According to Black Box Intelligence’s Weekly Restaurant Insights, the last week in June saw escalating sales for fine-dining establishments with unusually high growth as guests returned to in-house dining experiences. With diner’s excitement returning, we thought it might be a good time to take a look at restaurants that, in addition to exceptional food, offer the gift of unbeatable scenery.
Featuring local wine and artisanal food, this almost 6,400-sq-ft restaurant sits on the edge of Horseshoe Falls, one of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls. At night, guests dine on Manitoulin Island rainbow trout while staring out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the towering falls lit by multi-colored lights.
When you think of the many Chicago restaurants with incredible views, your mind might wander to the city lights as seen from atop the John Hancock Center at The Signature Room at the 95th. Of course, with one of the great lakes as a neighbor, you could also envision Spiaggia and the picturesque views of Lake Michigan.
The Michelin-starred North Pond offers neither, yet it is considered one of the most romantic settings in the city. Sitting on the edge of a pond overlooking the Chicago skyline in Lincoln Park, this 1912 Arts and Crafts building started as a warming shelter for ice skaters. Guests now enjoy a seasonal tasting menu and optional wine pairing with dishes that include morel mushrooms and chocolate passionfruit.
For one of the best views in the world, you’ll have to put on your skis or take the funicular railway to this high-altitude restaurant. Located at the summit of Le Brevent, diners are blessed with panoramic views of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the French Alps and the 11th most prominent mountain peak in the world.
Another Michelin-starred restaurant, Chef Jean-Michel Bouvier creates daily lunch specials, like pate en croute.
Malibu, California’s beachside Mediterranean-style restaurant, sits on the cliffs where land meets the sea and looks out over the great Pacific Ocean. Guests dine on spicy fried oysters and ahi tuna tartar as they watch dolphins and whales swim by and enjoy the surrounding fire pits. Every table has a panoramic view of the ocean. The restaurant’s annual revenue sits at almost $5 million.
Hood River, the windsurfing capital of the world, is located at the crossroads of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Range. The area is also known for its hiking and biking trails, craft breweries, and the many waterfalls that dot the Historic Columbia River Highway, home to the highest concentration of waterfalls in the country.
The Columbia River provides one of the most scenic rivers in Oregon and Washington, and Riverside restaurant’s claim to fame is that it offers the only waterfront dining option in Hood River. Guests enjoy Chef Mark DeResta’s bacon-wrapped dates and braised lamb pappardelle prepared from locally source ingredients.
On the shores of Sister Bay in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin, sits Waterfront, a restaurant that offers one of the best views on the peninsula. Here, the chef prepares pappardelle with black truffle cheese fondue and agnolotti, pasta filled with Bucheron goat cheese, helix snails, and lemon zest fennel pollen. Their tremendous sunset views can be seen on the restaurant’s Sunset Gallery.
One of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, Big Sur is also home to Sierra Mar, a winner of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award and part of the Post Ranch Inn, a luxury resort that sits high on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Ingredients are gathered from the local hills and the Chef’s Garden, and their four-course, prix fixe dinner menu changes daily.
On the opposite shores, in Cape Neddick, Maine, sits The Tiller. Suspended above the Atlantic Ocean, guests enjoy panoramic views as they dine on farm-fresh local produce, line-caught fish, and farm-raised roasts. The Tiller stays true to coastal Maine’s pallet, offering lobster rolls, local oysters, diver scallops, and Pineland Farms beef short ribs. Diners also enjoy live evening music on the terrace or in the lounge.
The name of this restaurant says it all. Sitting on the top of North Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, the floor-to-ceiling windows offer guest’s views of the valley desert and city lights below. Entrées include Seared Baja California Sea Bass and Truffle Grilled Filet Mignon.
For travelers looking for an experience, any one of these restaurants and thousands more offer unforgettable views and flavors. As much of the nation and world reopens, now’s the time to create some extraordinary memories.