“Restaurant Magazine” made a top of the 50 best restaurants in the world, using votes of writers and critics. The 10 best restaurants in the world, as per the 2007 list, are:
El Bulli – Spain
The Fat Duck – UK
Pierre Gagnaire – France
The French Laundry – USA
Tetsuya’s – Australia
Bras – France
Mugaritz – Spain
Le Louis XV – Monaco
Per Se – USA
Arzak – Spain
1. El Bulli
El Bulli was considered, in 2007, number one in the list of best restaurants in the world. El Bulli can be found on Carretera a Montjoi road, on the seaside of Mediterranean. The restaurant was voted the best in the world in 2002, 2006 and was awarded a considerable number of prizes over the years (especially for Ferran Adrià, El Bulli’s current chef). El Bulli’s history begins in 1961 with a licence for a minigolf installation. The business was named “El Bulli” after the breed of the French bulldogs the owners had. The restaurant is only opened for dinner between April and September, and has only 50 seats in the dining room. Therefore, securing a table at El Bulli is a very difficult, being booked out for a long time. The menu is modified every year.
At the beginning of the season, the menu is the same as the one in last September. This menu is changed step by step, by removing old dishes and putting new ones. The menu is completely different starting with May. In other days of the year, people at El Bulli are working in Barcelona, researching and trying to find new cooking techniques and recipes.
Here are some examples of original recipes that El Bulli served in 2006: frozen chocolate and hazelnut praline crumbs with passion fruit, sweet figs with light rose and white chocolate meringue powder, white sangría in suspension.
– Wines: €15 – €3,500
– Tasting menu: €185
2. The Fat Duck
The second in the best restaurants in the world list is The Fat Duck restaurant can be found on High Street, Bray, Berkshire, England. It is opened from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch between 12pm and 2pm and for dinner between 7pm and 9:30pm.
Heston Blumenthal, the chef of The Fat Duck is famous for its original and innovative style of cuisine. His passion for chemistry and physics made him apply science in cuisine. His scientific approach on cooking allows his work to reach the molecular compounds of dishes, giving him a better understanding of taste and flavor. Heston Blumenthal was awarded in 2006, for his research and commitment to exploration of culinary science.
The Fat Duck has two menus: the tasting menu (recommended for those who came for the first time in the restaurant) and the à la carte menu. Unlike El Bulli, The Fat Duck’s tasting menu is not completely modified every year. It is more like a work in progress. The dishes are evolving in time as a new idea is applied, or a new concept is improved. For example, The Bacon and Egg Ice Cream from today, are very different from the ones that appeared in 2004. There are some modifications to the à la carte menu as well.
Here is a sample of what you can taste at The Fat Duck: Tasting menu: Nitro-Green tea and lime mousse, Oyster and passion fruit jelly, Lavender pommery grain mustard ice cream, Snail porridge, Hot and iced tea. A La Carte menu: Crab biscuit, Radish ravioli of oyster, Lasagne of langoustine, Pot roast loin of pork, Roast turbot, Chocolate fondant, Macerated strawberries, Mango and douglas fir puree.
For these, and more other dishes, The Fat Duck orders between 150 and 200 liters of liquid nitrogen every week.
– Wines: £30 – £5,500
3. Pierre Gagnaire
Pierre Gagnaire is a famous French chef, owner of the restaurant named by himself located in Paris. He started his career at St. Etienne were he won 3 Michelin Stars. He had to close the restaurant due to financial problems, but a new start at Hotel Balzac in Paris made him the famous chef he is today. He is also owner of the restaurant Sketch in London, the restaurant Pirre at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hong Kong and another restaurant in Tokyo.
Pierre Gagnaire is viewed as chef-artist, being a kind of poet and having a section entitled “Mon Universe” on his website. This may sound strange, but the French band Aston Villa set Gagnaire’s menu descriptions to music on their 2002 record “Slowfood”.
He often collaborates with the molecular gastronomist Hervé This in order to find new ways of cooking, new flavors and textures.
