CELEBRATORY SEAFOOD: What's the last thing you'd do after putting the finishing touches on a home renovation? Well, answer one might be to collapse on the couch for a good week. But if you're a big hotel, a landmark ship, and a well-known SoCal destination, the final thing you do is a bit grander. The Queen Mary is wrapping up a year of renovations, and the "last major update" according to the hotel is the opening of Chelsea Chowder House & Bar. (The hotel says there are a few more minor renos to come, but nothing major in scale.)
ON THE MENU: An impressive raw bar. A few non-seafood items, like an herb-roasted chicken. And a bevy of "kettles," including lobster and mussel and crab. Plus some handsome-looking martinis. We call them handsome, because if you've ever enjoyed a cocktail on the Queen Mary, you sit up a little taller and feel a bit more elegant. Try it some time.
STAYING OVER: Sometimes after enjoying a simmering seafood kettle and a cold beverage, you want to spend the night almost exactly where you are. The Queen Mary typically has a good roster of packages, and there are several on now.