Eating with Style

By Carlota Nelson | 11:00

When you look up  “best restaurants in the world” in Google, there are over 154,000,000 results that pop back at you. There are so many variations to what is considered best, that in order to create your own list, you must start refining your search.  There are those who think “best” should be in the lines of “restaurants that will transform the way you eat.” Others think “Best Restaurants” exclusively means molecular cuisine or traditional, fine dining. Some foodies still rely on what the Michelin guide tells them, while others prefer to ask or read what gourmands, food critics, chefs and instinct offers. When it comes to food and restaurants, no matter how you define the word, eating out and trying the local cuisine is all part of the travel experience. So how do you choose the best restaurant? In these lists, avant-garde restaurants tend to place higher than traditional establishments whose gastronomy has stood the test of time.

Luxury food critic, Raymond Blanc, says that: “it takes an ensemble of things to make a good restaurant, food alone is not enough.” Good ambience, staff who care, food that makes you dream, good service… All these ingredients are important to consider. But in the end, what makes you dine with style is not only being able to enjoy your dinner at any of the restaurants listed below. Eating with style has to do with your capacity of enjoyment, of really savouring the experience of food and whom you have in front of you to share it with. Here are our 5 picks!

Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark. This 45-seat restaurant in a warehouse by the docks put its name on the map for reinventing Nordic cuisine with unusual ingredients that chef René Redzepi and his team gather locally. At Noma there is an intention of trying to reshape the way we cook. They say a meal at Noma is completely out of the ordinary. Diners are treated to a parade of small plates, which bear very little resemblance to recognizable food. The tasting menu costs $267.

El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain 
is located just 83 kilometres away from Barcelona. A family restaurant opened by brothers Joan and Josep and recently joined by their younger sibling and pastry chef Jordi.  The brothers opened their restaurant right next to the one owned by their parents. Josep is the sommelier while the Joan is a chef who pioneered in the sous-vide cooking method which consists in cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times—72 hours in some cases. The brother´s claim that El Celler is a “free-style restaurant, committed to the avant-garde, but faithful to the different generations of the family’s ancestors.” The menus cost around 165 euros.

Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy 
 Massimo Bottura, a former Alain Ducasse and El Bulli apprentice, opened his 12 table Osteria in Modena, in 1995 and has already been awarded three Michelin stars. At the Osteria, chefs transform Italian classics into works of art. There is a full menu and 3 tasting menus including one that features different textures and temperatures of Parmigiano Reggiano. Located just 38 kilometres away from Bologna. The most expensive menu is 190 euros.  

Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
 3 Michelin stars and Swiss chef Daniel Humm have given contemporary and seasonal French cuisine an amazing reputation as it is considered 1 of the 5 best restaurants in New York City. With views of Madison Square Park, here, at number Eleven, you´ll indulge in a multi-course tasting menu (for $225 per person), which while being on the inventive side, it pays homage to classic dishes and cuisine. 

The Fat Duck, Bray, England Chef Heston Blumenthal has made The Fat Duck one of food lovers “Restaurants to go to before you die” and there´s no dress code required. Located in a 16th century pub in Bray, Berkshire, diners should expect the unexpected as self taught chef-owner Heston Blumenthal’s culinary wizardry brings theatre to the table.The price of the tasting menu is £195. When in London, the journey from Paddington train station takes about 40 minutes.  The Fat Duck is a five-minute taxi ride from the station.

There are, of course, many more restaurants to suggest, but they simply do not all fit here. Try looking up French Laundry, Pierre Gagnaire, Nihonryori Ryugin, Alinea and D.O.M. in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Next time your travel, we wish for you to indulge and savour with style and all your senses. And make sure you make time. Each of these tasting menus requires at least 3 hours. Bon appetite!

Photo Credits:  Sara Ackerman,  Matthew Hine,  Krista 



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