Thursday, June 21, 2007

pine shoots

June 21

I had lunch at The Modern today with Dean Max, chef of 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, the general manager of the Marriott resort where the restaurant is located, their publicists and assorted other journalists. Conversation ranged from regulations regarding catching Florida lobster (they have to be hand-caught) and counterfeiting of grouper (sometimes it's Vietnamese basa) to the next great hotel amenity (I suggested affordable minibars that might actually be used by regular people).
GM Jim Mauer explained how hotels used to be luxury experiences for most people, but now most people's homes are nicer than hotel rooms — just think about what a drag it is to be somewhere without your cable TV, DVR/TiVo etc. So hotels have to keep ramping up the amenities. The term "bed wars" was used.
And I actually tried an ingredient that I hadn't had before, which doesn't happen much these days. The amuse bouche was a tiny watermelon salad with what the server called "pine shoots." I'm not sure what they tasted like, because the tiny salad had all sorts of little elements I couldn't quite identify. Maybe I was distracted because I was so enthralled by the notion of a minibar soda that didn't cost $11.


Shane said...

Good luck with the minibars. Did they laugh out loud, or nod their heads politely?

I like the image of counterfeit fish. Although it makes me think of the fake crabstick used in california rolls mostly. I must not be in the foodservice industry if that's as far as my imagination goes, huh?

DVR/TiVo? What about wireless? Or rather, wireless that works. Remind the hoteliers that computer-related amenities are a big hit with nearly everyone over a certain price bracket (i.e. that can afford a laptop for home or work). However remind them that 5% ?of the users of networks are people who actually build software, and if your network is stupid, they will complain. LOUDLY (all caps=shouting, eh?). Or maybe, they'll just reconfigure your routers to work properly without telling you.

P.S. Remind them to keep separate guest room networks and hotel billing networks. Very bad business to mix the two and let the hackers download all your guest's financial data.

John said...

Oh yea, the trend is to now have flat panel (LCD or Plasma)screens in the room. But alas, they have all been connected to SDTV feeds. /sigh