As lists go, there are few more mouth-watering.
New book 150 Restaurants You Need To Visit Before You Die (Lannoo Publishers), by Amélie Vincent, is a ‘visual bucket list of memorable worldwide experiences’.
Every corner of the globe is covered.
Ms Vincent’s tasty tome lifts the lid on the world’s most swoon-worthy eateries, from New York fine-dining establishments like Eleven Madison Park to Heston Blumenthal’s legendary Fat Duck in Berkshire and from Alain Ducasse’s extraordinary restaurant in Paris’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée to London’s eye-catching, and very pink, Sketch.
Ms Vincent stresses that ‘there are more than 150 restaurants worth a visit’ – but her shortlist is a great starting point for globe-trotting foodies.
Scroll down and feast your eyes on MailOnline Travel’s hors d’oeuvres to Ms Vincent’s main course offering…
Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse, Hotel de Paris, Monaco
Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse has three Michelin stars and serves up dishes such as Pyrenean lamb seasoned with Espelette peppers, roasted in a fireplace
‘Since its opening,’ says Ms Vincent, who runs the popular ‘The Foodalist’ content agency, ‘Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse has been dedicated to the very best in terms of Mediterranean produce.’
And when she says ‘very best’, she means it – Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse has three Michelin stars.
The menu includes dishes such as giant sea bass cooked flat and studded with marjoram, and Pyrenean lamb seasoned with Espelette peppers, roasted in a fireplace.
The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium
Food is religion at The Jane, writes Ms Vincent. The chefs work in an open kitchen where the altar of the chapel once stood
At The Jane, set in the chapel of a former 19th-century military hospital food is regarded as a religion, writes Ms Vincent.
The chefs work in an open kitchen where the altar of the chapel once stood.
The cuisine, by all accounts, is top-notch and the decor is eye-catching – there are stained-glass windows ‘with tattoo inspirations’ and a colossal custom-made chandelier.
The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire
Heston Blumenthal has been wowing diners at The Fat Duck for more than 20 years
The Fat Duck, writes Ms Vincent, ‘has been raising smiles for more than 20 years’.
She writes: ‘[Heston] Blumenthal became famous with unusual culinary creations such as crab ice cream and snail porridge, and, with dishes that pickle the mind, his idea is to devise a multisensory experience in which all that you touch, hear, smell and feel has an effect.
‘There is nothing ordinary about dining at The Fat Duck, from the booking process to the petit fours, from the innovative dish presentations to the original flavour combinations.’
Tasting Counter, Boston
At Tasting Counter choice dishes include an island of lobster custard and seaweed in a briny pool of sea urchin
Tasting Counter does things a little differently.
For starters, guests don’t need to bring any money, because they buy tickets for their meals beforehand.
They also create an online profile so the chef can get to know their palate and they choose drinks pairing options. Then, once at the restaurant, they get to marvel at the team prepping and serving each course in front of them. Choice dishes include an island of lobster custard and seaweed in a briny pool of sea urchin.
Vespertine, Los Angeles
Music is a big part of the dining experience at Vespertine, with different soundtracks piped out on different floors. And the chef greets guests by name as they enter
Chef Jordan Kahn, previously of Per Se and Alinea, has created something amazing with Vespertine.
And music plays a big part.
Ms Vincent writes: ‘The first soundtrack plays as you enter on the ground floor and as you approach the lift. Another track will start on the second floor, when the chef welcomes you by name, while a different sound plays on the roof, where you sit in futuristic lounge chairs and enjoy half a dozen amuse-bouches and snacks.’
Mil, Maras, Peru
Mil, in the Andes, is located 3,500 metres up and offers guests the height of Latin American cuisine
Mil, claims Ms Vincent, is ‘Latin America’s most talked-about dining experience’.
It’s located 3,500 metres up in the Sacred Valley and offers guests an eight-step menu featuring the likes of sun-dried cacao nib tea and lamb tartare topped with pink petals.
Quintonil, Avenue Isaac Newton, Mexico City
Sardines in green sauce with purslane, fennel and guacamole is a highlight at Quintonil
Quintonil, declares Ms Vincent, ‘represents the new and exciting Mexican food scene in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere’.
Here, an ‘earthy’ ten-course tasting menu ‘focuses on vegetables, roots and herbs’.
Sardines in green sauce with purslane, fennel and guacamole is a highlight, we understand.
