Main topics in this article concern the best restaurants in the world, Michelin guide, famous TV chefs, Michelin star restaurants, restaurant reviews, haute cuisine, nouvelle cuisine.
The Culture of Good Eating
Going to restaurants is an experience that has to be nurtured. It is similar to that saying: appetite comes with eating. When you are just starting out on your culinary journey, most likely you will struggle to tell the difference between 2016 and 2018 wine or the type of oil that was used for frying the meat. It is normal, do not be shy about it – everybody starts off with something! Moreover, such intricacies like knowing which type of spoon or knife goes with certain dishes take some time and experience. The more you go, the more you know … this is our main motivation when preparing our list of the top 5 restaurants in the world. To be able to appreciate these famous restaurants’ unique atmosphere, quality of service, their haute cuisine and mastery of their chefs de cuisine, you should accumulate your own personal experience of “dining and wining” outside your home. Moreover, you should know at least the basics of culinary magic and start experimenting with cooking yourself. It will be much more fun with cookbooks with literature-inspired recipes! Only then you will be able to tell the difference and understand why these listed restaurants are included in Michelin restaurant guides. It is actually a good travel tip — whenever going, let’s say, to Italy on holidays, check Michelin Green Guide that includes the top places for sightseeing with the most exquisite advice for fine dining.
What You Should Know When Eating in the Restaurant
So once you have embarked on a journey of hitting Michelin restaurants, you should remember a few rules of restaurant etiquette. No matter whether you decide to order Thai, Indian, Japanese or Italian cuisine, the code of conduct at fancy restaurants remains more or less the same. Below are a few tips that will help you avoid hesitance in restaurants:
If you want to have a successful visit to a restaurant, your rule number one is to be confident. A lot of people get confused when they see the well-dressed audience and get the feeling that everyone will stare at them. This is not true – everyone is enjoying their food and their company so their focus is not on you for sure! Therefore, do not feel shy and talk to waiters confidently. Do not show any anxiety even if you are visiting a restaurant for the first time in your life!
Take someone with you
Going to a new crowded place alone can be a bit nerve-wracking so it is always better to be accompanied by your friends or your loved ones. Moreover, if you have little restaurant experience, you can choose to attend with someone who is more familiar with dining etiquette and ordering from the menu. Treat this experience as a learning curve!
Be mindful of the appropriate attire
If you have already made your decision about the restaurant you would like to attend, spend some extra time to look up some photos on the internet of people who have visited this restaurant. You can find them on the website of the restaurant or on such websites as TripAdvisor. Another option to find out about the dressing code is to call the restaurant or find some information on internet forums but it might take a bit longer. The general rule is to avoid jeans and snickers if you are going to a somewhat fancy restaurant with renowned cuisine. Target shoes, shirts and other classic items in your wardrobe.
Read the menu
If you checked the website of the restaurant of your choice for the right attire, you should also look up their menu. You can do it online or read it on their doors. It is important to decide early on what type of cuisine you fancy so that you avoid the situation when you wanted French cuisine dishes but ended up in a place that serves the best examples of American cuisine. It is only your personal gaffe, not the restaurant’s fault! Concerning well-established restaurants, you can always find useful recommendations about the restaurants with famous chefs in restaurant guides, travel blogs or on dedicated internet portals. Keeping this information in mind will make your visit to the restaurant unforgettable.
Wait to be seated
Very often it is the policy of restaurants to offer you a seat if you are waiting for your other guests to arrive. We think it is polite for all your guests to come first and then proceed to the offered table together.
Put the table napkin on your knees
When at the restaurant, do not forget about the useful features of table napkins! Although in our daily life we tend to use paper napkins, in good restaurants it is still old-school textile ones! So as soon as you sit down at your table, place the napkin on your knees and use it to wipe your lips. When you excuse yourself to leave for the restroom, you place your napkin on the chair. When you finish your meal, you leave your napkin on the table.
Don’t leave your phone on the table
In McDonald’s, we tend to put our keys, phones and other belongings right on the table. Do not repeat this mistake if you are in an appropriate restaurant. If you are accompanied by someone, do not use your phone for texting because in such a way you indicate that your phone is more important than your guest. If you really need to send an urgent reply, you should excuse yourself before taking out your phone.
Treat restaurant staff with respect
This rule is pretty obvious: you should treat everyone with respect and decency. The waiter is working there to make your restaurant experience enjoyable but you must not treat the waiter as your servant. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the food or about the restaurant in general. If there is something on the menu that you would like but which is not available on that day, please bear in mind that this is not the waiter’s fault.
Order the same number of courses as the others at the table
Again as a rule for someone attending restaurants as part of a group, you should attempt to order the same number of courses as the other people at your table. This will let you start and finish meals at the same time.
