A cut above the rest: 10 best restaurants of 2014

Baroque Access lists the top 10 in the lauded ‘World’s Best 50 Restaurants List’ for 2014. Put these restaurants on your bucket list, to visit in 2015

Every year, restaurateurs around the world wait with baited breath to hear if they have made the cut, and are featured on the ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list. To find your restaurant’s name on this coveted list is as important as being awarded a Michelin Star – it’s considered one of the highlights of the international gastronomic calendar.

Of course, the Top 10 restaurants are the best of the best – and we feature them here, to give you an idea of where you should be enjoying gourmet dining next year.


10. The Ledbury, London, UK

Meal for 2 without wine - $270

The menu created by Australian Brett Graham is a delightful mix of traditional flavors. His dishes offer layers of delight as you savor them. Here, the taste is more important than the look of the dish – Graham concentrates on what goes into the food, more than how it looks. And it works in his favor. You taste his passion in his creations. Graham hunts his own wild birds, so the game here is sublime.


9. Alinea, Chicago, USA

Meal for 2 without wine - $420

OK, so he spent time in Ferran Adrià’s kitchen at El Bulli – and that will give you an idea of what chef Grant Achatz puts on the table. But if you thought El Bulli offered the strangest concoctions possible, you’re wrong. Achatz takes avante garde to a whole new level. His 18-course tasting menu isn’t a meal, it’s an extraordinary feast that delights every sense. Even the tableware is chosen to suit each dish. As the menu changes regularly, we can’t spoil the experience for you… but rest assured, it’s a gastronomic delight.


8. Arzak, San Sebastián, Spain

Meal for 2 without wine - $530

Juan Mari Arzak has transformed traditional Basque country dishes into masterpieces – he’s not called the genius of Spanish gastronomy for nothing. His daughter Elena now runs the show, offering eager guests whimsical dishes like waves of local seafood (they’re created from molds) that are as quirky as they are delicious.


7.D.O.M, Săo Paulo, Brazil

Meal for 2 without wine - $400

Chef Alex Atala’s reputation precedes him. Pictures of Atala standing in the Amazon holding a giant fish to his bare chest have gone viral. Interestingly enough, his restaurant and his food are both much more refined and his delicate dishes are quite sublime. Of course, some of the flavors are unusual – they come from the Brazilian wilds after all, and you’ll find Amazonian ants as well as lots of lemongrass flavoring the food. Atala makes it work so well that you’ll be asking for seconds.


6. Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain

Meal for 2 without wine - $470

This, the second fabulous San Sebastián restaurant on the Top 10 list, is run by chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. His take on traditional Basque country dishes is delightful and unique. The restaurant, located 20 minutes’ drive from San Sebastián, is famous for unusual fare including potato stones (they may look like pebbles, but they don’t break your teeth, we promise you!) that surprise and delight. Be prepared for a taste sensation here. It’s well worth the trip.


5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK

Meal for 2 without wine - $230

British chef extraordinaire Heston Blumenthal is famous for transforming historic dishes from as early as the 13th Century into culinary sensations. The restaurant, located at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel and run by executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, continues Blumenthal’s delightful tradition and offers quirky takes on what was being devoured at banquets in centuries past. Each bite is a surprise – don’t be fooled by what it looks like, because it won’t taste as you expect.


4. Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA

Meal for 2 without wine - $450

The setting is dramatic, the food a touch of modern French at its freshest, the result an iconic New York restaurant with a twist. Swiss chef Daniel Humm transforms farm to table into a work of art on a plate. Surprises await underneath smoke-filled cloches, and New York bagels take on a whole new meaning here. Of course, the service is as good as the food – no wonder the restaurant is considered the best fine dining establishment in Manhattan.


3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

Meal for 2 without wine - $360 to $525

Chef Massimo Bottura is renowned for creating flights of fantasy, art on a plate. He transforms the ordinary into delightfully abstract creations that taste as delectable as they look. Don’t be fooled by what is delivered to your table – it’s unlikely to taste the way you expect! Magnum ice cream bars are stuffed with foie gras, mortadella sandwiches are not what they seem, and each dish has an enthralling story attached. Prepare to be enchanted.


2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

Meal for 2 without wine - $390 to $480

This stunning Spanish restaurant is family run – brothers Joan (head chef), Josep (sommelier) and Jordi (pastry chef supreme) have taken over the reins from their parents and serve sublime flavors in one of the most exquisite dining rooms in Europe. Together they have created wonderful wizardry, sensory sensations that encompass sound as well (an iPod delivered to the table adds another dimension to a dish). Enjoy quintessentially Mediterranean flavors combined with some of the best wines. This is a symphony of sensory delights.


1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark

Meal for 2 without wine - $600

This is the third time this iconic restaurant has topped this prestigious list. Located in an historic whaling house in Copenhagen, the restaurant is famous for its ‘New Nordic’ cuisine that includes delightful dishes such as sea urchin toast and rock moss. Of course, dishes are prepared from the best produce in the region, but they are certainly not boring. Guests test their tastebuds here, with crazy combinations. Think Danish fritter brushed with fermented grasshopper sauce, and a dessert of almond, plum and potato purée. There’s a good reason that this restaurant keeps reaching the top. To find out why, you’ll have to experience its pleasures.