Eleven Madison Park, 11 Madison Avenue, New York City
A savoury New York cheesecake made from smoked sturgeon is one of the tasty talking points at Eleven Madison Park
At Eleven Madison Park guests are treated to a ‘hushed grandeur’ and tasting menus with eight to ten plates.
These include the likes of lavender and honey dry-aged Duclair duck roasted with cabbage and pear.
And a savoury New York cheesecake made from smoked sturgeon.
Le Coucou, 138 Lafayette Street, New York City
Le Coucou ‘delivers a true tribute to French cuisine’ in a wonderful loft-like space
Does whole rabbit and buckwheat-fried eel with curry vinaigrette sound good to you?
If so, you’ll love Le Coucou, which ‘delivers a true tribute to French cuisine’ in a ‘grand, loft-like space’.
The Ranch at Rock Creek, 79 Carriage House Lane, Philipsburg, Montana
At The Ranch at Rock Creek diners arrive in the early evening in the Great Room to enjoy artisan cocktails
The Wild West spirit is always at the top of the menu at The Ranch at Rock Creek, which sits on 6,600 acres of land near the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness area.
As well as dishes made from locally sourced organic ingredients, guests can try fly fishing, horse riding and archery.
Ms Vincent writes: ‘Diners arrive in the early evening in the Great Room to enjoy artisan cocktails made with local herbs, and then step in to dine by the fire and share tales under the big sky.’
Koks, Leynavatn, Faroe Islands
The menu at Koks comprises 19 ‘unforgettably delicate courses’, consumed on oak tables
Breathtaking views, lambskins on the chairs, oak tables and dishes rooted in local traditions.
Welcome to Koks in the Faroe Islands, a cluster of 18 tiny islands between Iceland and Norway.
The menu comprises 19 ‘unforgettably delicate courses’, including raw clams with elderflower.
Diverxo, NH Eurobuilding, Madrid
Reservations can only be taken up to 30 days in advance for DiverXO, the ‘hottest restaurant in Madrid’
This, says Ms Vincent, is the hottest restaurant in Madrid.
Reservations can only be taken up to 30 days in advance, you have to be quick.
If you get in you’ll be treated to the likes of ‘gleamingly fresh monkfish teamed with “potato glass” – multicoloured shards of potato – and bull tail noodle soup.
Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, Hôtel Plaza Athénée, 25 Avenue Montaigne, Paris
Diners experience extraordinary new tastes at Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, writes Ms Vincent
This Alain Ducasse restaurant is ‘stunningly decorated’, writes Ms Vincent.
And the food is similarly impressive, apparently.
She writes: ‘All through the meal, cream, butter and sugar are used as sparingly as possible. Diners experience extraordinary new tastes, such as sliced bread with wax, the genius green puy lentils and Kristal caviar in smoked eel jelly, served with buckwheat blinis and raw cream, and Tarbouriech oysters heated with honey and pollen.’
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
At Soneva Kiri guests are served by a waiter who’s attached to a zip wire
Here guests dine in a eucalyptus tree 16 feet above the rainforest, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, while a ‘flying waiter’ is attached to a zip wire to serve them.
What’s on the menu?
That’ll be authentic Thai meals based on the freshest catch of the day, writes Ms Vincent.
Nama at Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Philippines
Amanpulo has its own organic garden that supplies many of Nama’s ingredients
Amanpulo’s restaurant, Nama, celebrates Japanese influences with ‘authentic, uncomplicated and elegant dishes’, writes Ms Vincent.
She continues: ‘Amanpulo has its own organic garden that supplies many of the restaurant’s ingredients, while fresh seafood is provided by local fishermen, or sourced from Japan.’
Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, London
Sketch has ‘one of the most playful and pinkest’ dining rooms on the planet
Sketch – it’s an art gallery, several hip restaurants and several bars, all under one roof.
The dining room, says Ms Vincent, is ‘one of the most playful and pinkest places, attracting a stylish crowd and serving chef Pierre Gagnaire’s award- winning menu’.
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Waitan, District de Huangpu, Shanghai
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is considered by many to be the most avant-garde restaurant experience in the world, says Ms Vincent
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is considered by many to be the most avant-garde restaurant experience in the world, says Ms Vincent.
It’s in a secret location down a dark alleyway in a windowless room that diners are driven to, only 10 guests are allowed on any one night and the 20-course menu is paired with video clips, audio, bespoke lighting and various scents.
