101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World 2013 (Slideshow)
October 7, 2013
101. Baraabaru at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa (North Malé Atoll, Maldives)
A torch-lit path leads diners to Baraabaru from the hotel’s catamaran, which whisks visitors between the three Four Seasons properties in the atoll chain. Overlooking the crystal clear Indian Ocean, the airy restaurant is situated beneath timber columns and features an open kitchen with a tandoori bar. Chefs here prepare classic Indian dishes with an emphasis on local seafood, like whole tandoori lobster marinated in mustard and honey. Biryanis are served in clay pots, and there is a special Sunday night Ghar Ka Khana, a buffet of curries, biryanis, chutneys, and kebabs.
100. Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, Calif.)
Located on the cliffs of Big Sur’s coast, Sierra Mar offers breathtaking views and an unconventional fine dining experience, with executive chef John Cox’s inventive food creations, by which he aims to feature ingredients highlighted by a "sense of place and culture." The restaurant is also home to an award-winning wine cellar, with more than 14,000 bottles. Sierra Mar offers three options for dinner: a daily changing four-course prix fixe dinner menu, a nine-course Taste of Big Sur tasting menu, and an à la carte menu. A few sample dishes include summer white truffle gnocchi with Swiss chard fondue, spicy greens, and morel mushrooms; miso marinated lamb loin with spring peas, fresh wasabi, and pickled peanuts; and for dessert a honey parfait with citrus, honeycomb, speculoos (Dutch spiced shortbread), and hibiscus reduction.
99. Terrace at Parrot Cay Resort and Shambhala Retreat (Turks and Caicos)
Presided over by executive chef Martin Davies, Terrace serves breakfast and dinner in both outdoor and indoor settings. The Italian-inspired dinner choices feature fresh, local seafood in such forms as seared prawns on a warm salad of borlotti beans, confit tomatoes, peppers, and spiced salsa verde; and pappardelle with braised tuna, olive, orange, and mint ragù. Like other properties under the same ownership, Terrace offers dietary alternatives from its signature COMO Shambhala menu, offering dishes made with organic ingredients and featuring-free, reduced-sodium, and unprocessed foods that provide guests with special dietary needs a stress-free supper.
98. Sabaya at Cairo Semiramis (Cairo)
From the décor to the food, Sabaya exudes a quintessential Lebanese dining experience. There's a chic, comfortable area with low chairs, soft lighting, and a lounge separated by mashrabeyas (latticework screens), where diners are taken after dinner for traditional tea and sweets. Under chef Nasser Makhoul, the menu offers traditional Lebanese dishes with contemporary flair. A variety of cold and hot mezzes includes kebbe nayye (minced raw lamb mixed with bulgur and spices), stuffed vine leaves, hummus, and cheese manaqish (a Lebanese version of pizza), and main dishes are items such as "Sabaya mixed seafood," served with a side of grilled vegetables, white rice, and pine nuts.
97. Jade Cuisine at Jade Mountain (Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia)
With direction from consulting chef Allen Susser, late of Chef Allen's in Miami, executive chef Jonathan Dearden serves a contemporary menu that marries the flavors of the Caribbean, Latin America, the Pacific Rim, and the Mediterranean at this adults-only retreat with views of the Pitons and Caribbean. Dearden and his team locally source ingredients like cocoa, turmeric, cashews, almonds, avocados, oranges, tangerines, yams, and sweet potatoes from Jade Mountain’s own tropical plantation, Anse Mamin, and lettuce, tropical vegetables, herbs, vanilla beans, bay leaf, nutmeg, cinnamon, mangos, sour oranges, limes, and plantains from Emerald Estate, a rain forest farm. These locally sourced ingredients are combined with local seafood, such as yellowtail snapper, grouper, cobia, wahoo, stone crab, conch, shrimp, and lobster to create a diverse menu that includes "Caviar Kiss" of smoked salmon cream and farm-raised caviar; dry-aged filet mignon with purple potato cake and grilled pumpkin; and "Chocolate vs. Vanilla," a dessert of flourless chocolate cake, vanilla custard cake, and white chocolate cashew ice cream.
96. Sir Elly’s Restaurant, Bar, and Terrace at The Peninsula (Shanghai)
Located on Shanghai’s iconic Bund, Sir Elly’s boasts unobstructed views of Pudong and the Huangpu River from its 13th-floor location. Named after Sir Elly Kadoorie, the founder of The Peninsula Hotels’ parent company, the Art Deco dining room features Chinese accents in red lacquer and ceramics. French chef David Chauveau serves modern European fare, with dishes such as seared foie gras with fruit salsa, cinnamon "pain-perdu," and apricot sherry foam; baked silver grouper with meunière sauce, clams, lime, edamame, and black olives; and apricot with ricotta crémeux, amaretto cookies, and frozen lime sorbet. Diners can choose from an à la carte menu or the "chef’s choice" six-course tasting menu.
95. The Great House at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club (Nevis, West Indies)
In a building that dates to 1778, when the resort was a sugar plantation, The Great House overlooks the Avenue of Palms, leading to a private white sand beach. Guests can enjoy dinner on the screened-in veranda or indoors in a plantation-style dining room awash in candlelight and appointed with wooden tables draped in fine linens. The Caribbean-inspired menu designed by executive chef Antonio F. Piani II changes daily, with an emphasis on local seafood, fruits, and vegetables infused with international flavors. Grilled mahimahi with peas and rice is a guest favorite, as is the Caribbean lobster.
94. Li Yen at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
With a décor of dark teak that extends from the walls to the elaborate screens and chairs, plush red carpet and silk-embroidered table runners, and musical performances nightly on a yangqing (a 145-string Chinese hammered dulcimer), the sophisticated surroundings at Li Yen set the tone for a memorable feast. Chef Tan Tiong Guan's menu features such delicacies as Japanese cucumber with dried shrimps, chilled octopus with jellyfish, roasted barbecued pigeon, and steamed grouper fillets with Chinese ham.
93. Relish at The Westin Grand (Berlin)
"Feed the body, nourish the soul" is the motto of Relish. Diners can select a table in the dining room, on the terrace (in the summer) with a view of Friedrichstrasse, or at the foot of the lobby staircase. In any of these, they will enjoy chef Peter Hampl’s "international cuisine with French and Asian influences" — the likes of whole Atlantic sole with spinach and brown butter; tandoori and coconut soup with fried prawns; and even a classic club sandwich with grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, and potato chips, served with a spicy dip.
92. Tiara at Queen's Landing (Ontario, Canada)
With stunning views of the Niagara River, the Georgian-style Tiara serves traditional French fare based on ingredients locally sourced from the Niagara region. Executive chef Mark Lyons offers a five-course tasting menu that includes compressed melon and feta salad with Vik’s arugula leaves, sweet and sour cucumber, and Niagara balsamic; potato-wrapped tiger prawn with Canadian wild rice, charred tomato jam, and horseradish chips; grilled beef tenderloin medallion with truffle cream golden potatoes, king oyster mushrooms, and young leeks; and Tahitian vanilla and lemon crème brûlée with blueberry citrus biscotti.
91. Restaurant at Ponta Dos Ganchos (Governador Celso Ramos, Santa Catarina, Brazil)
With a décor the hotel describes as "Brazilian beach chic," Ponta Dos Ganchos’ restaurant is located beachfront and boasts serene views of the Atlantic Ocean. Guests can feast on the seasonal daily menus prepared by executive chef Luis Salvajoli, who prepares Brazilian cuisine influenced by traditional French and Italian cooking methods. The menu incorporates produce from the restaurant's organic garden, and fresh oysters from a local fisherman's village. Selections include stuffed vegetables with quinoa and crab; penne with eggplant, Portuguese tomato, and bufala mozzarella; and grilled salmon fillet with steamed vegetables, and dill-scented olive oil. The restaurant also caters romantic dinners for two on a nearby private island.
90. Morjana at Mazagan Beach Resort (Casablanca, Morocco)
Located on the first floor of this resort's lavish Grand Riad hotel, Morjana, open Thursday through Saturday only, serves traditional Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine. Live music and belly dancers complement the experience, giving diners a true feast for all senses. The menu focuses on simple comfort foods like tagines, seafood pastillas, kebabs, and couscous. Some notable dishes include offal mezze (kidneys, brain, and liver with charmoula spices), and tagine ghanmi with lamb, truffles, and quince.
