The 19 Most In­flu­en­tial Res­tau­rants in the World

Upscale Living Magazine - - Restaurants - | By Jarone Ashke­nazi | Pho­tos cour­tesy of each restau­rant

Res­tau­rants come and go, but some stand the test of time and of­fer some­thing truly unique and awe-in­spir­ing that leave din­ers speech­less and sa­ti­ated. Res­tau­rants on this list in one way or an­other – cre­at­ing new cuisines, craft­ing new dishes, push­ing the bound­aries of con­ven­tional cook­ing – have had some in­flu­ence on the food and restau­rant land­scape over the past 30 years. From mas­ter­ful grilling to fine din­ing and ex­per­i­men­tal cook­ing, here are the 20 most in­flu­en­tial res­tau­rants of the last 30 years.

L’AR­PEGE RESTAU­RANT

PARIS, FRANCE

Fol­low­ing re­ceiv­ing three Miche­lin stars in 1996, it has main­tained all three ever since. Chef-owner Alain Pas­sard cooks at the restau­rant ev­ery­day fea­tur­ing haute cui­sine végé­tale with grand cru veg­eta­bles, fruits and herbs. Sourced from his bio­dy­namic farm in Sarthe or two gar­dens in Eure and Manch, food is deliev­ered to the restau­rant daily.

ALINEA RESTAU­RANT

CHICAGO, USA

Serv­ing fun and provoca­tive dishes, Alinea uses the unique ‘Tock’ book­ing sys­tem, so din­ers need to buy a ‘ticket’ in ad­vance of the meal. Af­ter a ren­o­va­tion in 2016, chef Grant Achatz and restau­ra­teur Nick Kokona in­vite din­ers into one of their three unique and dis­tinct ex­pe­ri­ences: the Gallery, the Sa­lon, and the Alinea Kitchen Ta­ble. At the first-floor Gallery, guests can en­joy a multi-sen­sory 16-to-18 course menu that com­bines fine din­ing with ex­per­i­men­tal mo­ments while the Sa­lon of­fers a 10-14 course tast­ing menu and the Alinea Kitchen Ta­ble is an in­ti­mate six-per­son kitchen ta­ble im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence.

HUSK RESTAU­RANT

CHARLESTON, SC, USA

Of­fer­ing food of the South, Husk is lo­cated in his­toric down­town Charleston dishes from James Beard Award-win­ning Chef Sean Brock. Set within a com­plex dat­ing to the late 19th cen­tury and an in­gre­di­ent­driven cui­sine indige­nous to the South, Husk of­fers new South­ern cui­sine with a modern ap­proach. In the Vic­to­rian man­sion, wood-fire cook­ing is a hall­mark but the menu is ever-chang­ing as Brock crafts menus through­out the day, re­spond­ing to what lo­cal pur­vey­ors are sup­ply­ing the kitchen at any given mo­ment.

ASADOR ETXE­BARRI RESTAU­RANT

ATX­ONDO, SPAIN

At Asador Etxe­barri, self-taught chef Vic­tor Ar­guin­zoniz brings skill­ful bar­be­cu­ing tech­niques into a beau­ti­ful ru­ral set­ting. Re­ly­ing on fresh in­gre­di­ents and mas­ter­ful grilling, the menu is pre­pared daily with each dish hav­ing a small (or large) taste and sem­blance of fire and smok­i­ness. Ar­guin­zoniz’s juicy Palamós prawns and huge tom­a­hawk steaks are sta­ples on the menu, whose fla­vor comes from care­fully se­lected fire­wood in the Atx­ondo val­ley and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

GRAMERCY TAV­ERN

NEW YORK, USA

Opened in 1994 by restau­ra­teur Danny Meyer in a his­toric land­mark build­ing, Gramercy Tav­ern serves re­fined Amer­i­can cui­sine without pre­ten­sion. Choose to eat a more ca­sual à la carte in the front tav­ern room or ex­pe­ri­ence the tast­ing menu in the din­ing room fea­tur­ing farmto-ta­ble food. Ex­pe­ri­ence the com­fort of a late-19th-cen­tury Amer­i­can inn with the three-course $129 menu with a wide va­ri­ety of choices, be sure to save room for the third course and one of pas­try chef Miro Uskokovic’s de­lec­ta­ble desserts.

