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Chandlers Restaurant & Lounge

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When it comes to hotel dining, most spots offer two options — a sophisticated over-the-top gourmet enclave and a stale 24/7 coffee shop that’s barely a step up from a hospital cafeteria. The minds behind Hilton’s Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa buck that trend, combining these disparate models into a cohesive, charming, mid-range eatery serving three squares that are anything but. Scrumptious updated takes on fare both comforting and classic are the work of Pascal Vignau, a toque with a hearty cult following earned most recently at Encinitas’ dearly departed Savory. He’s bringing the same star-making sensibilities he employed there against the contempo mixed wood backdrop of his new digs, putting his own spin on everything from Beef Bourguignon and Lobster and Shrimp Thermidor to green bean casserole and jerky (his is house-smoked salmon). A robust wine list and specialty cocktails up the everything-to-everyone appeal, as do sweeping views enjoyed indoors or by the warmth of outdoor fire pits. (760/683-5500, www.chandlerscarlsbad.com)    BRANDON HERNANDEZ

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