Lobster "Mac & Cheese"
Latitude 41 can shatter your expectations of a hotel restaurant. Located in the opulent Renaissance Downtown, its swooping, airy and dramatic space is locally unique.
Above a starkly patterned wooden floor are huge windows onto the Downtown scene, theatrical floor-to-ceiling red velvety curtains, plush loveseats, softly lit lamps and padded yellow chairs set at modern black tables.
This is the kind of restaurant where bread service is a coiled metal cone fitted with fig tapenade, pesto oil and warm, herby flatbread strips.
The Hook: Lobster and truffles
Whether it's lipstick on a pig, pearls on swine or a silk purse and a sow's ear, I think anti-porcine adages are unfair and outdated. Besides, Latitude 41's take on mac proves you can get elegant out of plain.
Inside the center divot of a bowl that looks like an inverted pith helmet, tender orecchiette (ear-shaped) pasta pockets are dressed up in truffly butter and gussied up into superstars by outrageously wonderful chunks of lobster meat.
The generous lobster meat (lots of hefty hunks) is brilliantly poached in butter, so it comes out succulent, sweet and stunningly melt-in-your-mouth tender. For sharp contrast, a wheel of frico-like fried parmesan juts out from the soothing orecchiette. See, pigging out can be refined.