Appetizer meals copy the Spanish tradition of tapas, if not the ingredients. Specialists of these new small plates roam the globe for culinary inspiration.
Beverly Hills: The Restaurant at Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9291 Burton Way, (310) 278-3344
Inspired by East Asia, chef David Myers whips up an innovative kappo menu, named for the Japanese concept of serving an ingredient at its freshest. The light bites, offered in the bar and living-room-like lounge, include live scallops with sweet potato and sake, oysters with caviar, and terrine of smoked eel, foie gras, and apple — perfect with a fruit-infused martini. Watermelon, anyone?
New York: Ike, 103 Second Ave., (212) 388-0388
Comfort food usually comes heavy and huge. But Ike, the latest culinary kid in the East Village, upscales classic American fare and serves it small-plate-style to encourage sharing. Downsized burgers top English muffins, tomato-soup dip accompanies the grilled brie-and-cheddar sandwich, and eggs arrive deviled. Retro cocktails like sidecars and stingers suit the nosh-ready fare and mid-century French and American decor. Cheers.
Anguilla: Kemia, Cap Juluca, Maundays Bay, (264) 497-4013
Termed an “hors d’oeuvrerie,” the new Moroccan-theme Kemia serves up exotic dishes on mosaic-topped tables, under a tented ceiling complete with ocean outlooks from three levels. Not seduced yet? Try romancing your taste buds with local crayfish in fruit chutney or squid salad with chiles, coriander, and lime. Servings are appetite-right in the Caribbean heat, and Kemia provides prime seating for that all-important sunset viewing. —