Growing up, the Langham Hotel (which was the Meridien Hotel back then) was home to the legendary chocolate brunch buffet. Yes, ladies and gentleman, you read that correctly - a buffet of brunch offerings all made from chocolate.
I always looked forward to going to the Langham and now, in my adult life, the hotel is a mere three minute walk from my office downtown.
As if I needed an additional reason to love this place, the hotel has recently unveiled a massive renovation including the hotel lobby. What was once Brahmin style decor including marble floors, has been transformed into clean lines, luxe fabrics and giant, twinkling chandeliers.
Along with the renovation came a new lobby bar called the Reserve. When you enter the hotel from Franklin Street, the Reserve is on your left.
The physical bar is a plum color with a silver patterned overlay.
I saw this pattern a lot while shopping for furniture for my house and I love it! It feels very glamorous.
Above the bar were shimmering rods of light. This photograph doesn't do them justice. They were beautiful.
There are several seating options in the Reserve. At the front of the bar there are tables with white chairs. These felt very "Mad Men" to me.
There were sleek white leather couches assembled like mini lounges.
Of course I gravitated toward the metallic tufted banquette! How magnificent is this?
After much deliberation a friend and I took seats in the center of the bar area. Our incredibly friendly waiter popped over to deliver us menus.
The Reserve menu is a deep plum color (like the bar) with a silver seal on the front. In addition to the extensive champagne and wine lists, the Reserve also offers two prix fixe menu options. The Reserve, as it's called, is a three course meal for $18 and the Langham is a five course meal for $22. I couldn't believe how reasonable it was.
Though tempted by the prix fixe options, we decided to start with wine and gage our hunger as we drank. After selecting our vino, our waiter came over perfectly balancing a tray which had two full bottles. He expertly poured both glasses.
My friend ordered the Jean Dumont (a French red) and I ordered the Roederer Estate sparkling rose.
Our waiter placed a small white doily under each glass. So fancy!
He also brought us a complimentary duo of snacks - cheddar crackers and salted mixed nuts.
After about an hour of gossiping and two rounds of drinks we decided to order something to nibble on. There were many great entree choices but we opted for the house made potato chips with a trio of dips.
The dips were: roasted shallot, spicy eggplant and gorgonzola white bean. The roasted shallot dip was like a more refined Helluva Good Bodacious Onion. My favorite was the gorgonzola white bean, two excellent ingredients. The spicy eggplant dip was thin and honestly, not at all spicy.
The house made chips were crispy and super addicting! They were served in a napkin pouch that had us sticking our entire hand in there to grab every last crumb.
As the clock crept towards 10:00pm (it was a school night) we asked for the check. The Langham's signature color is pink and I grinned ear to ear when the check arrived with a pink comment card and pen.
Most hotel lobby bars are drab and a last resort. The Reserve is a lobby bar that could absolutely stand on its own, with a menu that rivals many of the nearby restaurants. The next time you're downtown searching for a place for happy hour or to end the night, pull up a chair at the Reserve.