AU PIED DE CO­CHON RESTAU­RANT

MON­TREAL, CANADA

Martin Pi­card’s menu at Au Pied de Co­chon is ded­i­cated to meat, think foie gras, pig, poul­try, bi­son and lots of beef. A dis­ci­ple of nose-to-tail din­ing, the menu fea­tures items like the stuffed pigs trot­ter which are served in large por­tions in a long, stripped-back din­ing room. Glut­tony and deca­dence is taken to a new level at Pi­card’s restau­rant, deem­ing it one of the top spots in all of Canada.

FRENCH LAUN­DRY,

YOUNTVILLE, CAL­I­FOR­NIA, USA

The French Laun­dry com­mits it­self to cre­at­ing clas­sic French cui­sine with the finest qual­ity in­gre­di­ents through its daily-chang­ing menu. A mem­ber of French-based Re­lais & Chateaux, Re­lais Gour­mands and Tra­di­tions & Qual­ité, two nine-course tast­ing menus are of­fered daily: Chef’sTast­ingMen­uandtheTastin­gofVegeta­bles,with­nos­in­gle­in­gre­di­ent be­ing re­peated through­out the meal.

LE CHATEAUBRIAND RESTAU­RANT

PARIS, FRANCE

Iñaki Aizpi­tarte’s Le Chateaubriand was a stal­wart in the bistron­omy scene in Paris in the 2000s and fea­tures creative fare made without overly ex­pen­sive in­gre­di­ents. If you are late to make a reser­va­tion for the first seat­ing, reser­va­tions are booked one-month in ad­vance, you’ll have to wait in line from 9pm to en­joy im­pro­vi­sa­tional cook­ing paired with nat­u­ral wines.

NOMA RESTAU­RANT

COPEN­HAGEN

Re-opened in Fe­bru­ary of 2014, chef René Redzepi re­cently trans­planted the restau­rant that in­vented New Nordic cui­sine. With a rooftop gar­den and a clus­ter of huts, Dan­ish ar­chi­tec­ture firm BIG, led by Bjarke In­gels was in­spired by the clus­tered struc­tures on a tra­di­tional Dan­ish farm­stead. With the re­open­ing of noma ear­lier this year, the restau­rant now di­vides the year into three sea­sons, dur­ing which the menu changes dra­mat­i­cally and fea­tures in­gre­di­ents that are at their peak at any given time of the year.

NOBU RES­TAU­RANTS

VAR­I­OUS LO­CA­TIONS

Nobu cur­rently op­er­ates 38 res­tau­rants span­ning across five con­ti­nents and is one of the worlds most rec­og­nized Ja­panese restau­rant, known for its in­no­va­tive new style cui­sine paired with a hip crowd and celebrity fol­low­ing. Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Mat­suhisa is known for his fu­sion cui­sine blend­ing tra­di­tional Ja­panese dishes with Pe­ru­vian in­gre­di­ents, in­spired by his back­ground grow­ing up in Tokyo and mov­ing to Peru as a young adult.

PU­JOL

MEX­ICO CITY, MEX­ICO

Celebrity chef-owner En­rique Olvera of­fers Mex­i­can food pre­sented as haute cui­sine with his own spe­cial twist. Lo­cated in the up­scale Polanco dis­trict of Mex­ico City, Pu­jol fea­tures a wood-burn­ing oven, ter­razzo floor­ing and a pri­vate side room that serves its own taco menu. Din­ers can choose from a daily menu that in­cludes snacks for all and then choose from a menu for the next six courses.

SPAGO RESTAU­RANT

LOS AN­GE­LES, CA, USA

The flag­ship restau­rant of Wolf­gang Puck’s, Wolf­gang Puck Fine Din­ing Group, Spago con­tin­ues to set the stan­dard for fine din­ing in Bev­erly Hills. The sleek and sim­ple de­sign of the restau­rant com­ple­ments the mar­ket-driven menu which guests can choose from a sea­sonal a la carte menu or ex­plore the best of the west with the chefs’ multi-course Cal­i­for­nia Tast­ing Menu. Spago is the re­cip­i­ent of the AAA Four Di­a­mond Award and re­ceived two stars in The Miche­lin Guide-Los An­ge­les edi­tion, one of only three res­tau­rants in the city to win this cov­eted dis­tinc­tion.

