All posts filed under: Travel

Le Cinq

(18 / 20)  A fortress of French fine dining left happily unscathed by widely shared but very silly review from a critic who should have known better. There are certainly things that one can find to criticise about Le Cinq, but the food is good, often great, and to my mind it gets the balance mostly right between respecting classic tradition and embracing modern techniques. The wonderful service here is the real star; It is attentive, warm and sincere, and that as much as anything else will bring us back.

L’Arpège

(19 / 20) L’Arpège is the dining expression of Proust’s Madeleine moment. But it is also the manifestation of a memory that most of us never even had to start with – that of the taste of real food, cooked perfectly. It is the truest, most sincere demonstration of love in any food that I’ve come across at a fine dining restaurant.

Martin Beratasegui

Loidi Kalea, 4 – 20160 Lasarte-Oria (Gipuzkoa) Tel. (+34) 943 366 471 info@martinberasategui.com 3 Michelin stars since 2001 29th best Restaurant in the world – Restaurant magazine 2008/11 1st Visit: Lunch Saturday 12th November 2016 (17.5/20) Slightly under-par performance from one of the world’s great chefs €€€€€ In the unremarkable town of Lasarte-Oria, about half an hour outside of San Sebastian, deep in Basque Country between northern Spain and France, stands the flagship and eponymous restaurant of one of the giants of modern Spanish cuisine. Once dubbed ‘the most famous chef you’ve never heard of’, Beratasegui may not be as well known as others internationally, but enjoys a status similar to Ferran Adria in his native Spain, where he quietly has built up a mini empire of fine dining. He currently holds 7 Michelin stars. The accolades started early in his career when, having returned to run his family’s restaurant after training to be a Pastry chef in France, he achieved his first macaron at the fresh age of 25. And whilst the doyen of modernist Spanish food …

Noma

Strandgade 93 DK-1401 Copenhagen K T: +45 3296 3297 E: noma@noma.dk 2 Michelin stars since 2008 5th – World’s 50 Best Restaurants 9th – Opinionated about Dining (Europe) 1st Visit: Lunch Saturday 4th February 2017 An extraordinary restaurant slightly overwhelmed by its own even more extraordinary reputation. (19/20 with at least 2 points just for being Noma). More of a pilgrimage at this point than a restaurant visit per se, we jumped at a rare opportunity to finally attend one of the most celebrated restaurants in modern history, just two weeks before it will close doors in its current format forever. Of course any visit to Copenhagen offers up an array of world-class eating experiences, and it’s super easy to get to from Amsterdam, so we had already half hedged ourselves against any disappointment. And I talk immediately about disappointment because avoiding it had largely been the reason we never tried to go before, despite numerous foodie trips to Denmark. Such was the almost religious fervour surrounding this particular restaurant and its chef patron Rene …

Azurmendi

Legina Auzoa, S/N, 48195 Larrabetzu, Bizkaia, Spain +34 94 455 88 66 http://www.azurmendi.biz 3 Michelin stars since 2012 1 in Europe : Opinionated About Dining 16 : World’s 50 Best Restaurants 1st Visit: Lunch Saturday 11th November 2016 As close to perfect as I can ever expect a restaurant to get : 19.75/20 Travelling along the motorway some way between Bilbao and San Sebastiaan, Restaurant Azurmendi appears in the distance, a vision in glass and steel, high up on a hill and jutting out over the Autumnal Basque countryside, looking half greenhouse, half minimalist Hollywood Hills mansion. The restaurant itself hasn’t even been there that long to have soared to the giddy heights of 3 Michelin stars, best restaurant in Europe on the OAD list, 16th on the worlds 50 best list and winner of the 2014 Sustainable Restaurant Prize. Indeed such is the reputation that chef Eneko Atza, trained at Martin Berasategui and Murgaritz, and still early in his 30s, has built in such a short time, that taxi drivers, even if you aren’t on …

De Librije

Zwolle, The Netherlands 3 Michelin stars since 2004 38 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 3rd Visit: Lunch Saturday 14th Jan 2017 Restaurants rarely get better than this : 19.5/20 Monkfish, fermented peppers and aubergine It was with some considerable joy that we returned, almost exactly a year after our last visit, to the temple of modern Dutch gastronomy in Zwolle, Northern Holland. The restaurant is housed in an impressive 18th century pile, an old prison building, and cohabits the space with its own boutique hotel. Many guest who book for dinner take the option to roll happily up the stairs into the luxurious accommodation above, or indeed as we had done last year, make a whole glorious weekend of it, enjoying the heady heights of dinner, breakfast and lunch with 3 Michelin stars. This is truly a labour of love; The celebrated power-couple of Dutch fine dining, Jonnie and Thérèsa Boer, still work every day in the restaurant which they founded together some 20 years ago and which rightfully commands an almost mythical status in Dutch …