A bit surreal to actually make it here. Perfect in its simplicity and one of my favorite days of 2019.
Tag Archives: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
6/4/19 – Lima – Central
It now seems like a lifetime ago!
6/3/19 – Lima – La Mar and Maido
La Mar is one of those places that I could happily eat at every day. A perfect choice for the first meal when arriving in Lima.
Mashua, chicken liver, duck heart, chalaca
ahi negro chawanmushi
poda cebiche – sabandija cream, catch of the day, shallots, ahi limo, chulpi corn, nikkei leche de tigre sudado – catch of the day, sudado reduction, seaweed cuy-san – cauliflower cream, garlic and rocoto cream, torikara sauce, Pachacamac greens Nigiris gindara misoyaki – cod marinated in miso, crispy Bahuaja nuts, apple gel, Procon mushrooms powder Cabrito dumpling – baby lamb, beans foam, creole sauce with loche, northern style cilantro and chichi de hora sauce beef rostra rib 50 hours, native potato cream, crispy rice, cushuro
sea urchin rice – chiclayo rice, attic sea urchins, avocado cream, wan yi, baby corn theobroma cacao – granadilla with mandarin sorbet, mucilage foam, cacao nibs, lucuma ice cream, raspberries Theobroma bicolor – smoked ice cream made from macambo seeds with shoe, crunchy nibs, sugar coated macambo, camu camu, goldenberry and mucilage
2/16/19 – Bogota – Leo
I am still a bit conflicted about Leo. This is a very interesting and educational experience and I would never otherwise have a chance to experience most of these ingredients and the beverages that were a part of the pairing. There was a table next to me that did not want to even try some of the more exotic ingredients and they missed out. However I didn’t find any of these dishes to be delicious and there was not one that I would choose to have again. And there was more than one that I really struggled with which rarely had happened to me. Perhaps go for the experience because it is one that you won’t otherwise have.
11/21/18 – Vienna – Steiereck
While I am sure that the setting is more beautiful during the day, darkness did nothing to diminish this fantastic experience. It certainly should be much higher on the World’s 50 Best list. And for anybody who loves a cart, the bread, cheese and tea carts are not to be missed.
Oslo – 6/30/18 – Maaemo
Perhaps the most perfect lunch I have ever had. A gorgeous day and an amazing table with a view of the kitchen. The brioche was one of my favorite dishes of the year and the smoked reindeer heart was a close runner up. While Oslo wasn’t my favorite city, I will have to go back.
chilled cherry blossom tea
potato flatbread, smoked mountain trout and fermented turnip
brioche with bone marrow and sage
oysters and aged caviar with salt from the west coast, warm sauce of mussels and dill
smoked mackerel from the Oslo fjord, dried and fresh flowers
fresh scallop from Steigen in two servings, raw with white currant and black currant leaf, cooked in its shell with celeriac and gooseberries
gently steamed king crab claw, smoked scallop roe and lemon verbena
wild turbot poached in an emulsion made from turbot bones, sorrel and mushroom dashi
“Rommegrot” – a porridge of very sour cream, smoked reindeer heart and salted butter with plum vinegar
aged spring lamb with summer salad from Bergsmyrene Farm, garlic and plums from last year
frozen blue cheese with pickled black trumpet mushroom
Norwegian strawberries and cream, fresh roses, elderflower and rhubarb root
brown butter ice cream molasses and roasted hazelnuts
warm Norwegian waffles made with beef fat and koji grains, brown cheese, preserved berries and whipped romme
Birregurra, AU – 3/15/18 – Brae
In this case I think the pictures speak for themselves. Beyond gorgeous. Stunning drive from Melbourne, fabulous guest suites, and a fantastic dinner.