89. The Vineyard Restaurant at The Vineyard Hotel (West Berkshire, England)
Head chef Daniel Galmiche, a serial culinary award-winner who once worked at London’s celebrated Le Gavroche, brings his talent to The Vineyard, delivering a French and Mediterranean gastronomic experience. Diners can choose to feast on his five- or seven-course tasting menus, or select their own menu with a recommendation of four to five dishes per person. Featured items include pressed confit foie gras, rainbow carrots, tarragon, and kumquat; hand-dived Orkney scallops, heirloom tomato, spring onion, and chives; and dark chocolate, ginger ice cream, pineapple, and tonka bean emulsion. If an optional wine pairing is selected, each dish comes with both a California and a French wine.
88. Orient Express at the Taj Palace New Delhi (New Delhi)
Paying homage to opulent train travel during the Belle Époque era in Europe, the dining room is modeled after a luxury train car and the bar replicates a railway station platform. The menu takes guests on a gastronomic journey with three- and four-course menus featuring such notable dishes as roulade of Scottish smoked salmon with lake trout tartare; poached Atlantic cod topped with sevruga caviar; pistachio-stuffed quail casserole with cauliflower and pomegranate; and camembert soufflé with paprika sauce.
87. Fontaine at Hayma Island Resort (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)
Fontaine’s menu is as contemporary as its tables, set on platforms atop the Fontaine Pond. The kitchen prepares dishes like king salmon with beet compote, green apple, wild sorrel, and horseradish; white Pyrenees lamb loin, braised shoulder, boulangère potatoes, black cabbage, and smoked sunchoke; and Cointreau cheesecake with frangipani crumbs and citrus salad.
86. Panorama at Hotel Gellért (Budapest)
For more than 90 years, Panorama at the Art Nouveau-style Hotel Gellért has served traditional Hungarian cuisine on its charming terrace overlooking the Danube. During dinner, guests are regaled with the traditional music of Béla Berki Jr. and his gypsy orchestra. Executive chef Jaksics József has created a menu including goose liver strips with truffle and pesto salad; tenderloin of Mangalica pork Gellért style with grilled vegetables; Hungarian fish soup with noodles; and assorted strudels with marzipan sauce and roasted almonds.
85. Tradewinds at the Peter Island Resort (British Virgin Islands)
Set upon a rocky ledge overlooking the waves of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Tradewinds is named for the whispering winds that breeze through the restaurant’s indoor and outdoor dining areas. Tradewinds’ stone walls and high vaulted ceilings and dark wood accents recall traditional Caribbean sugar mills. Executive chef Lisa Sellars artfully combines contemporary European and Caribbean-inspired dishes, using ingredients ranging from truffles, foie gras, rabbit, port wine, and risotto to such indigenous treasures as grouper or snapper, coconut, plantains, sweet potato, house-grown pumpkin, and local spices. Every Thursday, chef Sellers and the restaurant's sommelier team up to create specialty menus centered around carefully chosen wines from the Tradewinds wine room.
84. Elegantes Restaurant at the Augustine Hotel (Prague)
Elegantes serves classical European food in the romantic environment of the historic Augustine in central Prague. Under new executive chef Robert Loos, Elegantes' menu focuses on simple yet elegant dining, with dishes such as cannelloni gratiné filled with wild mushrooms, spinach, and ricotta; grilled guinea fowl breast with ragù of tomato, fava beans, green asparagus, artichokes, and rosemary sauce; and the signature poached red prawns with saffron mashed potatoes, fennel, and light tarragon sauce.
83. Tatu Restaurant at the Fairmont Norfolk (Nairobi, Kenya)
Tatu dishes out contemporary American steakhouse grub to guests, the specialty being 21-day dry-aged steaks from Morendat Platinum beef from selected crossbred steers fed exclusively on premium corn. The menu also offers a selection of fresh Kenyan produce, and an array of coastal seafood, and many of the dishes are flavored with herbs from the hotel garden. Head chef Karan Suri works out of an open kitchen, with a chef's table available by reservation.
82. GB Roof Garden Restaurant & Bar at the Hotel Grande Bretagne (Athens)
Open year-round for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this rooftop restaurant overlooking Constitution Square offers sweeping views of the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, Parliament, and Kallimarmaro Stadium, the venue of the first stadium-held Olympic Games. Brightly colored pillows scattered on each chair and banquette add color against white crisp linen tabletops. Michelin-starred chef Asterios Koustoudis emphasizes high-quality raw materials and slow cooking methods on his menu, which includes roasted scallops with celery, fennel, and pear; octopus terrine with sweet peppers, smoked eggplant, and oregano; and lamb noisettes with slow-cooked seasonal vegetables, feta, and mint. Optional four-, five, or six-course menus are also available.
81. Jamavar at The Leela (Mumbai, India)
Only open for dinner, Jamavar at The Leela serves elegant versions of both northern and southern Indian cooking, mastered by chef Surender Mohan. The luxurious 60-seat dining room, with Jaipuri chandeliers and soft classical music in the background, offers an intimate dining experience. Sample Lashooni crab, tossed with garlic butter, shallots, and scallions; Calicut mutton pepper-fry mutton; spicy and sour konju pappas prawn curry with ginger and coconut milk; a wide selection of traditional Indian breads and pancakes; and saffron- and pistachio-flavored kulfi (ice cream) atop rose-scented noodles.
80. Square One at Park Hyatt Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Square One offers a combination of Vietnamese and Western fare prepared by a team of chefs who put on a show for diners from open kitchens visible from five different dining areas. There is also an outdoor terrace and a floor-to-ceiling wine case displaying 1,500 bottles. Diners can order a round of Western-inspired appetizers like lobster bisque with lobster tortellini and seared scallop, or Vietnamese starters like green papaya salad with house-dried beef, peanuts, and mint. As a main course, one can select between different cuts of Omaha grain-fed U.S. prime beef, or the classic Vietnamese soup pho with Wagyu beef.
79. Hawksworth Restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Vancouver, Canada)
David Hawksworth is both chef and owner of this acclaimed establishment, named Restaurant of the Year by Vancouver Magazine for the past two years (Hawksworth himself was also tapped as Chef of the Year). Diners here can choose a seasonal tasting menu, or à la carte items from an innovative selection of contemporary Canadian specialties. Notable dishes include Dungeness crab with truffle custard, Meyer lemon, edamame, and artichoke; aromatic soy-roasted sablefish with pork dumpling, wilted pea tendril, and XO sauce; and a 30-ounce heritage Angus bone-in rib-eye with potato gnocchi, summer vegetable bouquetiere, crispy marrow, chimmichurri, red-wine jus, and brown butter hollandaise — meant for sharing.
78. Trellis at La Samanna (St. Martin, West Indies)
After extensive renovations of La Samanna’s resort property were completed at the end of 2012, the former Le Réserve restaurant reopened with a new name, a new menu, and a new chef, Gil Dumoulin. The style of both decor and food might be termed elegant bistro. Expect such dishes as wild mushroom velouté with caviar, scampi fricassée with orange and saffron, roast rack of lamb with grilled vegetables and black olives, and sweet-and-sour yogurt mousse with red fruits. The hotel's acclaimed cellar, La Cave, boasts one of the most extensive collections of wine in the Caribbean.
77. Jaan at Swissôtel The Stamford (Singapore)
The intimate, 40-seat Jaan is named after the Sanskrit word for "bowl," but the chandelier spanning the entire ceiling is made of Murano crystal and silver. Chef de cuisine Julien Royer, who worked under Michel Bras in Laguiole, in central France, prepares artisanal French dishes guided by the seasons and based on the principles of terroir. Diners can choose from two different five-course menus, with dishes such as quail and foie gras ballotine with pickled onion, pumpkin, and a samosa; 48-hour confit Tajima beef short ribs with rustic grenaille potatoes, horseradish, and mushroom ketchup; and "Blossom," a dessert of light lemon curd, cherry, and verbena.
76. Camões Portuguese Restaurant at Legendale Hotel (Beijing)
This 118-seat establishment is named after 16th-century Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões, a mural of whom graces one wall of the blue-and-white-tiled restaurant. All key ingredients and wines on Camões' menu are imported from Portugal. Signature dishes include Bairrada-style roasted suckling pig served with potato chips and orange; cream of tomato soup topped with poached egg "Alentejo" style; and pastéis de nata (egg tarts), which are baked à la minute.
75. number one at The Balmoral Hotel (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Led by executive chef Jeff Bland, number one at The Balmoral boasts a Michelin star for its inventive Scottish menu. The restaurant features a luxurious interior of golden velvet banquettes, dramatic red lacquered walls, and an art collection from the Institute of Art in London. An à la carte menu is offered alongside the chef’s six-course tasting menu, with notable dishes including foie gras with rhubarb, truffle butter, and brioche; Barbary duck with allspice, pineapple, carrot, and pistachio; and desserts like crowdie and raspberry with carrot sponge and chocolate sorbet.