Wait for everyone to be served before starting to eat
If you are sitting at the table with some other people, make sure you wait for everyone to receive their food before you start eating yours. If the food is not cooked properly and you have to send it back, make sure you mention to the rest of the table to continue eating without you.
Hold your wineglass by the stem
Leave within 15 minutes after you have finished your meal
In case you want to continue the fun after finishing your meal, order some drinks to prolong your stay at the restaurant. Running a restaurant is a business and you do not want to monopolise a table in a popular restaurant without ordering anything.
Decide ahead if you are splitting the bill
If you are planning on splitting the bill, make sure you let your waiter know about it beforehand.
Do not forget to tip your waiter
Depending on the restaurant, you are expected to tip your waiter 15% for good service and 20-25% for exemplary service. Dining a Michelin star restaurant on your trip abroad is a very costly venture. But if you are passionate about food and made your mind about it, you should start saving money now. For more tips on dining etiquette, check a solid guide Manners Begin at Breakfast: Modern Etiquette for Families — and your manners will be as refined as if you are from a royal family! Joking, anybody should be polite and grateful! But now… back to food!
Best Restaurants in the World
1. Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)
This is a three-Michelin star restaurant based in Italy under the guidance of one of the most celebrated chefs nowadays – Massimo Bottura. Despite having high-profile international projects, Bottura keeps his Osteria as a small and discreet restaurant in a modest Italian town of Modena. The concept of the restaurant is to combine Italian traditions with fierce modernity and dare. The dining space is organised within 3 elegant rooms decorated with contemporary artwork.
In terms of their menu, Bottura prefers using local ingredients from the nearby Emilia-Romagna region. The celebrated chef has a particular preference for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese which he adds to his dishes to create various textures and tastes. He loves music and claims that he gets inspiration from art and jazz and transforms it into food in his restaurant’s kitchen.
It is interesting to know that during its early days, Bottura’s innovative food was rejected by conservative local residents. It is good that Bottura and his American wife did not give up at that point and over the course of time managed to win over even the hearts of critics and fellow chefs across the globe.
2. El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)
This renowned Spanish restaurant received its third Michelin star in 2009 and was ranked already twice as the best restaurant in the world. The restaurant is run by the famous trio of Spanish brothers: Joan, the chef, Josep, the sommelier and Jordi, the pastry chef. Their surname is translated as “rocks” which is reflected in the name of the restaurant as well. The unusual creativity that surrounds even the way the dishes are served to the visitors, as well as their extraordinary gastronomic quality, turned this place into one of the most acclaimed restaurants on our planet.
In terms of the menu, you will have a vast choice in front of you: playful tastes, innovative cooking methods as well as the vernacular sense of traditional Spanish gastronomy. Frozen olives and freeze-dried oyster shells are the signature dishes over there. Once you embark on overseas adventure travelling, make sure you leave some time for dining at El Celler. We are sure it will become one of your most memorable travel impressions that you will bring home!
3. Mirazur (Menton, France)
If you are planning on doing a getaway holiday in France this summer season, this place should definitely occupy a spot on your to-do list. Run by one of the most famous French chefs in the world, Mauro Colagreco, this restaurant offers a unique combination of the French Riviera’s flavours together with the creator’s Argentinian roots. What mastery! If you come over to try some of the Colagreco’s dishes, you will taste the sea, the mountains, fruits and vegetables are grown by the chef himself in his own gardens; all this is served in colourful and bold contrasts. The menu boasts with such signature dishes as oysters with tapioca, shallot cream and anchovy fillets with lemon.
4. Eleven Madison Park (NY, USA)
This restaurant is at the top of Michelin star restaurants in the USA. Do not be surprised by the prices – we would like to warn you that the dish can cost you $300+. It suits well the premises where the restaurant is located: this grand-looking building used to be a bank in the past. The restaurant was named the best restaurant in the world in 2017 after which it was closed for renovation. Nowadays its sleek interiors, updated by the Hungarian-American artist Rita Ackermann, feature cobalt blue banquettes and terrazzo tiling.
The restaurant’s menu offers such iconic hits as smoked sturgeon, a savoury cheesecake and caviar. The chef Humm has decades of experience and won his first Michelin star at the age of 24.
5. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)
Top restaurant in Asia which has been voted No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 4 times in a row, Gaggan should be visited if you find any travel deals to Thailand this year. Make sure you have chopsticks on your travel checklist!
Its fame as a constant hub of gastronomic creativity is due to the talent of its executive chef Gaggan Anand. The menu offers 25 + courses of quickly cooked small bites that can be eaten with hands.
The menu is a powerful mix of Mexican, Japanese and Gaggan’s native Indian cuisines. Most popular dishes include taco bites, nigiri sushi and aubergine Oreo biscuits.