Do you plan to travel more in 2013? Get a sneak peek at my 2013 - Main Pursuit

Places to Visit

North America

- Atera (NYC) – Lighter’s cooking at Castagna in Portland was truly unique and this my #1 to-try in the US right now
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns (NY) – how this restaurant has eluded me this long, I don’t know
- Komi (DC)
- Atelier (Ottawa) – it has potential
- The Catbird Seat (Nashville)sounds like fun
- Corton (NYC) – Liebrandt’s cooking at Gilt seemed overwrought but those that i trust like Corton very much
- 11 Madison Park (NYC) – Humm’s cooking felt stagnant when he moved from San Francisco to NYC but, given all of the recent accolades, it’s time to re-visit
- Woodberry Kitchen (Baltimore)Sounds like one of the best casual restaurants in the country
- Oval Room (DC)
- Forage (Salt Lake City) – foraged, strong vegetable focus see Insert-Food’s report here
- Oxheart (Houston) – former-Ubuntu w/ strong focus on vegetables & Gulf bounty
- Shunji (LA) – the original Matsuhisa, before the Nobu chain empire, was exciting and delicious; this is one of the original three opening chefs.
- Alma (LA) – has shades of Ubuntu, which is good enough for me
- Blue Ridge Victuals – modern cooking that respects Appalachian past
- Elizabeth Restaurant (Chicago) – foraged w/ modern cooking
- Amuse (Delaware) – food looks like it has a Michel Bras quality to it

Europe / UK

- Ekstedt – primitive but innovative cooking, no electricity
- Faviken Magasinet wow
- Frantzén/Lindebergget inspired by this great video, these great pictures from A Life Worth Eating, or this spectacular review by En Foodie
- La Bigarrade
- Les Bacchanales
- Oud Sluis
- Hof van Cleve
- L’Ambrosie
- El Kano
- Hispania
- Mirazur
- Søllerød Kro (Denmark)
- Chateaubriand
- Le Bristol
- Hedone (London)
- L’Air du Temps – Korean-inflected haute cuisine, in Belgium
- Maaemoa great review & another
- Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia (Milan)See DocSconz’s amazing report on what looks to be a perfectly subtle & light meal w/ clear flavors
- Antica Corte Pallavicina – DocSconz has a great post on the hams, the restaurant, and the tease of a ham tasting menu
- Ibai
- Upstairs at Ten Bells
- De Kromme Watergang
- Dill (Iceland)
- Sergent Recruteur
- Raby Hunt
- Metamorfosi (rome)

Japan

- Sanda (Tokyo) – 1-star serving wagyu offal – aorta, lung, diaphragm, and even vagina. See TomoStyle’s review here.
- Kanesaka (Tokyo)
- 7chome Kyobashi (Tokyo) – they serve the emperor’s vegetables at imperial pricing
- Gen Yamamotofancy a cocktail tasting menu?
- Sushi Saito – a long-time friend has recommended it – for now, see this review
- Hijame (Osaka)
- Mizai (Kyoto)read review here
- Kichisen (Kyoto)
- Sushi-Sho (Tokyo)
- Torishiki
- and many many many more
-Daisan Harumi – fantastic, detailed report

Hong Kong

- Man Wah

China

- Made in China
- Yu’s Family Kitchen
- Mei Mansion
- Family Li Imperial Cuisine
- Yi Long Court

Australia/New Zealand

- Royal Mail – I truly enjoyed Dan Hunter’s cooking at a guest dinner at Manresa – wonderful sensibilities
- Garagistessound good
- Quay
- Marque Restaurant
- Attica
- Sixpenny
- Loam
- Kermadec

Mexico / Central / South America

- Borago (Chile)nice article by The Atlantic
- Malabar
- Pujol
- and many more

  • paul

    According to the French section on the Egullet forum Olivier Roellinger has just closed his 3* restaurant, as for when you come back to England Chuck i know you want to try The Sportsman Gastro Pub but i also think you should try Le Champignon Sauvage which is in Cheltenham as well IMO.

  • Dustin

    Add Kanda in Tokyo to your places-to-visit list, my experience there sounded a lot like your description of Koju.

    It is my all-time favorite, tied only with Urasawa in LA.

    I liked it a lot more than Kikunoi (the kyoto branch), by the way.

  • http://www.foodsnobblog.wordpress.com Food Snob

    The Sportsman is really making a name for itself.
    Glad to see it gaining recognition. It is well-deserved.