74. Signature at the Mandarin Oriental (Tokyo)
For five years running, Signature at the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo has maintained its Michelin star rating. With former chef Olivier Rodriguez replaced by Nicolas Boujéma as the executive chef in 2013, the restaurant continues to serve high-class French cuisine with a contemporary twist. The dining room is situated on the 37th floor of the hotel and overlooks the Tokyo skyline, which offers views of Ōtemachi, the Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Bay. Dining options include a 10-course seasonally inspired menu, an eight-course vegetarian menu, and a three-course business lunch. Some signature dishes worth mentioning include Marinated turbot carpaccio, foie gras "ravioli" with snow peas and duck velouté, and truffle-flavored waffle with whipped cream and port wine jus.
73. Restaurante Zafferano at Mantra Resort, Spa, & Casino (Punta del Este, Uruguay)
Perched on a hill above La Barra’s Manantiales Beach, Restaurante Zafferano overlooks the 100-room resort’s serene pool and lush tropical gardens. Under chef Alvaro Arbeloa, it serves a fusion of contemporary Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, including cold almond and garlic soup and sliced duck with caramelized apple and sweet potato.
72. The Moghul Room at Mena House (Giza, Egypt)
The Moghul Room greets guests with its grand arches, rose petals, and a spice display within a former hunting lodge turned luxury hotel located a short stroll from the Pyramid of Cheops. Diners are serenaded by a three-piece Indian band (tabla drums, sitar, and harmonium) while savoring the most exquisite Indian cuisine in the Cairo area. Classic Indian dishes include murgh tikka makhani, a tomato chicken curry; laal maas, a traditional Rajasthani lamb curry; kulfi, pistachio- and cardamom-flavored ice cream; and gulab jamun, fried milk balls.
71. Mesh Restaurant at Crown Promenade Hotel (Melbourne, Australia)
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the 280-seat Mesh is a comfortable bistro with an open kitchen that turns out an impressive buffet of salads, oysters, prawns, steak, and desserts, as well as menus offering choices like tandoori Caesar salad with poached egg and Parmesan crisps; twice-cooked Berkshire pork belly with apple purée, fennel, and Granny Smith apple salad; pan-seared barramundi with saffron potato, orange, tomato and dill salsa; and vanilla bean crème brûlée with pistachio biscotti.
70. Jing Yaa Tang at The Opposite House (Beijing)
The Opposite House’s newest restaurant concept, Jing Yaa Tang, opened its doors late August 2013, with a menu celebrating Beijing roast duck and other favorite dishes from different regions across China. Internationally recognized London-based restaurateur Alan Yau is both the lead designer and concept consultant of Jing Yaa Tang, and the restaurant marks his first entry into Beijing. Yau’s other renowned restaurant concepts include fast-casual restaurants Wagamama, Cha Cha Moon, as well as Michelin-star-awarded high-end dining brands Hakkasan and Yauatcha in London. The menu at Jing Yaa Tang focuses on a selection of simply prepared Beijing roast duck dishes, but will also highlight other regions of China with dishes such as authentic Kung Pao chicken and Dandan noodles, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
69. gaZette at Le Westin (Montréal)
Based on a farm-to-table philosophy, gaZette is a restaurant that's constantly evolving and developing new ways of fusing traditional ingredients into its Quebec-style cuisine. Chef Paul Little has created dishes such as chilled white asparagus milk with truffles and foie gras shavings; seared U-10 scallops with pancetta, porcini risotto, yellow and Chioggia beets, olive oil, and ice wine vinegar emulsion; and grilled chop of Gaspor Farm milk-fed piglet, maple whiskey braised belly, Swiss chard, bacon, and maple ravioli. GaZette's signature menu also offers a decadent selection of desserts, such as Meyer lemon and raspberry crème brûlée, and the option of creating a meal out of tapas dishes.
68. Noso at W Santiago (Santiago, Chile)
Chef Jean-Paul Bondoux's chocolate- and white-hued Noso serves a seasonal terroir-driven menu, combining French, Mediterranean, and South American flavors, executed by chef Sergio Gonzalez. The intimate 25-seat restaurant features a wooden chef’s table with a front-row view of the kitchen. Dishes include Chilean hake with merquén [smoked chile powder]-flavored piquillo peppers, corvina with fennel confit, duck foie gras with spiced honey sauce and leek truffle cream, and chocolate lava cake with milk ice cream.
67. Matsalen at Grand Hôtel (Stockholm)
Swedish chef Mathais Dahlgren’s Michelin two-starred Matsalen serves internationally inspired Swedish cuisine in a bright, modern, minimalist setting appointed with burnished wood, velvet, and brass. The seasonal menu changes daily and includes two tasting menus: "The Natural Cuisine," which changes with the seasons, and "A Theme in Focus," which highlights something the kitchen finds interesting at the moment. The menus can be paired with wine, sake, beer, or other drinks. Typical Dahlgren specialties include salmon with whitefish roe, artichoke purée, and asparagus tips; an amuse bouche of Swedish squid, lobster, cucumber, salmon roe, tapioca, beurre noisette, yogurt, and coriander; and smoked pork belly with cabbage, consommé, and daikon. Matbaren, an adjacent bistro bar that serves medium-size dishes and wine by the glass, is worth trying if you can’t book a table at Matsalen.
66. Altitude at Shangri-La Hotel (Sydney)
At Altitude, diners are literally taken to new heights. Floor-to-ceiling windows line the 36th-floor restaurant, allowing guests sweeping aerial views of Sydney Harbor. Chef de cuisine Matthew McCool takes Australian ingredients and prepares them with European culinary techniques, serving dishes like scallops with black pudding, apple, wild cabbage, cauliflower, and porcini; Riverina lamb with Persian feta, blackberry, almond, and quinoa; and carrot cake with Earl Grey, orange, and cream cheese.
65. Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
From the moment guests are whisked in a gold-plated elevator from the upper lobby of the Burj Al Arab to the subterranean Al Mahara (Oyster Shell), the tone is set for a lavish, impressive lunch or dinner. Lit by the glow of floor-to-ceiling seawater aquariums that surround the circular 74-seat dining room, diners feast on signature dishes designed by executive chef Maxime Luvara. Popular appetizers include Obsiblue shrimp tartare from Caledonia, octopus carpaccio, and Alaskan king crab and foie gras ravioli. Mains include blue lobster from Brittany in orange and red wine sauce and lobster thermidor. For dessert, try the jellified hibiscus infusion with citrus salsa, yogurt, and grapefruit sorbet, and almond meringue. Guests can also opt to order from a caviar menu that includes the Burj Al Arab’s private label caviar.
64. Acquapazza at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita (Mauritius)
Acquapazza offers an open-air dining experience complete with a flame-lit entryway right on the Indian Ocean. Under executive chef Thierry Papillier, Acquapazza’s menu offers contemporary Italian-style cuisine, including such signature dishes as a local grilled seafood platter with crunchy marinated vegetables and parsley sauce, and Parma ham, porcini, and black truffle lasagna. Desserts include new interpretations of classic Italian staples, such as banana and nougat semifreddo with chile and honey foam, and traditional Sicilian cannoli with pistachio sauce.
63. Caesar's Restaurant at Hotel Caesar's (Tijuana, Mexico)
Don’t judge. While its location in a seedy section of Tijuana may seem off-putting to some, it was at Caesar’s Restaurant on Avenida Revolución that the Caesar salad was invented, by immigrant Italian chef Caesar Cardini, in the 1920s, and the place is still very much worth visiting today. The décor is old-school — dark wood paneling, ancient espresso machines at the bar, photos of a bygone era — but the restaurant (not the hotel) was taken over in 2012 by Javier Plascencia, the innovative chef-restaurateur who has worked to revitalize Tijuana's dining scene. He has brought first-rate Mexican and continental cuisine here — including you-know-what, tossed tableside.
62. Mount Burgess Dining Room at the Emerald Lake Lodge (British Columbia, Canada)
The Mount Burgess Dining Room, located inside the more than 100-year-old Emerald Lake Lodge, offers an award-winning wine list and a menu of Canadian Rocky Mountain cuisine prepared by chef Valerie Morrison. In particular, the place is known for its seasonal game dishes, such as free-range elk, and other menu highlights include the bison rib-eye with peppercorn game glaze, and herb-roasted potatoes. The restaurant also offers breathtaking views of Emerald Lake and the surrounding mountain range for diners to enjoy.
