Posted by: Antonia Ciccolo | August 7, 2010

Vegan Luxury at the Four Seasons

It’s time for other hotels to jump on the vegan bandwagon, because the Four Seasons in Houston is in the lead for the “most accommodating vegan in-room dining experience” prize. I was curious to see just how accommodating the Four Seasons would be, especially since it’s the first luxury property I’ve stayed in since starting the Vegan Travel Challenge. I began my analysis by taking a look at the in-room dining menu and was happy to see many vegetarian options singled-out by “Vs” on the menu. It looked as though some of those options could be made vegan, but I wasn’t 100% sure which ones were prepared with cheese, eggs or butter.

When I called down to room service, instead of inquiring about specific menu options, I cut right to the chase, “what vegan options do you have?” After clarifying the definition of vegan (I will admit this fault by Four Seasons but it was the only one), the attendant said, “let me ask the chef, who will prepare a menu for you.” A menu? I get an entire vegan menu? Wow. She called back ten minutes later and listed off my vegan menu options:

  • Tomato Bisque
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Mixed Greens Salad
  • Spaghetti Marinara
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Margarita Pizza
  • Portobello Mushroom Pizza
  • Side of Grilled Vegetables

“And all of these items can be made vegan? No butter, no egg, no cheese?” I questioned. “Yes,” she told me. I decided to order the mushroom risotto (maybe it was the Italian in me?) and the side of grilled vegetables. She added a nice touch by saying, “can I offer you bowl of mixed berries for dessert?” I turned down the bowl of mixed fruit but was very impressed by the gesture. The Four Seasons does an excellent job of training their employees on how to be accommodating and to anticipate guests’ needs. The vegan mushroom risotto and vegetable side were both excellent, but I’m a little curious as to what ingredients were actually in the risotto because it tasted similarly to the risotto I make at home, which is made with chicken broth, butter and cheese, so I might have to inquire about the ingredients next week.

On the second night of my stay, I ordered the Minestrone Soup and the bowl of mixed berries. Both items were also excellent and filled me up for dinner. I wasn’t skeptical about either of these menu items, I am pretty certain they were vegan.

It’s great that the Four Seasons can be so accommodating, but interesting that the level of accommodation (the long list of menu items) makes me more skeptical about the ingredients in some of the items. Are they certain that the pizza dough and spaghetti is made without egg? I think next time I’ll have to ask about the ingredients in each questionable option. Other than that, this luxury chain exceeded my expectations.

Mushroom Risotto

Side of Grilled Vegetables

Minestrone Soup

Mixed Berries

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