since I’m never really looking for a hotel in my hometown. But it’s such a posh getaway for a day (or just for happy hour)! We’ll definitely be back – during happy hour to visit Todd, of course – but maybe for a holiday meal, too.

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