In the paper today I saw a brief note on the top restaurants by elite traveller.
Here is the full list: http://www.elitetraveler.com/category/finest-dining/top-100-restaurants-in-the-world
What are your thoughts?
I don't know why, but I just love "Lists"! Just saw a ranking of the top 100 restaurants in the US, but can't remember where I saw it.
As far as The World's "Top 100", My experience has been (Or will be):
#5 La Pergola, Rome: Have a reservation there this December, but did not know it was rated that high in the World. I knew it was rated #1 in Rome.
#19 Guy Savoy, Paris: Nice place, and he introduced himself, and was very friendly. Great food, but at $125 for a cup of soup (Black Truffle), I would dine across the street at one of my favorite Parisian places, for 1/10th of the cost. Go to P'*** Bouchon Gourmand for quality food at a fair price.
Guy Savoy's is very close to the Ren. AdT, and is a very special place to dine!
#33 is Gordon Ramsay's in London: Been there twice and it is a wonderful place to dine. The location on hospital road, is small (30 seats), with a staff, second to none, from all over the world. They are very friendly and professional, and certainly not "Snooty"! The Captain, Jean-Claude, is one of the finest I have ever encountered. Did the "Seasonal Inspiration" dinner! See menu, and the portions are small, but at 135 GBP ($204) PP, (Before drinks) this place is expensive. Gordon Ramsay did sign the seasonal menu for me, so that was special!
#88, River Cafe, London: "Big Deal, Not Worth it", maybe it was because I dined there on Valentines Day, and that was a bad time to go. Did not like the place at all. However, maybe it was just me.
SG, let me share with you places that are NOT on the list, but should be:
The Ritz, London: Beautiful room, fantastic food and staff, will make your trip to London very special! Not outrageously expensive.
La Tour d' Argent, Paris: Beautiful food, scenery and pleasant staff.
Tony's, St. Louis: Consistant fine Italian. A $50 prix fix, three course dinner.
Mr. Chao's: Beverly Hills, CA: Peking Duck at it's best paired with a DP Split of Champagne!
Top of The Mark, San Francisco, CA: Historic place, that has a wonderful brunch, and I seldom eat brunches!
John Hancock Bldg., 95th Floor, Chicago, IL: Not real fancy, but the food is excellent, and the view is supurb.
Metropolitan Grill, Seattle, WA: One of the finest steak houses in The US!
River Cafe, Brooklyn, NY: It's been a few years but the food and the atmosphere, as well as looking toward Manhattan, is very romantic!
Tony's, Houston, Texas: Been a few years as well, but Tony Vallone has to be one of the best "Host's" in America.
Commander's Palace, New Orleans, La: The Brennan family was always great with their fresh seafood and turtle soup.
La AuBerge, Sedona, AZ: Another wonderful place to relax, enjoy great food and scenery, especially on special occasions!
There are more, but that is enough for now! It's lunchtime here!
Thanks SG for posting this. Hope to see you at County Hall in May. We can have a "Pint" with Ark, Chris, their guests and other MRI!
Best of tends to be selective, and subjective, at best. I fear that price and hard to get in often trump excellent places. But then we all can decide based on our experiences and familiarity. So among my best are some very humble places, that are easy to get into and priced fairly.
My wife visited River Cafe and didn't think it was anything special.
Maybe this is the list you are referring to on the US restaurants: http://www.gayot.com/best-restaurants/restaurantawards.html
I was glad to see Michael Mina on the list as we really enjoyed that restaurant.
What are you thoughts on this list?
well said. way too often lists of 'bests' of anything tend to be popularity contests and/or paid advertisements. I say that not cynically, but factually. all of those 'Best Steakhouses in America', lists in airline travel magazines, as well as best dentists, best doctors, best seafood, you get the idea, are all PAID advertisements. Also, what is the criteria for ''best'? I agree with you, Best is in the eyes of the beholder and everyones eyes are different. My wife and I are experiencing the horror of finding our 'go to' restaurants in a new city and finding that many recommendations coming from good people continually miss the mark (in our view) and we wonder if we will ever find those 'comfortable' places. The good news, we will continue our quest and eat our way through the forest......
Agreed and agreed. A restauranteur who owned a Manhattan eatery recently told me that his chances of getting a more favorable review in a Z ratings book (we all know who that is) depended on how many books he purchased! This was in the pre Google days, of course, and the system may have changed. But that's a kind of "we accept no ads" bypass that makes some ratings questionable.