bonito cured overnight with kelp and mountain pepper
prawn, nasturtium and finger lime
Brae farm vegetables and grilled green tomato juice
herb toast and sea urchin
eggplant and salt grass lamb washed with sweet onion juice, fragrant and acidic plants
smoked eel doughnut
barbecued beetroot seasoned with Brae farm honey and rainbow trout roe
hapuku, cucumber and fermented cabbage, pressed chives and yoghurt whey
crayfish and shiitake with Brae farm egg yolk, meat broth and seaweeds
Sommerlad chicken wood roasted on the bone, zucchini ‘nose to tail’
strawberry gum ice cream and frozen passionfruit
parsnip and apple
early autumn fruit from Brae farm and surrounding orchards
baked meringue and macadamia with ridiculously good cream
rhubarb and pistachio, blood and preserved blackberry
Melbourne – 3/14/18 – Attica
Love love love. Including the ants, grub type worms and possum.
Aged Santa Claus Melon
Pearl Cooked in Paperbark
Our Vegemite, Our Salada
An Imperfect History of Ripponlea
Green Ant Pav
All Parts of the Scampi
Hand Picked Crab and Sour Damper
Red Kangaroo with Truganini
Pumpkin, Offal and Sour Beer
Grilled Marron with Desert Lime
Pests of the Neighborhood
Camel Milk Ice
Whipped Emu Egg
Mexico City – 4/21/17 – Nico’s, Limantour, and Quintonil
Mexico City’s traffic is so terrible that we spent most of the day going to and from lunch but it was completely worth it for the guacamole cart alone. I think the Eater article calling this the best restaurant in Mexico city was a bit too much, but its still an must-do. No dish descriptions because we muddled through ordering from an only spanish menu.
For pre-dinner cocktails we headed to Limantour’s Polanco location which was close to dinner. Great drinks and space and I think deserving of its place on World’s 50 Best.
How Quintonil is even in the World’s 100 Best, let alone currently at number 22 is one of the many reasons the list is complete bs. From the moment we sat down service was confused and just poor as if the right hand did not know what the left was doing. And despite having inquired ahead of time, they seemed perplexed that we had brought some wine and almost did not know what to do with it. I made it through the escaroles but when we got to the peas in a chia and tomato broth dish, which was pretty terrible, I had wished so much that we had booked Pujol for a second night in a row.
cactus ceviche with beetroot and orange
shrimp “flauta” with a squash blossom “aguachile”
seafood “vuelve a la vida” ear shell clam, beef tongue with noisette spices
charred avocado tartare with escaroles and mexican herb chips
peas in a chia and clarified tomato broth and smoked lard
trout “puerto nuevo” style, with fermented cabbage and sea weed mojo
dry aged duck breast with bitter almond and habanero puree, with hibiscus and figs
six and twelve month aged Ramonetti cheese, mandarin, honey and pumpkin seed
frozen mousse of roasted banana, cateja and basil
Mexico City – 4/20/17 – Contramar, Hanky Panky and Pujol
This was an absolutely perfect first stop upon arriving in Mexico City. We muddled through ordering and ended up with a perfect lunch.
I do love a hidden bar. I won’t share many details to respect their wishes to keep the place secret. But the entrance was indeed challenging to find and the drinks great.
As this was my first trip to Mexico City I did not visit the old Pujol so I can’t really compare. But I absolutely loved everything about the design of the new one. And I loved everything about this dinner which has easily been one of the highlights of my year thus far. Some of these were not necessarily super intricate dishes but they were delicious. Fantastic octopus and maybe the best cauliflower dish I have ever had. And why isn’t steak always served with a side of guacamole and a hot pepper? The mole was all that it was advertised to be although admittedly I decided that mole isn’t my favorite thing in the world (but if it was this is certainly the best out there).
octopus, habanero ink, ayocote, veracruzana sauce
cauliflower, almond salsa mocha, chile de árbol
wagyu, fennel seeds, herb guacamole
mole madre 1257 days, mole nuevo
Chicago – 1/28/17 – Alinea Kitchen Table
There are a multitude of reasons that Alinea continues to be my favorite restaurant. As many times as I have been there I am always completely surprised by something new. And I always think back to my first visit quite a long time ago which was the first time I dined alone at a ‘nice’ restaurant. I was so nervous that my hand shook until I had finished my initial glass of champagne. But the experience was perhaps the beginning of my career as a ‘professional’ in conquering a very long tasting menu and I have never felt uncomfortable dining alone since.
