The worldHOTTEST TABLES

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just want to live like a royal for one evening, there is still a time and a place for fine dining. Here are some fine epicurean tables to book now and hang the expense.
2020-01-02
Gastronomy

MUGARITZ

San Sebastiàn

Mr Andoni Luis Aduriz has a wildly original take on Basque ingredients and traditions and puts culinary science front and centre at Mugaritz. Up in the hills above San Sebastián, Mr Aduriz’s experimental dining experience spans 20 courses and teases seasonal produce across dishes that challenge the palate with unlikely tastes and textures. With standout plates such as clay-baked potato stones, blood marshmallow and frozen oyster kisses, a trip to Mugaritz promises to take you out of your comfort zone.

ELEVEN MADISON PARK

New York

Set in an imposing former bank on the corner of 24th Street and Madison Avenue, Eleven Madison Park has become a statement-making hotspot since it relaunched in 2017. Swiss-born chef Mr Daniel Humm’s masterful menus more than match the grandiose Art Deco surroundings. Iconic dishes such as honey-glazed duck and smoked sturgeon cheesecake grace an eight-dish tasting experience that reflects New York’s culinary heritage and certainly justifies the hype.

DINNER BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL

London

It was the playful absurdity of the meat fruit – chicken liver parfait disguised as a mandarin – that first garnered headlines when Dinner launched in 2011 and Mr Heston Blumenthal’s impeccably researched food remains one of London’s most fascinating propositions. Served in the plush Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, Dinner’s celebration of British culinary history showcases centuries-old dishes that have been meticulously reinvented with a luxurious twist – think lobster kedgeree, Earl Grey-cured salmon and nitrogen-blasted custard. The nine-course Chef’s Table menu guarantees a behind-the-curtain look at Mr Blumenthal’s theatrics.

MIRAZUR

Menton

The first non-French chef to win three Michelin stars in France, Argentinian Mr Mauro Colagreco trained under Mr Alain Ducasse and Mr Bernard Loiseau before the launch of Mirazur on the French Riviera in 2006 gave him the chance to make his mark. Its stunning setting between the mountains and the Mediterranean (Mirazur translates to “look at the blue”) means Mr Colagreco can source the region’s local ingredients. An expansive vegetable garden provides fresh produce for daily changing menus that showcase his colourful, story-led cooking.

ODETTE

Singapore

French chef Mr Julien Royer pays homage to his roots in this pastel-hued fine-dining destination housed in Singapore’s National Gallery. Inspired by Mr Royer’s grandmother, Odette’s dining room is given character by striking artwork by Singaporean artist Ms Dawn Ng and the food is just as distinctive. Mr Royer’s mastery of modern French cuisine is evident across decadent tasting menus that feature dishes such as seared foie gras and guinea fowl served with celeriac risotto. With one of Singapore’s best French wine cellars to choose from, Odette is a home from home for art and food lovers alike.

NOMA 2.0

Copenhagen

Mr René Redzepi remains one of the single biggest influences in the kitchens around the world. The New Nordic cuisine he pioneered shone a light on the merits of foraged local produce and traditional techniques, including fermentation, smoking and salting. After a year’s hiatus, Noma’s pared-back second iteration opened on Refshalevej Island last year and comprises a restaurant and an experimental farm focused on biodiversity. Tasting menus are divided into three distinct seasons – vegetables, game and forest, and seafood – to match the availability of produce at its peak. Noma remains one of the world’s hottest tables.

OSTERIA FRANCESCANA

Modena

At Osteria Francescana, Modena native Mr Massimo Bottura adds his own spin to the many world-class ingredients found on his doorstep in the heart of Emilia-Romagna. This 12-table restaurant boasts a stunning collection of contemporary art by Mr Gavin Turk, Mr Damien Hirst and Mr Ólafur Elíasson, which is as colourful as the setting. Dishes such as The Crunchy Part of the Lasagne or Lentils Are Better Than Caviar vie for your attention on exquisite 12-course tasting menus that are testament to Mr Bottura’s culinary artistry.

ALAIN DUCASSE AU PLAZA ATHÉNÉE

Paris

His name is a byword for classical French cooking and Mr Alain Ducasse has established a restaurant empire that, with a combined total of 21 Michelin stars, is the epitome of fine dining. At his lavish home at the five-star Plaza Athénée, complete with Swarovski chandeliers and mirrored silver booths, Mr Ducasse takes an environmentally friendly approach to healthy cuisine with a sophisticated menu that bears influences from the Far East and pays tribute to vegetables, cereals and sustainable fish.

CENTRAL

Lima

A paean to Peru’s landscape and produce, Central is the brainchild of Mr Virgilio Martínez and Ms Pía León, whose sleek establishment in Lima’s Barranco district is a perennial feature in world’s best restaurant lists – with good reason. Mr Martinez’s scouting missions have sent him high into the Andes and deep into the Amazon in search of indigenous ingredients, which manifest themselves on an expansive, 17-strong tasting menu that tells a story about Peru’s history, culture and biodiversity.

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