61. Moo Restaurant at Hotel Omm (Barcelona)
Moo Restaurant, which boasts a Michelin star, is under the direction of chef Felip Llufriu and sommelier Xavier Ayala, and overseen by the Roca brothers, whose acclaimed three-star El Celler de Can Roca in Girona holds first place in the San Pellegrino list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Diners here can choose from an array of menus expertly paired with wines, including a €100 tasting menu crafted by Joan Roca. Notable dishes may include carrot cream with foie gras and green cardamom, sea bass with truffle and artichokes, and lamb with sheep yogurt.
60. Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca at Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt (Buenos Aires)
As its name implies, Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca places wine at the forefront, greeting guests with an extensive collection of Argentinean and international vintages, including a definitive list of malbecs, part of which is displayed near the restaurant entrance. Chef Federico Ferrari emphasizes Argentinean fare, offering an extensive a la parilla menu with dishes prepared on the restaurant's wood-fired grill, including sharing plates of black Angus tenderloin, dry-aged sirloin, and Wagyu rib-eye, and assorted seafood for two, including octopus, tooth fish, Pacific salmon, shrimp, baby squid, and vegetables. The restaurant’s maître fromager (cheese master) assists diners in selecting the best artisanal regional cheeses and serves them with chutneys, dried fruits, and freshly baked bread in the cozy Cheese Room, which boasts a fireplace, or in the garden or on the restaurant’s terrace.
59. The Rib Room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
The recent refurbishing and reopening of Dubai’s best steakhouse is much welcomed by regulars and businessmen who frequent the lobby-level steakhouse. The à la carte menu offers savory selections of seafood and meats, including vegetarian and diabetic-friendly options. Try the Wagyu beef tartare with barbecue relish and toasted sourdough bread, milk-fed veal ribs with honey-mustard glaze, or Australian beef tomahawk steak with grilled asparagus, potato confit, and Roquefort sauce. Ribs and burgers are included in the extensive menu, but steaks remain the thing here, Diners can choose from 15 cuts of meat from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the U.S. Each steak comes with a side dish like seasoned Rib Room fries, tempura wasabi fries, and fried cassava.
58. La Loggia Restaurant at Villa San Michele (Florence, Italy)
Nestled in a 16th-century villa, La Loggia offers sumptuous Tuscan cuisine against a backdrop of stunning Florentine views. The airy arched terrace and a duo of dining rooms, Chiostro and Cenacolo, are historic settings for chef Attilio di Fabrizio’s regional cuisine. Hors d'oeuvres include Tyrrhenian Sea warm scampi tartar with tarragon and carpaccio of baby artichoke hearts; and classic Beluga caviar with whole-wheat blinis and sour cream. Among the pastas are Siena pasta, served with hand-cut wild duck ragù and Tuscan ewe’s cheese flakes. Mains include charcoal-grilled Tyrrhenian Sea baby lobsters and scampi, with green salad dressed with apple vinegar; and crispy duck breast in a Vinsanto wine and raisin sauce, served with apple soufflé. For dessert, try a selection of Italian cheeses and fruits to round out the offerings.
57. Le Beaulieu at Sofitel Metropole Hotel (Hanoi, Vietnam)
More than a century old, Le Beaulieu has attracted celebrities, diplomats, and war correspondents to its dining room, which is modeled after the brasseries of Paris with its marble and parquet floors, delicate chandeliers, ceiling fans, and large windows. Chef Olivier Piganiol serves French cooking with influences from the Vietnamese kitchen, with dishes like roasted lamb rack with Vietnamese coffee, vanilla pumpkin purée, sautéed greens, and vegetables; stewed sea bass with herring caviar, Da Lat artichoke purée, and squid ink jus; and coriander pineapple soup with ginger sherbet. Diners can select from an à la carte menu or several prix fixe menus.
56. Garden Court Restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel Sydney Wentworth (Sydney)
With a décor inspired by the restaurants of Paris, the Garden Court serves a menu of French-inspired bistro food executed by executive chef Boris Cuzon. Notable features of the restaurant include its location around the hotel's rooftop garden, an open kitchen, and a cheese buffet from which guests may sample an array of international offerings. The restaurant serves breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner. The seasonal menu currently offers dishes like Kangaroo carpaccio with Yarra Valley feta, baby chard, and white truffle oil; Cape Grim black Angus rib-eye on the bone with fondant potato and bordelaise sauce; and Grand Marnier soufflé with crème anglaise.
55. NoMI at the Park Hyatt (Chicago)
NoMI at the Park Hyatt in Chicago re-opened in June 2011, headed by Michelin-recognized executive chef Ryan LaRoche, former executive sous chef at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas. The menu concentrates on local, seasonal ingredients, like fresh fish with chickpea ragù, toasted garlic, and smoked tomato vinaigrette; and roasted guinea hen with bread pudding, tomato-cucumber salad, and natural jus. The restaurant also features a popular Ocean Bar, which serves a large seafood selection of oysters, shellfish, ceviches, and sushi. Separate dessert menus, created by pastry chef Meg Gaius, are offered for lunch and dinner, including items such as Manjari chocolate crème brûlée with wild cherry bark ice milk, pan-roasted sweet cherries, and mascarpone cake; and seasonal tarts served with Chantilly cream.
54. The Northall at Corinthia Hotel (London)
When Corinthia Hotel London opened in 2011, Michelin-star chef Garry Hollihead was appointed head chef for The Northall, a showcase for his modern but tradition-based British cuisine. The seasonal menu is comprised of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients (don't miss the roast grouse with bread sauce in season). There's also a three-course Theatre Menu, which might offer Monmouthshire cured ham with soft egg mayonnaise, pea risotto with Inne’s goats curd cheese and pea shoot tempura, and summer pudding with vanilla cream, as well as a glass of NV Laurent Perrier champagne. The Northall now also offers a three-course Sunday brunch menu with live jazz.
53. Le Comptoir at Hôtel Relais Saint Germain (Paris)
Located in the picturesque Relais Saint-Germain Hotel in the heart of the Left Bank, Le Comptoir is a tiny bistro featuring the cuisine of "bistronomy" pioneer Yves Camdeborde. His bargain-priced, no-choice, multicourse evening menu has made a dinner reservation here one of the hardest to get in town. (Recent dishes included grilled calamari with squid ink, bone marrow with pea purée and caviar, and beef cheeks with baby carrots, leeks, and macaroni.) At lunchtime, no reservations are taken and the large à la carte menu offers a wide range of traditional fare, from house-made pâtés and terrines to boudin and entrecôte.
52. Hakkasan at Fontainebleau Miami Beach (Miami Beach, Fla.)
The first U.S. outpost of the only Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant in the U.K., Hakkasan was designed using feng shui principles and is accented with lanterns, carved latticework screens, and silk pendant lampshades. Its million-dollar Chinese-style kitchen, complete with wok and steamer stations and an imported oven for cooking Peking duck, is headed by chef de cuisine Jian Heng Loo, who expertly prepares Cantonese dishes like tofu clay pot in black bean sauce; crispy Sichuan beef tenderloin, and stir-fried XO prawns. For a cocktail, try the signature "Hakka," blending Russian Standard Platinum vodka, sake, coconut, lychee juice, and passion fruit.
51. NoMad at The NoMad (New York City)
Chef Daniel Humm’s NoMad quickly became a popular New York dining destination after opening in early 2012, with several bars and dining rooms, each offering distinct décor and menus. Taking its inspiration from classic European courtyards, Atrium’s pyramid glass roof drenches the dining room with sunlight during the day and moonlight at night, while bespoke cocktails and snacks are served at the bar in the Library. The more intimate Parlour, which resembles a Victorian sitting room with its dark wood and velvet chairs trimmed with gold, has an open hearth from which fresh breads emerge. Humm is one of the best chefs in Manhattan, as he proves at his Michelin-three-star Eleven Madison Park. The menu items at NoMad are playful yet elegant, with dishes such as suckling pig with confit pears, cabbage, and mustard; poached egg with asparagus, brown butter, and quinoa; and lobster poached with zucchini, summer beans, and vegetable bisque. For a creatively presented dessert, try the milk and honey shortbread with brittle and ice cream, or poached strawberries with angel food cake, ricotta, and anise hyssop.