I am not sure that I will be able to return to the dining room after this dinner at the kitchen table. I saw the space on my last visit but seeing it and sitting in it are quite different. Just completely fantastic especially with a great group of friends. I very much enjoyed again the dishes that I had previously – especially the scallop, corn, butter that I want several bowls of. While it is not a substitute for black truffle explosion, the gruyere/black truffle/pumpernickel was delicious and filled the void. And perhaps my favorite of the night was the very understated parmesan/pea/jamon iberico. Until next time….
osetra, king crab, condiments
quince, parmesan, date
scallop, corn, butter
cider, orange, maple
parmesan, pea, jamon iberico
kuzu, pompano, shellfish
pork belly, curry, banana
rosemary, hamachi, kombu
blueberry, lapsang souchong, maitake
gruyere, black truffle, pumpernickel
short rib, bitter cocoa, cassis
wagyu, rice, myoga
sweet potato, chocolate, miso
bubble gum, cake, banana
chocolate, cherry, bourbon
sesame, brown butter, gold
Modena, Italy – 4/21/16 – Osteria Francescana
I admittedly had been waiting to finish this post thinking that maybe Osteria Francescana would move up to #1 on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2016. A huge congratulations! And this was clearly the best reservation I made in 2016. I thought Osteria Francescana would be on my bucket list forever but the stars aligned during a week in Florence and a very trusting friend didn’t ask questions and just went along with my dining plans. Perhaps it was the long drive, or having to park outside of the city walls and walk to the restaurant, but I think I arrived more excited with anticipation than I have been in a long time. The night before we debated the two menu options online but were thrilled to find a third option which combined the best of both. The beverage pairings included my favorite cocktail of the year thus far and I’m still trying to track down all of the ingredients. It was also by far the most memorable pairing I’ve ever had. I loved so many of these dishes especially because of the quirky names and the stories behind them and because Massimo Bottura’s personality just seals the whole meal. That and those foie truffle macaroons.
Misery and Nobility
Lentils are better than caviar
Mackerel, suckling pig and saffron
Gnocchi as tzatziki salad
Mediterranean en papillons
Autumn in New York
Five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in different textures and temperatures
The crunchy part of the lasagna
This little piggy went to the marker
Croccantino of foie gras
Caesar salad in bloom
Oops! I dropped the lemon tart
Copenhagen – 8/25/15 – Manfreds & Vin and Amass
What a great stop for my first meal in Copenhagen. There was no menu which was perfect for having just gotten off of a plane and having no interest in decision making. I would come to see that many of the ingredients I had here would be repeated in future menus, although always in different ways. And how could I not love a meal where several courses of vegetables were followed by a dessert of pork? Here I had what turned out to be my favorite wine of the trip and luckily I was able to find 2 bottles once I returned home.
I thought our entire evening would be ruined when we were forced to get off of the ferry in the middle of an insane pop up thunderstorm with no umbrellas. Yes we sat in wet clothes for several hours, but the food, company and amazing hospitality at Amass move than overcame it. The most unique and delicious topping for bread. And such beautiful flowers. And even though several of us may have inhaled the vinegar powder, the wild blueberry dessert was a complete revelation and a collective favorite for the week.
Soft Shell Clam, Swiss Chard, Rhubarb
Tomatoes, Cherries, Juniper Oil
Salted Mackerel, Peas, Burnt Lemon
Beet Root Sour Curd, Pickled Yarrow Flowers
Grilled Beef Heart, Hazelnuts, Currants, Chanterelles
Organic Pork Neck, Grains, Walnut, Unripe Apple
Caramelized Goats Milk, Carrots, Fennel Flowers
Wild Blueberries, New Potato Ice Cream, Dried Vinegar