Elite Traveler, together with Grey Goose, returned in 2017 to name the best 100 restaurants in the world. This year the podium sees a new champion: Azurmendi, in the Basque Region.
According to the sixth annual Elite Traveler survey, based on 6,000 paying customers, Azurmendi has been nominated the best restaurant in the world; the Spanish restaurant has surpassed American Alinea of Grant Achaz, winner in the previous 5 years.
The list is undoubtedly mastered by the United States, recognised as the highest performing country; in fact, their presence occupies a quarter of the total list, with 24 restaurants. Secondly comes France, with 18 restaurants, including nine new entries. The bronze medal goes to the UK, which have the highest new entry, The Fat Duck, in the tenth place.
2017 Lifetime Achievement Award has been won by Joel Robuchon, with his restaurants placed at the sixth and ninety-sixth positions, respectively Robuchon au Dôme in China and Joel Robuchon Las Vegas.
The Rising Star Award has been won by chef Dominique Crenn, head woman of the Atelier Crenn restaurant in San Francisco, placed at number seventy-eight.
Lastly, Italian Massimo Bottura gets the recognition of chef of the year; his Osteria Francescana in Modena also gets the seventh position in the list.
And now some treats for you: here is a guide to the 15 best restaurants in the world. per se
#1 AZURMENDI, Basque Region, Spain
Head Chef: Eneko Atxa
In the northern part of Spain there is an autonomous community known as the Basque Region. Here, between culture and nature, perched on a hill surrounded by indigenous vineyards, Azurmendi recounts local gastronomic history through a magnificent architectural design of glass, wood and ecological steel.
The gourmet tour starts with the picnic appetisers served in the interior garden, while guests get in contact with the eco-sustainable philosophy of the place. Realised through the use of raw materials that arise, the surroundings are indeed the result of a relationships with the best growers and suppliers in the area.
The gastronomic tour immerses the guests in the world of Eneko Atxa, head chef at the restaurant. After the starters in the garden, the tour continues in the kitchen, where the organisation is explained among the greetings to the customers. From here, you are guided into the greenhouse, with seasoned products such as fermented apple juice and the cultivation of plants at risk of extinction.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD 2017
Finally, it’s time for the real feast. Needless to say, the culinary techniques of the dishes are avant-garde. The menu includes two variants, Erroak (the roots), referred to the restaurant’s historic dishes, and Adarrak (the branches), made with the latest innovative creations of the chef.
What is presented to the customer is hence a triumph of colours, flavours and perfumes.
It’s fair to say that Azurmendi is considered a local institution rather than a restaurant; already in 2014 it had received a prize for the effort towards sustainability, thanks to the use of photovoltaic panels, geothermal system for production of electricity and systems for the recycling of waste and rainwater.
Address: Legina Auz., s/n, 48195 Larrabetzu, Bizkaia, Spain per se
Phone: +34 94 455 8866 per se
https://www.azurmendi.biz/ per se
#2 Alinea, Chicago, USA
Head chef: Grant Achatz
In January 2017 Alinea has been rebuilt through a classic-style architecture with modern touches and materials. The goal was to provide the customer with an even more intriguing experience.
Passion, innovation and sophistication characterise a dinner in this place. Ranked first for five consecutive years on the list drawn up by Elite Traveler, Alinea maintains excellence by offering three distinct experiences. The first one is private, lived at the kitchen table, which guarantees an intimate experience with the exception of the presence of chefs and servers. It’s the highest expression of Alinea’s gourmet offer.
Secondly comes dining in the gallery on the first floor, that seats up to 16 people. The menu here is multi-sensorial, from 16 to 18 course, and it offers refined cuisine with experimental dishes.
Lastly, the third experience is more accessible, consisting of 12 courses tasted in the three salons on the second floor.
Address: 1723 North Halsted, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA per se
Phone: +1 312 867 0110 per se
http://website.alinearestaurant.com/ per se
#3 Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
Head chef: Daniel Humm
To enjoy one of the most authentic French contemporary cuisines you must visit Daniel Humm’s restaurant in New York.
Until June 9th, the chef will propose some of the best dishes that have made the history of this renowned venue. Then the dining rooms will undergo a period of renewal, to make sure that the spacious art deco halls will look as marvellous as ever.
Already there has been a gradual revolution at 11 Madison Avenue; in fact, the chef abandoned the laborious 12-course menu that sometimes lasted 4 hours; instead, he prefers to give different gourmet choices, such as duck, foie gras and lobster.
Speaking of which, some of the customers claim that Daniel Humm’s standout dish is the roasted duck served with Sichuan pepper grain crust and accompanied by sweet cabbage, foie gras and apples.
