Cure's asparagus salad

En route back home from a vacation, my husband and I recently spent a night in a London hotel. When we arrived, we were starving, but it was rainy and late. Reluctantly, we decided to eat at the hotel’s restaurant. I always assume hotel eateries will be stereotypically bland settings with equally bland food — in other words, not authentic local experiences. Luckily, our dinner was pretty decent.

Back in D.C., I realized I’m proved wrong on a regular basis by the city’s many top-notch hotel restaurants. Witness the popularity of places such as Bourbon Steak, in the Four Seasons, and Firefly, in Dupont Circle’s Madera Hotel.

A recent meal at Cure Bar & Bistro in the Grand Hyatt Washington (1000 H St. NW) made me question my beliefs yet again. Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise, considering that Hyatt had just announced plans to serve healthier, locally sourced dishes at its restaurants.

I was impressed with my meal’s balance of flavor, nutrition and originality. The asparagus salad ($12) featured a generous serving of the cooked stalks, a soft-boiled egg and delicate creme fraiche. My entree, pan-roasted salmon ($23), sat atop thinly sliced green apple, celery and cucumber (a variation on the regular salad of peas, fennel and frisee). The artful and appetizing plates allowed me to notch two servings of fresh produce AND to temporarily forget I was inside an establishment geared toward tourists. I think it’s an enviable accomplishment for a hotel eatery in any city.