Raw, Taipei, 301 Le Qun 3rd Road, Taiwan
Wine-lovers will be keen to hear that Raw specialise in biodynamic French wine
At Raw guests can expect ‘beautifully presented plates full of colours and flavours, such as crunchy chicken masala skins topped with cauliflower… or a dainty tomato salad with king fish sashimi and rosé champagne vinaigrette’, says Ms Vincent.
Wine-lovers will be keen to hear that Raw specialise in biodynamic French wine.
Michel Bras Toya, Toyako-cho, Hokkaido, Japan
Here guests are treated to amazing views of Hokkaido’s volcanic landscape. The food is good too
As restaurant vistas go, this takes some beating.
Here guests are treated to views of Hokkaido’s volcanic landscape.
Ms Vincent writes that one speciality is ‘coulant’, ‘a dessert whose contrasts of temperature and texture, and the chocolate flavour become one on the plate – it has been copied throughout the world and is said to evoke supreme bliss’.
Bhairo, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Ms Vincent says of Bhairo: ‘The atmosphere of this contemporary European-Asian restaurant will enchant you’
This ‘unique and opulent marble setting is accessible only by boat’, explains Ms Vincent, ‘and encompasses four acres of graceful courtyards, pavilions and gardens’.
At Bhairo rooftop restaurant ‘the moonlit view and ambience are unique’.
Ms Vincent continues: ‘As birds wing slowly by, and the shoreline begins to twinkle with lights, the atmosphere of this contemporary European-Asian restaurant will enchant you.’
Bennelong, Sydney Opera House
Since its opening, Bennelong has become a landmark in Sydney. People gather here to drink cocktails at the upper bar, share a fine- dining menu at the restaurant downstairs, or sit at the Cured and Cultured bar counter right in the middle of the action, to sip fresh champagne with South Coast oysters. Peter Gilmore is the executive chef of Bennelong and its sister restaurant Quay, both situated at the edge of Sydney Harbour. He is a well-known figure in Australia’s vibrant food scene and serves a robust menu crafted in partnership with farmers, fishermen, breeders and providers from across the land.
Bennelong is, by all accounts, now a landmark in Sydney, the author says.
And it’s not just the ‘robust menu crafted in partnership with farmers and fishermen’ that attracts a crowd.
The upper bar, where cocktails are served, is also popular.
Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah
The dishes here are inspired by the American Southwest and made primarily from locally sourced ingredients. Plus, the views are epic
The tables here ‘look out through floor-to-ceiling windows over the changing colours of the Utah desert’.
So that’s a tick for the view then.
What about the food? Tick. Because the dishes are inspired by the American Southwest and made primarily from locally sourced ingredients.
Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
At Azurmendi chef Eneko Atxa ‘leads guests on a journey’, which includes a picnic in an interior garden
Prepare for a culinary experience of a lifetime if you book a table at Azurmendi.
That’s because chef Eneko Atxa ‘leads guests on a journey’, which starts in the interior garden, where a picnic is served, continues in the kitchen, for more snacks and then finishes in a greenhouse space where diners experience the likes of truffled eggs cooked ‘from the inside out’.
Enigma, Barcelona, Spain
Once diners secure a reservation at Enigma, they are given a code to enter the restaurant – where they’re treated to 40 dishes of the tasting menu
Enigma, says Ms Vincent ‘is definitely not a conventional restaurant’.
It’s run by Albert Adrià, brother of world-famous chef Ferran Adrià and former El Bulli chef.
Here he mixes ‘Japanese minimalism with vintage science fiction’. Ms Ms Vincent continues: ‘Once the reservation is confirmed, diners receive a code to enter the restaurant where they will discover the 40 dishes of the tasting menu combining influences from around the world, including Japan, Spain, Korea, and Brazil, such as squid cut to mimic sushi rice… or raspberry pods with dill and sour cream, all served on unusual plates.’
Amélie Vincent – The Foodalist
Amélie Vincent says that food has always been an important part of her life as she was ‘raised by curious parents from multicultural backgrounds who frenetically explored the world through cultural aspects, including food’. She continues: ‘I see chefs as generous hearts and artists who can give inspiration today, to build a better world tomorrow’
Want to know what else made the cut? Then buy 150 Restaurants You Need to Visit Before You Die by Amélie Vincent, out now priced £23.25 (Lannoo Publishers)