  • will-smith-but-not-that-guy

    Have you been to the Inn at Little Washington in VA? Or Citronelle in Georgetowne in DC? They are both glorious experiences (I thought)…I’d be interested in your thoughts. A warning about Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix: great food, but not as innovative as it’s touted — and you’ll have to wait upwards of three and a half hours for a table. It’s very small, and they have a set up that forces diners to spend cash in their wine bar next door. Which is also great, but…I dunno…three and a half hours for pizza? I would suggest these restaurants for a Phoenix visit instead: Cowboy Ciao or The Estate House in Scottsdale (stay away from any of our sushi bars, as the profound sushi expert you are, you’ll find them all seriously lacking), and Sol y Sombra (also in Scottsdale, but further north) if you want a very hip and imaginative tapas experience. Also great is elements at The Sanctuary Resort on Camelback Mountain — gorgeous views of the city! Oh — Asia de Cuba is alot of (expensive) fun, in our over the top Mondrian hotel (the Warhollian Phillippe Starck designed it, you probably know that). I live in Phoenix, and used to live in DC — obviously…..(?) — but no, I’m just a resident, not with the Tourist Bureau. Those places have just been my favorite fine dining so far.

  • jpreister

    You should visit some german top-restaurants. I think Germany is nearly totally ignored by most foodies – but the few, who visited top-restaurants there say that they are on par with the best in France (e.g. Andy Hayler)

  • http://highendfood.wordpress.com IFS

    Chuck,

    of course I can only endorse jpreister – come visit some German places. It is well worth it… I could provide you with a nice itinery…
    Best
    Ingo

  • chuckeats

    Jpreister & IFS – yes, you’re right, I just haven’t done my research yet. My dream (this won’t happen anytime soon) would be to buy a Porsche GT2 – European delivery – and race down the autobahn at life-threatening speeds; take dinner at a great restaurant; rinse and repeat.

    Of course, driving through the Mosel region in a rental and drinking some old riesling would also be a treat.

  • SG

    If you’re in Tokyo, I would highly recommend checking out Aronia de Takazawa. Easily the best meal of my life, better than even Ryugin. Only downside is that he only has 2 tables per night, so book way in advance.

    Also if you’re checking out Kyobashi for tempura, I’d suggest Kondo as an alternative – make sure to order the sweet potato tempura. Kondo-san is probably doing the best vegetable tempura on the planet right now…his produce is amazing.

  • chuckeats

    SG – thanks for the rec. Aronia – maybe next time – i don’t know if i would enjoy the food.

    Kondo – yes – ended up going there – loved everything *except* the sweet potato :-) sweet potato was way too big – not my thing. But the rest of the lunch was sensational – i’ve had better tempura in single courses but never that consistency over an entire meal.

  • SG

    Oh, I thought the flavor of the sweet potato was exceptional, unlike any other sweet potato I’d ever had before.

    I’d say the food at Aronia leans more towards the French end of the spectrum compared to Ryugin. Some exceptionally creative dishes though nonetheless.

    I was looking through some of your US reviews…ever been to Cyrus in Healdsburg near Sonoma? In addition to top notch food, the bartender (or mixologist I suppose would be more appropriate) makes some incredible cocktails. Food-wise, I’d say it has a slight edge on The French Laundry. I actually didn’t enjoy Manresa as much as Cyrus and TFL; I felt too many of the dishes were about presenting vegetables from the garden without regard for whether they worked with the other elements of the dish.

  • chuckeats

    SG – i’ve been to Cyrus and i haven’t been back :-) It felt like every other restaurant in the world aiming for 2-3 stars – not much personality in the food imo. Perhaps if i ate a few more meals, but I’d much rather go to Manresa or Ubuntu.

  • Dustin

    Consider stopping by Tsukiji Yamamoto on your next trip to Tokyo (that is, if your visit lies between the months of November and Match…)

    I would say the decor and service are what Urasawa would be if he were 40 years older and running his grandfather’s old restaurant. The food is what Urasawa would be if all fish went extinct and the only thing left to eat was blowfish cooked ten different ways. It was very interesting and delicious, probably my all-time favorite.

    Also, unfortunately, I can’t say i would recommend Daigo. I was really hoping for a Japanese-version of Arpege — which to me would be the best restaurant in the world. It wasn’t. The meal was very grain-heavy and lacked enough vegetables, surprisingly. beautiful setting, though.

  • SSM

    The best sushi I have ever had has been at NAOE in North Miami. The reviews online are all pretty good…so maybe if you’re ever on vacation to Miami you’ll check it out.

    Now my experience with sushi is certainly limited, especially compared to yours, but I can say NAOE was better than Yasuda in NYC.

    I’d be interested to see how you compare NAOE to Urasawa, Masa, and all the others in Tokyo and California…who knows maybe NAOE sucks compared to these.

  • Enfoodie

    I visited Fäviken Magasinet a couple of weeks ago and it was the most amazing experience. Check out my food gallery for some pics if your interested http://enfoodie.wordpress.com/galleri-gallery/

  • Rasmus

    Hedone – wow! Chef Mikael served some fantastic dishes this night. Among them a cevenne onion with pear shavings, fantastic scallops and oyster and the most tender and moist Chapon de Bresse with white Alba. £75 tasting menu is extreme value. (Btw, The Sportsman was great as well. Have enjoyed reading your posts about Stephens place.) Happy new year. http://wp.me/P14KuC-rr

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