50. Les Trois Dômes at Sofitel Lyon (Lyon, France)
Located on the top floor of Sofitel Lyon, Les Trois Dômes offer mesmerizing panoramic views of Lyon and the Rhône, while serving diners with elegant French cuisine. Heading this Michelin-starred restaurant is chef Christian Lherm, who has created three different prix fixe menus featuring such creations as "three ways to savour the foie gras," where the luxurious ingredient comes in the shape of a lollipop with avocado and chocolate, coated with hazelnuts and cooked with salt from Guérande, and main courses like roasted fillet mignon of veal, grilled with comté, beans from Paimpol, and sweet peppers. For dessert, try a traditional baked Alaska flamed with Grand Marnier.
49. Level 3 at Aleenta Resort & Spa (Phuket, Thailand)
Located, appropriately enough, on the third level of the Aleenta resort, this restaurant boasts views of the Andaman Sea. Executive chef Alexander Bitterling creates a modern culinary experience with contemporary dishes from around the world. The playful menu includes items such as duck egg with truffle, mayo, sourdough, and chives; hamachi with yuzu, banana, tapioca, and cilantro; and duck "poblano" with sweet potato, mole, avocado, and shallot. For dessert, try the daiquiri solid with banana, milk gelée, and aged rum. In mid-November 2013, Level 3 will be relocated to the resort’s beach, reopening under the name The EDGE. Chef Bitterling is also said to be working on a new menu, which is set to be launched in conjunction with the relocation.
48. Saffron at Banyan Tree Seychelles (Seychelles)
As the signature restaurant at the Banyan Tree resort, Saffron serves modern cuisine. That means things like steamed red snapper with chile-lime sauce; wok-tossed lobster with cashew nuts, straw mushroom, and roasted chile sauce; and spicy green papaya salad with soft-shell crab, peanuts, and fresh chile. The restaurant's three over-water decks offer views of the lagoon and mangrove trees.
47. Celadon at The Sukhothai Bangkok (Bangkok)
Located on an open-air terrace overlooking a lotus pond, Celadon, under executive chef Antony Scholtmeyer and chef Chamlong Pewthaisong, serves diners such Thai delights as wok-fried crispy duck, with garlic, chiles, and hot basil leaves; spicy green mango salad with soft-shell crab; and sweet sticky rice with mango and baked yellow beans.
46. Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa (Franschhoek, South Africa)
Comprised of a cluster of one-table glass houses situated on a terrace amid lemon, apple, pear, and plum trees, Le Verger affords views of the Franschhoek Mountains and the surrounding winelands. Diners can choose from an à la carte menu featuring traditional South African dishes alongside a selection of pasta and pizza and local wines from the award-winning wine list. Sample dishes from the seasonal menu include local asparagus, ham tartare, and quail egg with mustard; slow-cooked duck with its own gel and ham, new potatoes, and onion purée; and potato and onion terrine with poached leeks, morels, and aïoli. For dessert, try the barrel-smoked chocolate fondant with ice cream and homemade Nutella, or the roasted pineapple with puffed rice and black pepper frozen yogurt.
45. Inverlochy Restaurant at Inverlochy Castle Hotel (Torlundy, Scotland)
Nestled among the glens and mountains of the West Highlands, the Michelin-one-starred Inverlochy Restaurant is housed in a 19th-century castle. The dining rooms are furnished with accoutrements given to the hotel by the King of Norway. Executive head chef Philip Carnegie creates seasonal tasting menus including items such as breast of Gressingham duck with a chicory tart, turnip tops, cherries, and foie gras; wild turbot with young vegetables and chive sauce; and cold Valhorna chocolate fondant with a lemon cream.
44. La Terrazza dell'Eden, Hotel Eden (Rome)
Located on the top floor of Rome’s Hotel Eden, La Terrazza dell'Eden offers a gourmet Italian menu and spectacular city views. Under the lead of executive chef Fabio Ciervo, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in 2012. Diners at La Terrazza can choose from chef Ciervo's carefully created seven-course tasting menu, or such à la carte options as risotto with cherries, rosé champagne, and pigeon de Bresse; roasted medallion of veal with braised veal shin, seasonal black truffle, and lemongrass broth; and a mix of fried and unfried wild fish of the day, with chickpeas, hummus soufflé, potatoes, and a selection of sauces. The dessert menu includes personal spins on classic Italian desserts such as tiramisù and rum baba.
43. Santceloni at Hotel Hesperia Madrid (Madrid)
Located in the basement of Hotel Hesperia, the spacious, elegantly appointed Michelin-two-starred Santceloni, was opened by the late Catalan chef Santi Santamaria, who tragically passed away in 2011. Though now under new ownership, the spirit and style Santamaria created is kept alive by chef Óscar Velasco. Velasco leads the kitchen in preparing an extensive seasonal tasting menu, including fish of the day with smoked onions, red wine, and beet; melon and basil salad with salt, black pepper, and cardamom; goat shoulder with carrots, green almonds, and horseradish; and chocolate and passion fruit soup with hazelnuts, olives, and curry.
42. Pavillon at Baur au Lac (Zurich)
Inside a splendid glass gazebo, replete with landscape views and chandeliers from the 1920s, Pavillon reopened in 2009 with head chef Laurent Eperon at the helm, serving a modern take on classic haute cuisine. In addition to an extensive 49-page wine list, the restaurant offers a menu of signature dishes, such as chef Eperon's "bar de ligne," a pan-fried fillet of wild sea bass flavored with butter, sweet lemon, and served with caramelized leeks and Venere rice; and grilled fillet of Angus beef with a spiced sauce, seasonal vegetables, and gnocchi.
41. Restaurant Le Gaïac at Hôtel Le Toiny (St. Barts)
Restaurant Le Gaïac serves innovative French cuisine with local Caribbean flavors on its open-air terrace overlooking Hôtel Le Toiny’s infinity pool. The restaurant sources 20 different vegetables from its own organic greenhouse. Chef Sylvain Révélant’s menu[e1] includes roasted veal chop with thyme, tartine of foie gras, and shiitake mushrooms; sea bass baked in a salt crust with lemon, served with vanilla celery purée; and beet ravioli with red berries, cottage cheese, and miso. On Tuesdays, the restaurant also offers a "Fish Market" dinner, when the catch of the day is grilled "à la plancha" in front of diners.
40. La Marea Restaurant at the Viceroy Riviera Maya (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
At La Marea, executive chef Jetzabel Rojas Barragán creates sophisticated Mexican cuisine, moving beyond tacos and enchiladas. A bouillabaisse is reconfigured with dried chile, local fish and seafood is transformed into a Mexican seafood stew, a thick pork chop is seasoned with poblano chile, tomatoes, and black huitlacoche mushrooms, and a gazpacho is flavored with hibiscus. Barragán shines at deconstructing international dishes and translating them into a Mexican context, as with her queso de bola, a risotto prepared with Yucatán cheese, sweet potatoes, and corn. "When you give time-honored traditions new life through innovation, the palate is simultaneously satisfied with the familiar and tantalized by the exotic," says Barragán. La Marea is situated in a palapa-roofed loft with rattan furniture that overlooks the Caribbean.
39. Signal Restaurant at Cape Grace (Cape Town, South Africa)
Named for a Capetonian tradition in which a cannon is fired from Signal Hill at noon daily to announce the time, Signal Restaurant is located along Cape Town’s waterfront and offers views of both Signal Hill and Table Mountain. The interior is adorned with hand-crafted chandeliers, aged yellowwood furniture, tables topped with crisp white linens, and a massive hand-painted wall mural of Table Bay. Under executive chef Malika van Reenen, Signal serves traditional local cuisine influenced by the many cultures that have shaped the Cape during its history, among them French Huguenots, British and Dutch settlers, and Asian traders. The menu changes seasonally, and tasting menus, including a vegetarian one, are available. Try the grilled springbok loin with cardamom-scented sweet potato, fine beans, caramelized orange jus, and crispy chile-salted kataifi; or truffle-celeriac soup with duck liver parfait, porcini powder, and toasted mushroom brioche.
38. Restaurant Terrazza Danieli at Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel (Venice, Italy)
Steps from Piazza San Marco, Restaurant Terrazza Danieli provides a prime view of the Grand Canal from its 120-seat rooftop terrace, which is open from May to October, and glass-enclosed dining room. Chef Gian Nicola Colucci, a native of Turin, where he worked at that city's celebrated Ristorante Del Cambio (he also spent time in the kitchen at Felidia Restaurant in New York City), creates a menu of Mediterranean classics and Venetian favorites. Dishes include scallops seared on warm zucchini with basil cream and salmon caviar; turbot fillet in potato crust with cherry tomato, olives, capers, and asparagus; and rack of lamb with aromatic herbs crust, crisp potatoes, and candied tomatoes.
37. Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt (Washington, D.C.)
In October of 2009, President Barack Obama and his wife celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary at this handsome restaurant, featuring modern American cuisine crafted by executive chef Sebastien Archambault, who has worked under Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy. The restaurant features an open kitchen, a wood-burning oven, and the capital's first commercial Molteni range, where chef Archambault and chef de cuisine John Melfi slow-roast three-quarters of their menu. Concentrating on local ingredients, their specialties include wood-oven-roasted bone marrow with garlic crust, crispy-skin salmon with smoked beet purée, roasted Muscovy duck breast with cherry compote, and apple pie.
36. The Tamarind Tree at Curtain Bluff (Antigua, West Indies)
Before landing at The Tamarind Tree, executive chef Christophe Blatz trained under Alain Ducasse and worked in a string of Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Europe, including Ducasse's Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo and the now-shuttered L'Aubergine in Munich. The Tamarind Tree consists of candlelit tables overlooking a terrace shrouded by a canopy of tamarind tree branches. Live music is booked nightly, and diners are encouraged to participate in moonlight dancing. The menu provides five courses of French-Caribbean fusion fare, including signature dishes like garlic-rosemary marinated grilled lamb chops with roasted garlic and goat cheese pancakes, and pan-fried Caribbean grouper served on a tropical fruit and tomato relish with papaya chips.
35. Jade on 36 at Pudong Shangri-La Hotel (Shanghai)
Designed by the award-winning Adam D. Tihany, Jade on 36, offers 36th-floor views of Shanghai’s iconic Bund and contemporary French dining created by chef de cuisine Franck Elie Laloum. Signature dishes include lightly seared and glazed yellowtail with peanuts, mint, and galangal with crunchy vegetables; and acidulated beetroot in varying textures, served with Arabica coffee sabayon and aged balsamic vinegar.
34. Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman (Grand Cayman)
After closing for a few months for renovations, Blue, the only AAA Five Diamond award-winning restaurant on the island of Grand Cayman, re-opened in December 2012 with a new look that Eric Ripert himself described as "contemporary, luxurious, comfortable, and sexy." Inspired by the menu at Ripert's renowned Le Bernardin in New York City, Blue serves such specialties as local conch ceviche with passion fruit, citrus, and avocado; seafood ravioli with celery root and soy butter sauce; and thinly pounded local tuna with foie gras.
33. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud at The Merrion Hotel (Dublin)
Ireland's only Michelin-two-star, Patrick Guilbaud serves contemporary French cuisine with Irish accents (and lots of first-rate Irish raw materials) in a bright, white vaulted dining room replete with cream-colored chairs and tables draped in fine white tablecloths, surrounded by walls hung with contemporary Irish art. The menus, prepared by executive chef Guillaume Lebrun, include four- and eight-course options, with such dishes as poached Annagassan blue lobster with tonka and lobster jus; slow-roasted Landes guinea fowl "satay" with garden vegetables, white asparagus, and bergamot; and Grand Marnier soufflé.
32. La Marocain at La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco)
Under the direction of chef Rachid Agouray, the Le Marocain kitchen cooks up authentic Moroccan cuisine, like b’stilla (pigeon pie), kebabs, tagines, and couscous. Set within a riad, a traditional Moroccan house, in the hotel's gardens, La Marocain is comprised of three floors, with a ground-floor terrace and a top-floor tea room and bar. Belly dancers perform at intervals, adding to the ambiance. As in all public areas of the hotel, dressy attire is required.
31. Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons (Hong Kong)
Executive chef Chan Yan Tak is the first Chinese chef in history to be awarded three Michelin stars, which he received for his culinary talent here. Lung King Heen serves the flavors of Cantonese cuisine in a space decorated with a hand-embroidered 7-foot-high silk and glass screen punctuated with Chinese antiques. Among the signature dishes are wok-fried prawns with dried chile and shallots, braised goose liver in abalone sauce and fish maw, and crispy taro dumplings with herb mayonnaise. A rotational dim sum menu of seasonal ingredients is also available at lunchtime and on weekends.
30. ONE Restaurant at The Hazelton Hotel (Toronto)
Top Chef Canada head judge Mark McEwan’s hip ONE restaurant is a feast for the eyes as much as the palate, with its blue-dyed cowhide wall, another wall made of crushed Indonesian sea shells, and a portrait of Penelope Cruz behind the bar. The seasonal menu showcases a fusion of French, Italian, and Asian cooking, with a wide range of menu options such as salmon vichyssoise with baby gem lettuce, white turnips, white asparagus, cinnamon cap mushrooms, and rye croutons; ricotta gnocchi with asparagus, wild mushrooms, zucchini, Swiss chard, crispy garlic, and brown butter; and Muscovy duck breast with cured foie gras, vanilla stewed cherries, basil, and pistachio cornbread. ONE also serves hearty breakfast options including smoothies and protein shakes, a weekend brunch, and a daily lunch menu.
29. Huang Ting at The Peninsula Hotel Beijing (Beijing)
Huang Ting offers gourmet Cantonese cuisine and an interior that recreates a traditional hutong home, decorated with a collection of Chinese antiques that date back to the Qing Dynasty. In addition to the main dining room, there are private dining areas, a tea room, and small dining alcoves shielded by ivory silk curtains. Signature dishes on the menu include sweet and spicy crispy beef, fried sesame tossed chicken, and steamed king crab with Chinese yellow wine sauce. The kitchen also serves the city’s signature dish of a whole Peking duck, which comes served on a trolley presented by the chef.
28. La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri (Rome)
La Pergola’s dining room, the only Michelin three-star restaurant in Rome, is a treasure trove for the senses, offering panoramic views of the Eternal City from surroundings stocked with Mediterranean antiques, along with a rare Aubusson tapestry, Sèvres porcelain, an 18th-century bronze candelabra, and a collection of hand-blown glass by Emile Gallé. La Pergola has a wine cellar with more than 53,000 bottles, a water menu featuring 29 choices, a cigar lounge, and a candlelit terrace. And then there's German-born executive chef Heinz Beck's cooking: Fagottelli La Pergola, the restaurant’s version of spaghetti carbonara, is small pasta pouches filled with cheese and ham dusted with fresh black pepper. Other notable creations include John Dory covered with a licorice crust, served with almond cream and lemon shrimps; soya-poached fillet of beef with garlic dandelion and wasabi purée; and duck foie gras with apple, almond, and amaretti.
27. Maialino at Gramercy Park Hotel (New York City)
Danny Meyer’s Maialino embodies the essence of an Italian — and specifically Roman — neighborhood trattoria. Besides the restaurant’s signature maialino al forno (roasted suckling pig), dishes to try include bresaola (air-cured beef eye round with nectarine and arugula), pappardelle (with milk-braised pork and Grana Padano), and scottadita (seared lamb chops and marinated market vegetables). To draw in a late-night crowd, Maialino has begun offering late-night special menus with burgers and snacks, starting at 10:30 p.m.
26. Jean Georges at the Trump International Hotel & Tower (New York City)
With three Michelin stars, several James Beard accolades, a four-star rating from The New York Times, and a AAA Five-Diamond restaurant award, Jean Georges obviously delivers nothing short of excellence. Led by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose other award-winning restaurants in New York City include Mercer Kitchen, Spice Market, and Perry Street, this restaurant overlooking Central Park features the flavors of French, American, and Southeast Asian cuisine. Among the notable dishes are Vongerichten's signature egg caviar, sweet pea soup with sourdough croutons and Parmesan, and steamed cod with potato-leek purée and clams with green chile.
25. Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Hotel (Nashville, Tenn.)
At the Capitol Grille (not to be confused with the Capital Grille steakhouse chain), executive chef Tyler Brown prepares seasonal, farm-to-table Southern cuisine. The menu includes appetizers like sticky pork belly with Sea Island purple cape beans and pepper jelly, mains like sorghum-cured chicken with bread-and-butter garden pickles, creamed squash, and peach jezebel, and desserts like Roast Inc. coffee semifreddo with chocolate shortbread, sweet milk panna cotta, and chocolate crumb.
24. Clio at The Eliot Hotel (Boston)
To celebrate Clio’s 15th anniversary, original designer Peter Niemitz redesigned the restaurant at the beginning of 2012. A new all-glass entrance welcomes diners to the updated, walnut-topped bar, which has doubled in size. The once-formal dining room has been relaxed with a taupe hue, banquettes in cream leather, and the addition of two settees in the center of the room. Ken Oringer’s cuisine revolves around a marriage of French, American, and Asian flavors with European techniques. Diners can choose from seven-, 10-, or 14-course tasting menus, with items such as roasted skate wing with calamansi "BBQ," kai-lan, and Thai herbs; foie gras laquée with milk and honey, piquillo jam, and pickled honshemejis; and roast duck with licorice, fennel, and pickled black radish.
