I’ve never quite liked the word boutique when it comes to describing something that’s offering a more tailored experience than the mainstream, but I’m coming around. In fact, I really like the experience of staying at boutique hotels that feel like every detail has been thought out. I also enjoy shopping at boutique food stores — aka specialty markets — where all of the products have been carefully curated to give me a sampling of small producers and artisanal items I might never have come across on my own. Virgin America has always felt like a boutique airline of sorts, with a different ethos than the bigger guys. Different seats, different lighting, different meals — those are the qualities that define Virgin America to me and now they’ve announced a partnership to take their boutique status one step further.
This summer, Virgin America is teaming up with the granddaddy of specialty food stores, Dean & DeLuca, to bring first class passengers some pretty awesome-sounding snacks. The emphasis is on sweet/salty here with caramel popcorn, savory seasoned pretzels, spicy Cajun snack mix, raw almonds, milk chocolate squares, and gummi bears. Seems like a big jump up from a bowl full of warm nuts to me.
The Dean & DeLuca news isn’t all. Virgin America is also refreshing their menu for summer and I like the sound of the new additions, especially the Beef Bulgogi Bibimbap bowl in first class. It’s about time that airline menus reflected what’s happening in restaurants on the ground all over America. The new menu addition are below.
- Arugula, beet and orange salad appetizer with citrus-mint vinaigrette
- Beef Bulgogi Bibimbap bowl with marinated beef, julienned carrots, sautéed kale and pickled watermelon radishes served on a bed of coconut jasmine rice and topped with a spicy gochujang sauce
- Herb roasted chicken salad with a Dijon-tarragon vinaigrette
- Bittersweet chocolate ganache tart
- Roast beef and cheddar sandwich on ciabatta bread
- Veggie wrap with black rice, faro and edamame dressed in a light and refreshing soy yuzu vinaigrette
- Artisan cheese plate with white cheddar, muenster cheese, and camembert cheeses served along fresh Gala apples, green grapes and gluten free sea salt and olive oil crackers
- Mixed berry yogurt parfait with gluten-free granola
- Sea Salt Caramel 479° Popcorn
- Krave Basil Citrus Turkey Jerky
- Jetset Kids Pack with fun, healthy snacks like Musselman’s Apple Sauce, Old Wisconsin’s Turkey Snack Stick, Yum Earth Fruit Snacks and Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar
Are you flying Virgin America this summer? Tried any of these new menu items? Let me know how they are in the comments below.