– Wines: €55 – €8,500
– Lunch menu: €95
– Dégustation menu: €245
4. The French Laundry
U.S. restaurants are also present in the best restaurants in the world list with The French Laundry located on Washington Street, Yountville. Thomas Keller took over The French Restaurant in 1994. Since then his reputation as a perfectionist spread all around the world.
The restaurant’s name comes as far back as 1920, when it was actually a steam laundry. The outlet became a country inn that was later transformed into the greatest restaurant from America of today. The French Laundry serves dinner the whole week, but lunch is served only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are two menus that change daily. The Chef’s Tasting Menu and the Vegetable Tasting Menu are both of 9 courses. Here are some dishes that you can enjoy at The French Laundry:The Chef’s Tasting Menu: Oysters and Pearls, Salad of “compressed” Kohlrabi, Maine lobster tail “cuite sous vide”, Medallion of Elysian Fields farm lamb, Fuji apple sorbet. Vegetable Tasting Menu: Sweet turnip cream, Olive oil-poached sunchokes, Hawaiian brown sugar ice cream.
– Wines: $35 – $7,900
– Chef’s Tasting Menu: $240
– Vegetable Tasting Menu: $240
Placed fifth in the best restaurants in the world list, the best in Australia, Tetsuya’s restaurant offers a combination of classical skills influenced by Japanese cuisine. Tetsuya Wakuda, the chef of the restaurant, left Japan in 1982 and came to Sydney, were he immediately became successful. Tetsuya’s is located on Kent Street, Sydney. It is opened for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6.00pm and for lunch Saturday only from 12 noon.
Tetsuya’s serves a ten-course degustation menu, which costs $185. Here are some dishes that you can choose from: Pea Soup with Bitter Chocolate Sorbet, Smoked Ocean Trout & Avruga Caviar, Leek & Crab Custard, Grilled Wagyu Beef with Lime & Wasabi, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with White Beans & Dates.
– Wines: $45- $10,500
– Dégustation menu: $185
- Location: Route de l’Aubrac, Laguiole, France
- Chef: Michel Bras
- Famous for: Gargouillou de Jeunes Légumes – a dish containing 30 or 40 vegetables, each cooked and seasoned individually to retain its flavor. This is considered to be the finest vegetable dish in the world.
– Wines: €35 – €3,500
– Evasion & Terre menu: €104
– Découverte & Nature menu: €167
- Location: Mugaritz, Gipuzkoa, Spain
- Chef: Andoni Luis Aduriz
- Famous for: Aduriz has worked with Adrià at el Bulli in the past. Also, he worked at the University of Granada, in the liver transplant unit. There he understood better the DNA of duck livers. Therefore, he learned to select only the finest lobes (even if this means using only about 30% of an expensive duck liver) and to cook them using a special recipe (searing, roasting, smoking and resting the liver)
– Wines: €18.20 – €4,985
– 8-course menu: €85
– 11-course menu: €112
8. Le Louis XV
- Location: Hôtel de Paris, Place du Casino, Monaco
- Chefs: Alain Ducasse and Franck Cerruti
- Famous for: The natural, simple and seasonal cuisine and the extravagant, magnificent interior decorations
– Wines: €50 – €11,560
– Two-course menu “Club Déjeuner de Saison”: €125
– Four-course “Pour les Gourmets” tasting menu: €225
9. Per Se
- Location: Columbus Circle (at 60th Street, New York, U.S.A.
- Chefs: Thomas Keller and Jonathan Benno
- Famous for: Design of The French Laundry and its classic dishes
– Wines: $50 – $18,000
– Menus: $250
- Location: Avda. Alcade Jose, San Sebastian, Spain
- Chefs: Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina
- Famous for: Its avant-garde approach on cuisine, its research kitchens and experimental bent
– Wines: €40 – €2,500
– Set menu: €130
– 3-courses à la carte menu: from €110
Surprisingly, Spain seems to have the most restaurants in the best restaurants in the world list, followed by France.