The Best Of The Best Destination Dining
Aug 31, 2018 10:00AM ● Published by Ashley Madonna
When traveling somewhere new, it’s easy for tourists to stick to what they know – whether that be seeing the same museums in big cities, shopping in areas featuring recognizable name brands or dining at chains with familiar menus. But one of the best aspects of traveling involves immersing yourself in a new culture. And the tastiest way to do that is eating at the area’s finest restaurant. There may be things on the menu that seem different or ingredients you haven’t tried, but trying new things will help you find unique food adventures.
One way to score a table at the best restaurant in a new place is by researching reputable sources before you go, which is exactly what we did. The World’s Best 50 Restaurants, a feature originally included in the British magazine, “Restaurant,” and now its own notable source of foodie destinations, gathers votes of more than 1,000 restaurateurs, chefs, food writers and gastronomes each year and puts out a list of the best locations across the globe that offer the rare snapshots of the culture’s culinary offerings. It also names the best restaurant for that year in each continent to celebrate chefs and restaurant owners alike for running successful gourmet establishments. After learning more about the 2018 honorees, we have a few new places on our bucket list.
Located on the cobblestone backstreets of Modena, Italy, Osteria Francescana was named “The World’s Best Restaurant 2018” and “The Best Restaurant in Europe 2018.” The contemporary Italian hot spot, run by one of the most celebrated chefs in the industry, chef Massimo Bottura – as seen on Netflix’s “Chef’s Table,” is no newcomer to the list. The restaurant won the same honor back in 2016 and was No. 2 in 2017. And the contemporary location holds the first position in the Michelin Guide for Italian food and has a three-Michelin star rating. Which makes it no surprise booking a table is next to impossible. To get your chance at their 12-course tasting menu on your next visit, plan ahead. Reservations can only be made through their website and are released at 10 a.m. Italian time on the first day of each month for the third following month. So grab your computer and get ready to pounce to grab one of their 12 tables at your desired time. If you make it through, get ready to relish in their stunning plates using ingredients found in the Emilia-Romagna region that change depending on the season and their latest kitchen research. It all makes for a once-in-a-lifetime foodie experience you’ll look back to for years to come. OsteriaFrancescana.it
Eleven Madison Park
A little closer to home and named “The Best Restaurant in North America 2018,” New York’s Eleven Madison Park offers American dishes with a modern twist in a sleek dining environment. Chef Daniel Humm, who earned his first Michelin star at 24 and now runs a restaurant with a three-star rating from the reputable guide, offers New Yorkers and travelers alike an aesthetically pleasing experience with each entree. While it has been in the news for dropping to No. 4 on the list after being named the best in 2017, the $175 bar tasting still boasts the best the U.S. has to offer. For those who want to build their own meal, make sure to ask their staff about their iconic dishes like the Honey Glazed Duck and the New York “Cheesecake” topped with sturgeon and caviar, or try out their seasonal tasting menu featuring eight to 10 courses precisely picked by their culinary team. No matter how you dine, this minimalist eatery reminds diners that every bite should be an experience. ElevenMadisonPark.com
The Test Kitchen
Rounding out the list at No. 50 and taking the prize for “The Best Restaurant in Africa 2018,” The Test Kitchen provides dishes from influences all over the globe. That’s because chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ background is full of different cuisine’s flavors and techniques. So when he opened up The Test Kitchen in 2010 as the first fine dining restaurant in Cape Town, it saw immense success for bringing different practices together in an upscale environment. Their Dark Room provides a cozy environment perfect for enjoying beautiful small bites and sophisticated cocktails, each representing a different part of the world. And their Light Room provides menu options like Pig Head Salad, Pear Trifle and their TTK Banana Split. No matter how you spend your time there, it’s sure to open your eyes to something bold and new. TheTestKitchen.co.za