23. The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel (Los Angeles)
The Bazaar is a gastronomic journey through chef Andrés' celebrated culinary styles. It is composed of four adjoining bars and eateries: Bar Centro, Rojo y Blanca, Patisserie, and SAAM. At Bar Centro, Andrés has crafted a menu of cutting-edge cocktails, including one of the bar's signature cocktails, "Smoke on the Water," a "smoking" cocktail made with blackberries and Scotch. Rojo y Blanca offers an array of Spanish-style tapas for sharing, and the Patisserie serves pastries and sweet treats like cookies, cakes, and candies. SAAM, the restaurant's exclusive chef's tasting room, gives guests the chance to feast on a multicourse avant-garde tasting menu.
22. Restaurant Le Meurice at Le Meurice Hotel (Paris)
Alain Ducasse took over the dining room here not long ago from Yannick Alléno, and has reopened the place with a new menu and a "down-played" concept created in collaboration with his new executive chef Christophe Saintagne. The focus is now more on pure, simple ingredients rather than over-decorating or transforming dishes, and vegetables are moving into a starring role. Menu descriptions are brief: Vegetables and Fruits; John Dory with turnips and fig; spicy lamb with artichokes; lobster. This simplicity doesn't come cheap. A seasonal collection menu features three dishes as well as dessert and cheese for about $520 per person. Refurbished by acclaimed designer Philippe Starck to reflect a 17th-century "grand siècle" décor, the restaurant's interior also draws inspiration from the Salon de la Paix at Versailles and showers diners in opulence. Think chandeliers, gilded glass doors, stunning views of the Tuileries Gardens, ornamented mirrors, and of course, Sunday-best attire.
21. CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental (Washington, D.C.)
CityZen continues to be the only AAA Five Diamond-rated restaurant in the city. James Beard Award-winning executive chef Eric Ziebold offers diners the option of a four- or six-course tasting menu. A six-course vegetarian tasting menu is also offered. Highlights from the seasonally changing chef's tasting menus include vitello tonnato with Oakleigh Ranch veal mousseline, haricot vert, hard-boiled egg, Spanish capers, and tuna glaçage; and "Iron Chef battle beef USA v. Japan," for which the diner can choose the winner between Old Bay-rubbed Virginia beef rib-eye served with okra and white corn pudding, or sirloin of Kuroge Kagoshima beef with marinated cucumber, wasabi, and sour cherry gastrique. For dessert, sample a sweet treat from executive pastry chef Anne Specker, including the candy apple soufflé with caramelized Earth N' Eats Empire apples, mulled cider broth, and calvados ice cream.
20. Scala at the David Citadel Hotel (Jerusalem)
Led by chef Oren Yerushalmi, Scala serves kosher Mediterranean cuisine prepared using French techniques. Appetizers include sirloin carpaccio with pan-seared artichoke, cornichon, roasted onion, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and chile, and goose liver with potato purée, cubes of green apple, and thyme with veal stock and dates. Among the main courses are lamb osso buco with Jerusalem artichoke purée, roasted Shushka pepper, and bulgur salad with eggplant and confit tomatoes, and pan-seared chicken breast with shallot, charred carrot, chestnuts, and celery root purée in brandy and apple cider.
19. Fountain Restaurant at Four Seasons (Philadelphia)
Serving French-influenced American cuisine, Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia has long been ranked as one of the city's top eating places. Contemporary glass artwork and warm furnishings give the place a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and the big windows offer a view of the striking bronzes of the Swann Memorial Fountain. Some notable items on the dinner menu include roasted Duroc pork tenderloin with caramelized peach tarte tatin, haricot vert, roasted cipollini onion, Tom Thumb lettuce, basil, and sweet and sour long pepper gastrique; creamy Maryland blue crab soup with Old Bay-spiced profiteroles, sweet New Jersey corn, and herb Chantilly; and a duo of rabbit with fresh trottole pasta "fricassee" with local summer broccoli florets, seared tomato, olive oil emulsion, and basil foam.
18. Norman's at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando (Orlando, Fla.)
Known as the "founding father of New World cuisine," chef Norman Van Aken serves his signature fusion of Latin, Caribbean, and Asian flavors using traditional European techniques. Guests can eat in the opulent dining room or on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace overlooking the hotel’s lake, Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course, and lush gardens. The menu changes according to availability of seasonal ingredients, with dishes such as yucca-stuffed crispy shrimp with sour orange mojo, habanero tartar salsa, and Nicaraguan slaw; fried green tomatoes with queso fresco and escabeche spiced mayo; maple-glazed Kurobuta pork belly with preserved artichoke, celeriac purée, and sherry reduction; and Havana banana split with rum-flamed bananas, macadamia nut brittle, and vanilla bean ice cream.
17. Proof on Main at 21C Museum Hotel (Louisville, Ky.)
Under chef Levon Vallace, who replaced Michael Paley as Proof on Main’s executive chef in summer of 2012, the restaurant has continued serving a menu of American Southern-style cooking that showcases a selection of fresh, sustainable ingredients from the Ohio River Valley. Notable dishes include the Proof bison burger with Tillamook Cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon, and Jezebel sauce and Marksbury Farm chicken with ricotta, mint, cherry tomatoes, and panzanella ($1 from each order of this dish is donated to the James Beard Foundation Taste America Education Drive). Another highlight of the place is the adjoining Proof Bar, which features a selection of more than 50 bourbons. Bartenders shake up signature cocktails like the For the Birds with pure Kentucky XO, Smith & Cross rum, mole bitters, and mint.
16. Michael Mina at Bellagio (Las Vegas)
Michelin-starred, James Beard Award-winning Mina's namesake restaurant specializes in seafood. Executive chef Benjamin Jenkins offers diners à la carte options like ahi tuna tartare with ancho chile, sesame oil, pine nuts, and mint; a "Three Seas" tasting of Japanese fish with bamboo rice and ginger vinaigrette; and whole roasted foie gras, carved tableside. Regular and vegetarian tasting menus are also available.
15. Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club (Palm Beach, Fla.)
Café Boulud is the sister restaurant to Boulud’s Manhattan restaurant of the same name. Executive chef Rick Mace joined the Boulud team at The Brazilian Court in 2013, after three years as an executive chef at RT Lodge in Maryville, Tenn. For the bargain price of $35 guests can enjoy his three-course menu featuring items such as house-made pâté forestière served with house-made pickles, artisanal mustard, and toasted sourdough; steak frites of roasted hanger steak, crispy pommes frites, watercress, blue cheese and tomato salad, and sauce bordelaise; and seasonal crème brûlée. Located steps from Worth Avenue, Café Boulud features a terrace, private dining rooms, and a cellar focusing on French and American wines.
14. Anne-Sophie Pic at Beau-Rivage Palace (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Here Anne-Sophie Pic extends the culinary tradition established by her father and grandfather at the family's celebrated Maison Pic (where she is also the chef) in Valence, in France's Drôme region. Her namesake restaurant in this 150-year-old lakeside grand hotel garnered two Michelin stars nine months after opening in 2009.
The light and airy 52-seatrestaurant has a view of the Alps and a terrace set within a 10-acre garden. Signature dishes include recipes from Pic’s father, like sea bass with Aquitane caviar, a dish he created in 1971. Other dishes featuring Pic’s light style of cooking and presentation include turbot with tomato vanilla broth, Martinique old rum, and tomato "marbles;" and desserts such as fig and lemon bergamot with fig ice cream, bergamot, and saffron.
13. Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons Restaurant at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons (Great Milton, U.K.)
Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire has maintained its two-Michelin-star status for 29 years under acclaimed chef Raymond Blanc's leadership. The restaurant offers a fusion of classic British and French cuisine, serving, for example, both English breakfasts and French buffet breakfasts. Guests can choose from an array of gourmet menus, including the menu découverte, a nine-course culinary experience that features dishes such as confit of Landais duck liver, served with ginger biscuit and citrus marmalade; goat’s cheese and goat’s curd with honeycomb, sorrel, hazelnuts, and Kalamata olives; and rack of Cornish lamb with sweetbread, peas, bacon, and sweet garlic purée. When guests are finished eating, they can explore the verdant hotel grounds, which contain a Japanese tea garden, a wild flower meadow, an old apple orchard, and the U.K.'s first ever wild mushroom valley. In addition to fine dining, chef Blanc also runs a cooking school at Le Manoir, where students can take courses in artisan bread-making, fish and shellfish, patisserie, and chocolate.
12. Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V (Paris)
Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V combines refined French cuisine, a wine cellar housing 50,000 bottles, and an interior sumptuously appointed with Louis XIV decadence. Luxury items on display in the dining room's décor include two Louis XIV cupboards, golden Louis XVI medallion chairs, sumptuous velvet curtains, and enormous Regency mirrors. Eric Briffard, executive chef at Le Cinq, has been awarded two Michelin stars for his cooking, which can be experienced through the restaurant's à la carte menu or the tasting menu. Notable dishes include spider crab from Brittany with gold caviar, fennel cream, and lime crabcake; milk-fed veal sweetbread, browned and served with licorice, steamed chanterelles, apricot, and Corsican ham shavings; and a selection of regional cheeses.
11. Le Louis XV at Hôtel de Paris (Monte Carlo)
When Alain Ducasse opened Le Louis XV, Prince Rainier III of Monaco set him a challenge: turn the restaurant into the first in the principality to be awarded three Michelin stars, and do it within four years. Ducasse succeeded after only three. This opulent Versailles-inspired dining room, replete with frescos, chandeliers, and velvet accents, celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. When dining here one can choose between two dinner menus — "Les Jardins de Provence," an "evening menu" for €230, or the menu "Pour les Gourmets," for €310. Some notable dishes include Mediterranean sea bass studded with olives, tender fennel, and spring onions; chestnut broth with game bird stock, simmered garnish, and ewe’s milk cheese; and a selection of "perfectly matured" cheeses.
10. Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)
The Man Wah menu of gourmet Cantonese fare, prepared by executive chef Man-Sing Lee, helped the restaurant earn its first Michelin star in 2012. Diners here can choose a set tasting menu or select from the à la carte menu. Some of the restaurant's award-winning signature dishes include steamed fillet of spotted grouper with crispy ginger, crabmeat, and egg white sauce, and wok-fried fillet of sole with black bean sauce. At lunchtime, diners can also select items from the extensive dim sum menu.
9. Epicure at Le Bristol (Paris)
At the three Michelin-star Epicure, chef Eric Fréchon lives up to his reputation as one of the best chefs in town with dishes like large langoustines and caviar, served cold, with fresh celeriac and Japanese lemon; blue lobster roasted with rosemary, turnip, and cooked with orange juice; duck breast from Challans, roasted with spices, crushed black figs, and fresh almonds; and black figs from Provence, poached in a spicy strawberry juice and served with ice cream and speculoos biscuits. In wintertime, the restaurant occupies a remodeled interior dining room lit by decadent gold chandeliers; in warmer weather, the action shifts to a salon enclosed with windows giving onto the hotel's French garden.
8. Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGM Grand (Las Vegas)
The arrival of the legendary French chef Joël Robuchon on the Las Vegas Strip raised the overall quality of what was already a terrific dining scene. The intimate 60-seat restaurant, graced with three Michelin stars back when Michelin briefly published a Las Vegas edition, offers knockout (and pricey) tasting menus, including a 16-course Dégustation for $435 — all prepared by executive chef Claude Le Tohic and pastry chef Salvatore Martone. The Dégustation menu begins with La Cerise, a cherry gazpacho with pistachios and ricotta ice cream, and continues with other fanciful courses such as La Saint-Jacques (pan-seared sea scallop in green curry and fresh coriander), L’Oursin (uni served atop a blend of mashed potatoes, fennel, and anise), and Le Pop-Fraise (fresh strawberries and strawberry mousse with rosé champagne cream and soursop sorbet). Some critics consider this the best French restaurant in America.
7. Livingstone Room at Victoria Falls Hotel (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe)
The Livingstone Room is a nod to Zimbabwe’s colonial days, with a strictly enforced dress code. With majestic views of Victoria Falls from the terrace, guests can enjoy formal British afternoon tea complete with scones, sandwiches, cakes, and tea. The 120-seat restaurant also has à la carte and seven-course tasting menus; the latter includes Loch Fyne seared scallops with pea purée, herb salad, beet jelly, and rocket pesto; a selection of Mozambican and South African cheeses served with raisins, chutney, celery, and fruit bread; and avocado ice cream with chocolate sauce and pistachios.
6. Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel (Carmel, Calif.)
The award-winning restaurant Aubergine was voted fifth best in its area by Zagat in 2011, and executive chef Justin Cogley was honored as a 2013 "Best New Chef" by Food & Wine magazine. Cogley, an expert at "marine foraging," combs through Monterey Bay, choosing his own sea lettuces, sea beans, and various types of seaweeds to include in his dishes, and has brought a fresh, locally oriented menu to Aubergine. The nightly changing ultra-seasonal menu gives the diners an option of a four-course meal or the chef's tasting menu, featuring items such as porcini with sea lettuce and emulsion of oyster; king salmon, coastal herbs, and pineapple weed; and smoked milk chocolate with corn and raspberries. Cogley has also created the "Terroir" dinner series, where he creates a special menu inspired by a distinct local cuisine, geography, or milieu. Future dinners will be inspired by the themes of "Gastro Pub" and "The Hunting Camp."
5. Emiliano Restaurant at Emiliano (São Paolo)
Located in a boutique hotel in the fashionable Paulista Gardens district, Emiliano Restaurant serves contemporary cuisine crafted by new executive chef Stefano Impera, who took over after long-time chef José Barattino left the restaurant in 2013. Impera has held on to Emiliano’s concept of locally sourced, seasonal cuisine, and added a touch of his modern Italian cooking style. In addition to breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, Emiliano Restaurant has a five-course tasting menu that presents diners with dishes like codfish confit with tomato preserves and shallots and rack of goat with pistachio crust and eggplant Parmesan. Desserts created by pastry chef Arnor Porto include chocolate "contrast" with salted caramel and tonka bean ice cream, and raspberry macaroon with pink pepper and 30-year-old balsamic vinegar.
4. Felix at The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck, Felix at The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong features a menu of modern European cuisine. Located on the rooftop of the hotel, it offers sweeping views of the city's skyline. The menus are displayed on iPads, brought personally for each guest, offering signature dishes such as marinated Tasmanian salmon with guacamole, and seasonal dishes such as medium-poached snapper slices with foie gras confit, simmered winter melon, and chile bean dressing. Besides the dining room, Felix includes a wine bar, an American bar, and the Crazy Box, the hotel's discothèque.
3. Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
With two Michelin stars, Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace is the sister restaurant to the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris and chef Savoy's only dining spot in the United States. The menu, executed by chef Mathieu Chartron, is designed to match the menu of the original restaurant in Paris, and includes many classic Savoy dishes, such as artichoke and black truffle soup garnished with toasted mushroom brioche and truffle butter, as well as the classic "fondant au chocolat" for dessert. Designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who fashioned the Parisian Restaurant Guy Savoy, the restaurant's interior features a fireplace, an enclosed patio, a champagne and wine bar, and sweeping views of the hotel's Roman plaza and the Las Vegas Strip.
2. El Motel Restaurant at Hotel Emporda (Figueres, Spain)
El Motel, under the direction of chef Jaume Subirós, has continued in the footsteps of Josep Mercader, who founded the place — and contemporary Catalan cooking — in 1961, continuing to prepare the inventive, unfailingly delicious regional cuisine that has characterized the place for more than 50 years. A tasting menu, market menu, and à la carte options are all available, with dishes such as local shrimp baked in sea salt, bomba rice gratinéed with salt cod and garlic mousseline, and boneless pigs' feet with cèpes. Simple seasonal specialties like small squid sautéed with garlic and parsley and roasted ous de reig (Amanita caeserea) mushrooms are not to be missed.
1. é by José Andrés at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
é by José Andrés, from the multi-award-winning chef, is an exclusive eight-seat bar tucked away within chef Andrés' Jaleo restaurant in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. If they're lucky enough to snag a reservation, guests sit around a small kitchen table set against a dramatic décor that includes a red glass wall and red velvet curtain. In an interactive dining experience, a team of chefs prepares a "secret" multicourse tasting menu for guests (one which is basically impossible to find on any online reservation pages, or even é’s own, cryptic webpage). Some of the Spanish-influenced signature dishes reportedly include secreto of Ibérico pork with squid and Torta Pascualete — a type of Spanish cheese — with cotton candy.