The Crow’s Nest, that elegant eatery at the top of the Hotel Captain Cook, will soon have a new head chef, according to Raquel Edelen, the hotel’s vice president of operations.
Reuben Gerber, chef at the highly regarded Jack Sprat Restaurant in Girdwood, will transfer his talents to the Cook in late February.
During the interview process, Gerber created a meal for the hotel’s managers.
“Everything he made was fantastic,” raved Edelen.
Changes to the menu won’t come immediately. Gerber wants to get to know his staff and the tastes of the restaurant’s clientele.
The Crow’s Nest is open for dining, 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
In other Cook news, food and wine options have gone through some happy changes at the newly remodeled Whale’s Tail.
Edelen reports that the hotel has added Alaska’s first self-serve wine-dispensing systems plus a menu of small plate offerings.
The wine systems work like this: First, you purchase either a $10 or a $25 card that works like a gift card and never expires. Insert the card into one of the two wine systems. Then select your wine and your portion — 2, 3 or 4 ounces. The dispensing systems contain 32 bottles of wine — 24 reds and eight whites. There’s an iPad, too, that displays extra information about each of the wines.
“These machines also offer the ability to try a slew of different wines,” wrote Tom Laret, the hotel’s sommelier, in an email. “Or say you just wanted to have some Kobe sliders and one glass of a really nice cab. (You can have) Silver Oak for $15 for a 4-ounce glass. Pours of Meomi pinot noir are $2 per ounce, and Achaval Ferrer Malbec and Mollydooker’s The Boxer shiraz are both $1.75 per ounce.”
And then there’s Opus One. If you’re not inclined to spend $250 for the bottle, you can find out what all the fuss is about with a 2-ounce taste for $16.75.
Good luck making up your mind about which appetizers to try with your wine. Among the 14 total “shareables,” as the online menu calls them, are Asian salmon sliders, marinated and wrapped in butterleaf lettuce or served on Hawaiian sweet rolls with cucumber slaw and wasabi aioli ($12); curry chicken nachos with hearts of palm, pepper jack cheese, rice noodles, wonton chips and coconut curry sauce ($10); peppered bacon-wrapped figs with raspberry and stone fruit salsa ($6). Truffle popcorn, anyone? It’s house-made and costs $4.
Whale’s Tail hours are 5-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays and 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Get more details and full menus at captaincook.com. The hotel is located at 939 W. Fifth Ave.