Seeing is believing!
Address: 11 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010, USA per se
Phone: +1 212-889-0905 per se
elevenmadisonpark.com per se
#4 Restaurant De L’Hôtel De Ville, Crissier, Switzerland
Head chef: Franck Giovannini
Chef Giovannini, who became the head chef after the premature demise of Benoît Violier in 2015, manages more than twenty people in a highly qualified kitchen; and now he is also responsible for maintaining the culinary excellence of this prestigious classical restaurant. And we may say that he does it with great success.
Giovannini is in fact famous for his refined dishes, such as foie gras served with Hermitage wine sauce and citrus chutney. The plates are real harmonic compositions, to be enjoyed in a chic environment with light tones.
Address: 1, Rue d’Yverdon, CH-1023 Crissier, Switzerland
Phone: +41 21 634 05 05 per se
www.restaurantcrissier.com per se
#5 Per Se, New York, USA
Head chef: Thomas Keller
At Per Se you can taste one of the highest interpretations of American and French cuisine. The restaurant, headed by Thomas Keller, owner and chef, along with the cook Eli Kaimeh, offers two menus with nine and five courses within which no ingredient is ever repeated during the meal.
The best products, meticulous culinary details, classic French technology, a sober luxury ambience with a stunning view of Central Park, along with a list of renowned wines that boast more than 2,000 bottles, help to make the atmosphere at Per Se truly unique, where the tasting becomes an emotional three-star Michelin experience.
Address: Ten Columbus Circle (at 60th Street), 4th Floor, Manhattan, New York, USA
Phone: +1 212-823-9335 per se
#6 Robuchon au Dôme, Macao, Cina
Head chef: Julien Tongourian
Formerly called Robuchon a Galera, and renamed Robuchon au Dôme afterwards, the three-star Michelin restaurant is located in the dome of the Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau’s tallest building, from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city.
The interior includes a sumptuous crystal chandelier in the center of the glass ceiling, while the rich menu is made up of excellent French delicacies, including caviar, truffles and foie gras. Every dish is being minutely created by chef Julien Tongourian.
We suggest to try the desserts, made of irresistible whipped cream, cotton candy and inviting chocolate.
Address: Avenida de Lisboa, Macau, China
Phone: (853) 8803 7878 per se
www.grandlisboahotel.com per se
#7 Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
Head chef: Massimo Bottura
“… It means that my team and I have been able to communicate our mission and share our passions with our guests and the general public.”
So spoke Massimo Bottura after receiving the award as best chef of the year. And Osteria Francescana is his Italian jewel.
A à la carte menu and two tasting menus of respectively nine and twelve courses experiment with traditional and contemporary cuisine. The core of the Osteria are local products such as parmesan, balsamic vinegar, tortellini and mortadella, even if renewed according to the chef’s vision.
The dishes take inspiration from art and music, thus resulting in a reinterpretation of the chef’s feelings. Sometimes the name of the dishes is even playful. An example is “Ops! I dropped the lemon tart“, which is actually presented as “a crumbled cake”.
Guests are welcomed by contemporary artworks, soft lighting, relaxed music and minimalist décor, to feel completely immersed into Bottura’s world.
Address: Via Stella 22, Modena, Italy
Phone: +39 059 223 912 per se
www.osteriafrancescana.it per se
#8 The Restaurant at Meadowood, California, USA
Head chef: Christopher Kostow
This romantic Napa Valley restaurant is a tribute to the American cuisine of the regional area. Its goal is to dialogue with craftsmen and farmers of this beautiful countryside village, so to create a shared vision and homage to guests through the sanctity of food.
Indeed, the food, the seasonal products and the raw materials are carefully cared for and cooked; the result is a tale about the magic of this place.
Address: 900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena, California 94574, USA
Phone: +1 (707) 967-1205 per se
www.therestaurantatmeadowood.com per se
#9 Le Bernardin, New York, USA
Head Chef: Eric Ripert
The speciality of this restaurant is a fresh and simple cuisine; this has allowed Eric Ripert to earn numerous awards over the years. Four stars from The New York Times, just three months after its opening; three Michelin stars, seven James Beard awards, the “food Oscars“, and many more.
Traditionally recognised as one of the finest fish restaurants in the world, the menu proposals are divided into “almost raw“, “just touched” and “slightly cooked“. Here are included refined dishes of salmon, oysters, lobsters, tuna and the best fish that can be found on the market.
Address: 155 W 51st Street, New York 10019, USA
Phone: +212 554 1515 per se
www.le-bernardin.com per se
#10 The Fat Duck, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Head chef: Jonny Lake
If you want an adventurous culinary experience, fly to the restaurant that has earned the highest ranking position as a new entry. As soon as you sit at one of Jonny Lake‘s tables, you’ll feel like travelling. His menu is full of surprises, mystery and nostalgia for distant memories.
