Selected by a small group of the world’s top food critics and Foodie editors, including Patricia Wells, Gael Greene, Ruth Reichl, Jonathan Gold, and Masuhiro Yamamoto with Glam Media's Samir Arora, this list highlights the very best dining experiences to be found across the globe, based on a primary criteria of truly exceptional food.
At Alain Ducasse’s opulent dining room glowing with a
10,000-crystal “decomposed chandelier,” Chef Christophe Saintagne interprets
fine dining in a fresh, even earthy way through a streamlined menu that makes
exquisite ingredients the main event. Complementing the meal, the service by
absolutely charming Maître d’Hôtel Denis Courtiade—one of the best in Paris—is
tailored to each table, while sommelier Laurent Roucayrol helps navigate the
impressive wine list.
French haute cuisine
doesn’t get much more altitudinous than at this regal establishment where the
most expensive and revered meal in France is a direct reflection of its
perfectionist chefs Bernard and Mathieu Pacaud.
Eschewing the cutting-edge for the classic, the menu focuses on excellent
products tended to with perfected techniques and unmatched attention to detail.
Décor, like the food, is unpretentiously luxurious and elegant Maître d’ Pascal
Vettoux adds the finishing polish.
Alain Passard’s menu is not strictly vegetarian, you will never have more
exciting vegetable dishes than you will here because Passard grows many of his
own ingredients in three nearby gardens and often serves them the same day
they’re harvested. Be prepared for creative experiments on the plate, as
nothing here is done in the “usual” way, and an extensive wine list,
exceptional cheese plate, and desserts to complete a surprising dining
Pascal Barbot and partner Christophe Rohat opened this restaurant in 2000, their
wildly creative cuisine continues to outdo itself. With no written menu, each
meal is carefully choreographed by the talented Chef Barbot according to what’s
freshest and in season. Often tinged with notes of citrus, spices, and herbs,
with added depth of flavor from a variety of Asian ingredients, his surprising
globally influenced French fare is as stunning on the plate as it is on the
Joël Robuchon closed his flagship restaurant in Paris, his L’Atelier quickly
became “the next best thing.” Eschewing fine-dining convention, Robuchon takes
reservations for only the first seating; the rest of the night is first-come,
first-served. Here tables face a dramatically lit black-and-red counter behind
which chefs in black uniforms can be seen whipping up culinary revelations
under the watchful eye of Head Chef Axel Manes, and on some days, Chef Robuchon
Using many of his native region’s best ingredients, Chef
Alain Dutournier offers updated takes on the traditional cuisine of France’s
southwest. His reverence for each ingredient is apparent even in a simple
bouillon, which enamors with its scent of chestnuts and white truffles. An
exciting 3,500-bottle wine list pays homage to the greats of Bordeaux and
well-priced treasures of the southwest, but it also features international
offerings and superb Armagnacs.
Antoine Westermann’s rotisserie-meets-bistro is a single-ingredient concept
focused on gourmet interpretations of pedigree poultry. Within the modern white-on-white
space with an open kitchen and counter, the whole bird is celebrated, from farm
fresh eggs that can be ordered any way you like to gizzards to guinea fowl.
While the kitchen, presided over by Chef Thierry Lébé, is known for its
whole rotisserie-roasted farm-raised chickens other signature dishes merit
consideration as well.
near the Louvre, Anne-Sophie Pic's sensational fourth restaurant—and first in
Paris—shows her at the top of her game. Intending to surprise and delight, each
selection of set menus features a striking and sensual concept, such as
“Vanilla Amber” or “The Sea & Flowers.” Throughout, ingredients are
impeccable, preparations are complicated but not overdone, and the taste theme
is one of softness and smoothness with a requisite touch of crunch.
in the famed Bristol Hotel in the fashionable 8th arrondissement, Epicure is as
luxurious as it gets. Recently relocated within the property to a new
Pierre-Yves Rochon–designed space with an exquisitely manicured courtyard
garden, it offers one the best examples of modern French food. Chef de Cuisine
Eric Frechon, who hails from the Parisian kitchens of Taillevent, La Tour
d'Argent, and Le Crillon, oversees inventive cuisine that’s simultaneously
modern and classic.
Set in the
glorious Champs-Elysées gardens in a pale pink 19th-century former Louis XIV
hunting lodge, Laurent is the sort of special restaurant that makes Paris
Paris. Grand, timeless, and utterly romantic with a gorgeous (and rare) outdoor
terrace shaded by chestnut trees, the captivating environs are matched by the
upgraded classic French cuisine of Alain Pégouret, who insures a meal is as
much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds.