Boca do Lobo presents The World’s 10 Best Restaurants in the. Meet the winners of 2013!
#1 El Celler de Can Roca
The logo that represents El Celler de Can Roca is an ‘R’ with a difference. The quirk is that the letter that evokes the family name has three ‘legs’ – each representing one of the three Roca brothers, who have combined their diverse skills to such extraordinary effect. This is a Catalan family restaurant through and through, and yet it is also now the best restaurant in the world. This family triumvirate and their teams create magic without undue theatrics. Eating at El Celler is truly uplifting, with the warmth of the family dynamic all-pervasive. Rock on, you Rocas.
Three-time number one Noma continues to take an innovative and inventive approach to both its cooking and its strictly local sourcing and foraging. Chef-patron René Redzepi’s food can at times be shocking – visceral even – but it strives to reflect the Danish landscape and culture. Through its menu of numerous small appetisers and courses to its stunning array of ‘treats’ that round off the meal, there’s always at least one dish that makes you feel glad to be alive
#3 Osteria Francescana
Tradition and modernity collide in spectacular fashion at Osteria Francescana with chef-patron Massimo Bottura’s sense of fun and headline-grabbing cooking. A new dish for this year is ‘camouflage’ – a thin layer of foie gras decorated with powders (hare blood, chestnut, various herbs), arranged to look like army woodland camo – but this is tempered by more traditional fare. Brilliant yet eccentric, Bottura’s artistic, show-stopping food has secured him a fervent following.
San Sebástian, Spain
At Mugaritz diners are treated to a multiple-course tasting menu of intricate yet small dishes developed through a creative process and an attention to detail that borders on the obsessive. Chef-patron Andoni Luis Aduriz aims to play with guests and reflect on the different ways a restaurant can have an impact, rather than just filling people up and sending them on their way. From that point of view there is no other place like Mugaritz in the world.
#5 Eleven Madison Park
New York, USA
Chef Daniel Humm and general manager Will Guidara’s sleek Art Deco restaurant offers a masterclass in surprise. From the mysterious string-tied box that kicks off proceedings to the waiter affixing a meat grinder to the table midway through the meal, little can be anticipated. What diners can rely on, however, is a dining experience that is as delightful as it is engaging, with the use of peerless ingredients and top-class cooking, such as a clam dish that comes in two stages.
São Paulo, Brazil
Part chef, part historian, part botanist, Alex Atala champions Brazil’s traditional ingredients and dishes. Familiar European fine dining fare gets a look-in at D.O.M. but often in supporting roles to the likes of cambuca fruit, manioc root and tucupi juice. Atala explores and exploits the country’s rich source of ingredients – particularly the Amazon rainforest – and D.O.M. has been named The Best Restaurant in South America for four years in a row
#7 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Conceived by the legendary British chef and his increasingly influential right-hand man Ashley Palmer-Watts, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal mines historical British recipes from as far back as the 14th century and reworks them using contemporary cooking techniques. What really makes a lasting impact, however, are the big flavour hits. Dinner is not about delicate combinations or table theatrics, but gutsy dishes that will remain at the forefront of your memory bank for years to come.
San Sebástian, Spain
This family-run San Sebastián restaurant has living legend of Basque cuisine Juan Mari Arzak at the helm, alongside daughter Elena Arzak Espina, the World’s Best Female Chef in 2012. The pair tease out the best from local ingredients and food culture by reworking ideas using modern techniques. While rooted in its location and loyal to local bounty, team Arzak isn’t afraid to look further afield for flavours, as its spectacular herb, spice and ingredients room attests..
Breaking into the top 10 for the first time this year, Steirereck chef-owner Heinz Reitbauer’s cooking is finally getting the attention it merits. Reitbauer’s dishes pillage his family’s Styrian roots for inspiration and unearth rare ingredients from the land and via Steirereck’s collection of cookbooks. The menu is shaped around a commitment to its produce, with much sourced from Reitbauer’s own farm and from a co-operative he has formed with farmers
Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Despite borrowing its name from the town in central France, Vendôme doesn’t serve French food. Far from it, in fact. Joachim Wissler’s restaurant is a proponent of neue Deutsche küche, a doctrine that sees German restaurants break away from Gallic influence. Germanic ingredients and traditions come to the fore, often in a highly technical, avant-garde way. Meals here tend to be epic, with the largest menu containing around 25 courses, so come hungry.