MICHEL BRAS

LAGUIOLE, FRANCE

Set up by Michel Bras in 1992 on a hill­side in Aubrac, near the vil­lage of Laguiole, Se­bas­tian, his son, is now the head chef. Known for in­vent­ing a dish called the choco­late coolant along with his best-known dish be­ing the gar­gouil­lou, it has been rated three stars in the Guide Miche­lin since 1999.

ST JOHN RESTAU­RANT

LON­DON, UK

Opened in 1994, Fer­gus Hen­der­son be­gan cre­at­ing in­ven­tive dishes fol­low­ing the nose-to-tail din­ing, where noth­ing goes to waste. St John’s main din­ing room is stripped back while the bar is packed nightly with a sep­a­rate short bar menu. The con­verted smoke­house in Clerken­well fo­cuses on meaty dishes like the Rab­bit Of­fal while unique dishes like the Pi­geon and Cour­gettes or Poached Rab­bit are a plenty on the menu.

EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA

GIRONA, SPAIN

Lo­cated in the me­dieval city of Girona in Catalunya, north­ern Spain, the Roca fam­ily moved the restau­rant into an airy space with a large kitchen. Run by three brothers – Joan, chef, Josep, som­me­lier, Jordi, pâtissier – they take in­fuse in­gre­di­ents, tech­niques and in­spi­ra­tions for their menu from their an­nual tours around the world. Guests can be in­vited by Josep into their mag­i­cal walk-in cel­lar be­fore en­joy­ing the com­plex and fla­vor­ful chef ’s tast­ing menu.

OS­TE­RIA FRANCES­CANA RESTAU­RANT

MO­DENA, ITALY

The small dis­creet restau­rant in Mo­dena helmed by Mas­simo Bot­tura, com­bines Ital­ian tra­di­tion with modern tech­niques. In­flu­enced by are and mu­sic, the kitchens cre­ations mir­ror the high-qual­ity con­tem­po­rary art­work in the three din­ing rooms. Play­ing with in­gre­di­ents from the sur­round­ing re­gions, courses in­clude the fa­mous Five Ages of Parmi­giano Reg­giano and the Adri­atic Chow­der.

STEIR­ERECK RESTAU­RANT

VI­ENNA, AUS­TRIA

Un­der the guid­ance of chef Heinz Reit­bauer, Steir­ereck has been fam­ily owned for gen­er­a­tions and serves Aus­tria’s ru­ral Styr­ian re­gion cui­sine in a cut­ting-edge style. Lo­cated in Vi­enna’s Stadt­park in a mono­lithic glass cube, the su­per-modern de­sign is bright and fea­tures a tast­ing menu along with the pop­u­lar lunch Wiener Schnitzel. Equal part theater and pre­cise culi­nary tech­nique, the fresh­wa­ter moun­tain fish, char, takes cen­ter stage cooked ta­ble­side.

NI­HON­RY­ORI RYUGIN RESTAU­RANT

TOKYO, JA­PAN

Re­cently Moved to the new Hibiya Mid­town de­vel­op­ment, Ni­hon­ry­ori RyuGin serves con­tem­po­rary kaiseki cui­sine un­der the guid­ance of chef Seiji Ya­mamoto. Dragons play a pow­er­ful pres­ence in the dé­cor of the din­ing room and can be seen in its ta­ble set­tings, and de­rive from the restau­rant’s name, Ni­hon­ry­ori means “Ja­panese cui­sine,” while RyuGin is a term used in Zen Bud­dhism, mean­ing “dragon’s voice.” Ya­mamoto brings avant-garde cook­ing tech­niques to his cui­sine grounded in kaiseki cui­sine.

D.O.M. RESTAU­RANT

SAN PAULO, BRAZIL

Es­tab­lished in 1999 by for­mer DJ Alex Atala, D.O.M. fuses fine din­ing with unique in­gre­di­ents from the Ama­zon basin. D.O.M. stands for Deo Op­timo Max­imo, which trans­lates as ‘To God, The Good, The Great’, and is a Bene­dic­tine motto which was of­ten used to in­di­cate places where weary pil­grims could eat and rest. Vi­brant food takes cen­ter stage with na­tive in­gre­di­ents like the jambú, a herb that cre­ates a tin­gling sen­sa­tion on the tongue, and its use of ants in dishes

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