I bet you are like me, in that you can just about "Walk into any restaurant and almost tell immediately, that you are NOT going to like it". Seldom has my "Gut" been wrong! Many times I just ask the hostess to scratch me from the dinner, unless I have a reservation. One more note: Seldom do I go into a nice place without visiting the place first. Sometimes people think I am "Paranoid" but I find that "Re-con" work really pays off.
Once in Scottsdale, I went to check a place out that AMEX had recommended. Went and a snooty hostess told me she did not know where I would be seated for dinner. I cancelled that reservation, on the spot! (Dominiques Rest, Scottsdale)
anadyr, we could have one heck of a number of posts on good places to dine near Marriott Properties.
So well put!
I am Raleigh, NC this week and had a better dinner at Carraba's, last night than a place that was highly recommended the night before. Only ever been to a Carraba's once before, Last night was "Wine Wed., and they take $10 off any bottle of wine. We all shared a bottle of Red Zin, Ravenswood Old Vine, for $17 instead of the normal $27!
To again support your point, I strive to avoid "Big Deals Not Worth it" They just destroy great company and evenings!
As several have written, thanks for posting sg - lists are fun. I had my share of list following when I was the poster's age, but alas over time many have either gone out of business (Quilted Giraffe) changed ownership (Le Bec Fin) or lost some of their buzz (Le Cirque), etc etc. So it's really nowadays to me, all about the experience. Having a spectacular experience can come from a great meal with friends at Bandera, a terrific new find with family at Rudy's, or a special celebration at a L'Auberge Chez Francois (all of which have been Insiders recommendations).
My Chicago daughter saw Andrew Zimmern at Alinea (on tv) and suggested we give it a try - I read some of the reviews where they mentioned prices up to a thousand a pop and we went to Lou Malnati's instead (could have added Cubs season tickets!) and had a blast. That chocolate dessert must have been gold leaf plated.
Nothing like a little norovirus to knock Noma down a few pegs - eh.
I'm booked for Petrus and Hawksmoor and trying to land Ledbury (been offline for awhile), so those travel coupons you turned me on to, for savings on tours, sure are going to come in handy; but I'm just as eager to check out Anglesea Arms Pub and other gastro pub suggestions made by our group. Shoeman said it best, I'm on a quest to eat my way thru the forest of great meals and The Insiders forum is my compass (next stop - Aruba, oh yeah)
edited - oops - thought I had clicked on reply to sg's post (I liked jerrycoin's post and then apparently "got lost in the forest" - another reason for me not to track lists anymore, I'd probably forget where I ate!)
You are right as well!
What bothers me about many of these places is that "You never seem to know what you are eating, unless you keep the menu at the table"!
Maybe that is why I always go to "Simpson's in The Strand" in London, or Relias du Venice in Paris, you know you are getting great beef!
Yes Jerry, spot on. Many places live on their exclusivity, their panache, their snootiness. There's a place here in Monterey called "Rosine's," named after the female proprietor, which serves very fine comfort food in huge portions and has excellent staff. Like all places that most tourists never get to it's not highly rated, not mentioned by the Concierge folks, but it's a great welcoming place, one that fills you stomach and soothes you soul at the same time. Like you I have been disappointed by allegedly best of places.
One final note, my wife insisted that I go to a local Culinary School after my first retirement, and the class was headed by the former executive chef at Club XIX, in pebble Beach at the Lodge, now called "Benches," after a massive reinvention. He gave us the inside, some would say, the underbelly of the business here and in international places. He'd won many Garde Manger prizes at international competitions, so he was adept at detail. Anyway he told me that at Club XIX, he kept things in the kitchen for special repeat quests.
Though many of his menu items often topped a hundred bucks a pop, he kept the fixing for meatloaf for an elderly guest who came once a week with a caretaker for an evening out, It was presented with all the class and style that the fancy dishes were. Class and good sense all wrapped into one.
We had the chance to eat there once before we knew him, and though it was nearly a week's pay, we loved it. Was it one of the best 100? No. Was it excellent? Yes. So it goes--ratings are hard to figure and often misleading.
Do try to book up the Ledbury. That has been my favourite dining experience in London.
Top notch food, service is quite relaxed and you are made to feel comfortable.
I dont like stuffy, snooty places, I don't care how good the food is I won't visit.
If you would like a good gastro pub then this place is excellent:
Brett Graham (Ledbury) is one of the owners.