What to Eat at Balsan and Ria, Opening Mid-August at the Elysian Hotel

Photo: courtesy Elysian Hotels

The Mag Mile’s new Elysian Hotel hasn’t announced an opening date yet. though we’re hearing reliable rumbles of mid-August. With just a few weeks before opening, it’s worth revisiting what we’re in for: two restaurants from chef Jason McLeod, with desserts from Hot Chocolate’s Mindy Segal. The hotel will offer two restaurants: the casual, three-meals-a-day Balsan (whose decor Hotels mag describes as “reminiscent of 1920’s Paris…a marble bar top, hand-etched glass, antiqued mirrors, luxuriously upholstered couches and custom light fixtures”), which will focus on seasonality and organic ingredients and a menu centered around comfort foods like roasted chicken and flatbread pizzas.

Likely to garner a bit more buzz is the upscale Ria, open for dinner only, focusing on top-notch meats and seafood (which, carbon footprint be damned, will be flown in fresh daily), and decked out in “a palette of warm golds, greens and grays is paired with luxurious silk wall coverings, plush banquettes, sleek silver leather chairs and an intriguing wall art sculpture.” McLeod’s culinary inspiration here is a little inscrutable: “The philosophy of Ria is insightful and approachable,” he told Hotels. “We want guests to come in for an insatiable meal.” We kind of hope the meals do satiate, but we think we get what he’s trying to say here.