The chef tickles all the senses through a 14 courses menu; each dish is characterised by unexpected elements that relate to the curious memories of restaurant owner Heston Blumenthal, the creator of this interesting way of interpreting British gastronomy.
Address: High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ
Phone: +44 (0)1628 580 333 per se
www.thefatduck.co.uk per se
#11 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
Head chef: Joan Roca
In a suburb of Girona called Taialá, three children fell in love with gastronomy between the pots, plates and pans of the parents’ kitchen. Once grown, they opened their own restaurant in that same location. This is El Celler de Can Roca.
Since 1986, the Roca brothers have been offering, through their love for food and family, a traditional Catalan cuisine enriched by experimentation. This has enabled them to win three Michelin stars over the years.
The lamb with bread and tomato is considered the emblem of Joan Roca‘s, head chef of the restaurant, a dish that dates back to childhood memories but is revisited with creativity by inserting bread and tomato inside the lamb. Joan always combines art with technique, experimenting new solutions, including a cooking at a controlled temperature.
If Joan is a technician of culinary innovation, his brother Josep is the clever sommelier who supervises a choice of 60,000 bottles; least but not last, Jordi is the pastry chef who has helped to contaminate the fancy menu with truffle biscuits and caramelised olives.
Address: Calle Can Sunyer, 48, 17007 Girona, Spain
Phone: +34 972 222 157 per se
cellercanroca.com/index.htm per se
#12 D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
Head chef: Alex Atala
Thee creations of chef Alex Atala, prominent personality of the D.O.M in Sao Paulo, are a tribute to Brazil, local nature and gastronomy.
D.O.M was born to raise awareness on the flavours of Brazil and on what this beautiful Amazon region could offer. That’s why açaí, jambu and tucupi are inserted with extreme delicacy in a menu that combines a classic base with current Brazilian cooking techniques.
Atala values the product, focuses on small producers and local communities and transfers his research and commitment to his culinary art by promoting the values of the region in the menu and during events and conferences. In addition of being a charming chef, Atala is also a perfect citizen, promoting sustainable cuisine in its broadest sense.
Address: 549 Rua Barão de Capanema, Jardins São Paulo, Brazil
Phone: +55 (11) 3088 0761 per se
www.domrestaurante.com.br per se
#13 Restaurant Guy Savoy, Paris, France
Head Chef: Guy Savoy
Guy Savoy presents an elegant atmosphere with several rooms to ensure the comfort of the guests. Two examples are the Belles Bacchantes dining room, with high ceilings and an important chandelier, and the Bibliothèque, for those who love the intimacy of a meal, tasting a high-quality French gastronomy in total privacy.
The Chef awaits the guests with delicious gourmet delicacies, such as artichoke soup with black truffles chips accompanied by a croissant covered with a truffle butter, or even the mille-feuille with vanilla from Taha’a.
Address: Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006, Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 43 80 40 61 per se
www.guysavoy.com per se
#14 Daniel, New York, USA
Head Chef: Daniel Boulud
Born in Lyon, Daniel Boulud has been an acclaimed and renowned chef in New York for over 20 years. He runs his namesake Michelin-starred restaurant at the eastern end of Manhattan.
The atmosphere at Daniel is elegant, the cuisine is French and the products are seasonal, always.
A vegetarian offer distinguishes the menu, together with sumptuous desserts along with an international wine list and creative cocktails that can be enjoyed in the cozy Bar & Lounge until late at night. The restaurant is also a well-known destination for weddings.
Address: 60 East 65th Street at Park Avenue, Upper East Side, New York 10065, USA
Phone: +1 212 288 0033 per se
danielnyc.com per se
#15 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, United Kingdom
Head Chef: Ashley Palmer-Watts
Inspired by British historical gastronomy, chef and owner Blumenthal and head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts created a menu where past and present are mixed with wisdom. The modern dinner derives from a research of 14th-century cookbooks, like those of the chefs of King Richard II, and by working with food historians and the British Library, to resuscitate forgotten recipes by adding a touch which only Blumenthal is capable of. In fact, the chef is known as a culinary magician. In his menus, there are special meats that recall those of the banquets in the 12th and 15th centuries.
The interior architecture of the restaurant is contemporary and refined, with traditional inserts such as decorations on ivory walls; the dining room has glass walls that offer a view of the kitchen on one side, while it faces Hyde Park on the other.
Address: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, UK
Phone: +44 (0)20 7235 2000 per se
www.dinnerbyheston.com per se