Last night I went down memory lane, all the way back to the first date I ever had in New York City. The time is 2007, the spot is Blue Ribbon Bakery, the food is aged cheese—as is my date. But last night I wasn’t munching friend chicken at the quaint West Village haunt. Rather, I was perched in the middle of Times Square at the Renaissance Hotel enjoying the company of the Bromberg brothers themselves. Bruce and Eric Bromberg, the brothers behind the Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group (which includes Blue Ribbon Brasserie, Blue Ribbon Sushi, and Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, among others) held a private cocktail party at R bar to kick-off their plan to offer comfort cuisine at upscale Renaissance Hotels throughout North America. The chefs have teamed up with the Marriott chain’s culinary team to introduce a “Blue Ribbon Classics” menu, which will be available at 20 hotels in key cities starting this Fall. Upon hearing the news, I immediately questioned why they didn’t just go Vegas, or open up a Blue Ribbon in some touristy locale, but I didn’t have to wonder long. The boys pulled themselves away from the coterie at the Renaissance (foodie women treat all chefs like David Cassidy) to chat about why this partnership made sense to them.
After gorging on passed plates of pulled pork sliders, salmon, hummus, and pork rind nachos with the lovely Natasha Huang, the one-woman show behind NH Media, the bothers took over the mic to explain that they were going with Renaissance because they, too, were taking a trip down memory lane.
When they were young, they explained, their love of cooking took them on routine visits to the famous Stanford Court Hotel’s Fournou’s Ovens within one of San Francisco’s landmark hotels. The hotel is now restored and called the Stanford Court Renaissance San Francisco Hotel. They wanted to share their new “Blue Ribbon Classics” menu with the property, and saw it as an opportunity to reach other food lovers all over the country, including in cities like San Fran, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Austin.
I’m paraphrasing, because the speech was much more swoon-worthy. The boys created the menu to include twelve signature items, tailored specifically for Renaissance Hotel guests. The comfort food will also feature mini-versions of Blue Ribbon favorites, which will include:
Northern Fried Chicken Wings Manchego and Honey Toast Smoked Salmon Toast Grilled Cheese Panini BBQ Pork Sliders Fried Rock Shrimp