The most beautiful restaurants in the world
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The most beautiful restaurants in the world

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Danilo Scarpati

Ristorante Cavallino, Italy

A considered pit stop in Italy's hallowed land of speed

Enzo Ferrari may have been the king of the Formula One racetrack, but his favourite place to eat was his factory¡¯s canteen, later the Ristorante Cavallino, a few miles outside Modena in Maranello. He could be found there daily from the late 1940s to his death in 1988 ¨C a simple plate of risotto or tortellini in front of him, a bottle of Lambrusco on ice, and often accompanied by the racing star of the day or a visiting royal figure. But now there¡¯s been a shift of gear. With a little assistance from chef Massimo Bottura and architect India Mahdavi, the Cavallino has been remodelled, keeping its sense of history ¨C pristine engines are showcased like artworks around the dining room ¨C while playing with Ferrari¡¯s red-and-yellow palette and prancing horse motif, a pixelated version of which trots across wallpaper and mosaic-tiled columns. Lacquered chairs have been upcycled from a nearby hotel; the terracotta floor mimics the pattern of trattoria tablecloths. As for the menu, Italy¡¯s seemingly inexhaustible culinary champion is having fun with the region¡¯s heritage: Bottura has revived a generations-old recipe of baked pasta with ham, elevating it with edible silver leaf, while the emblematic tortellini del Tortellante is made by young adults from the local autism project that he runs with his wife Lara Gilmore. The Cavallino has been a place of petrol-head pilgrimage for decades, but now foodies can join in on the action too. Erica Firpo


Hanru Marais @hanrumaraisphotography

Klein Jan, Kalahari

A wildly ambitious subterranean space in the heart of the Kalahari

If anybody can package local provenance provocatively, it¡¯s Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, the first South African chef to achieve a Michelin star, for his namesake restaurant in Nice, France. And while Cape Town would have been the obvious choice for his home-turf debut, instead he opted for the meatier task of creating a ground-breaking restaurant, Klein JAN, in Tswalu game reserve in the southern Kalahari. The initial challenge of tracking down Northern Cape ingredients involved driving for days (sourcing within 300 miles is considered close in these parts) to meet small-scale farmers growing pecans, pistachios, grapes and organic grains to mill into unrefined flour for bread. Then there were the cheesemakers, fourth-generation butchers and craft distillers creating not just gin and vermouth but local favourite witblits. The restaurant¡¯s architecture is brilliantly elemental, taking its design cues from native creatures that seek refuge by burrowing underground. Here, nobody sits in a chair for hours on end. Guests are given different courses in different spaces; built beneath a dune, most of Klein JAN remains unseen until you descend into the cathedral-like root cellar. Try biltong-dusted savoury lamingtons on the stoep, or a mug of butternut-squash soup cooked on Jan¡¯s grandmother¡¯s old stove. The 10-plate main course is delivered at once, as if for a photoshoot, in the glass-fronted long room and might include dry-aged beef from Kuruman sizzling on a hot rock and mini sweet-potato mille-feuille. After pudding and local cheeses (served with brandy-steeped raisins), everyone ends up on the roof to stargaze while sipping coffee made from the roasted, ground roots of a shepherd¡¯s tree. By Jane Broughton

Dinner included for guests at the Tswalu camps; lunch tasting menu and wine pairing, about ¡ê125 per person

Chris Schalkx

Tax Bar, Bangkok

A sharp Bangkok bar is combining shrimp paste with drinking vinegars

¡®Nothing is certain but death and tax¡¯ reads the sign above a dimly lit staircase on the fringe of Bangkok¡¯s Chinatown. It marks the entrance to Tax bar, a concrete-clad, paint-smeared loft, which was opened last November by mixologist Niks Anuman-Rajadhon ¨C the brains behind gin-centric Teens of Thailand and the foraged cocktails at Asia Today, both down the street. While shrubs (or drinking vinegars) are becoming more popular in late-night hangouts across the globe, Tax is moving the syrupy mocktails on with a more irreverent take. House-made from stout, Riesling or brut Champagne, its innovative vinegars are meant as a leftfield joke on the killjoys in charge in a country where draconian laws mean advertising alcohol is an offence punished more severely than driving under the influence. Even craft breweries face so many regulatory obstacles that it¡¯s more cost-effective to shift production across the border to Cambodia and import their beers back in. The tongue-in-cheek angle here is that although Tax¡¯s vinegars lose their alcoholic kick in the brewing process, they are at least derived from booze, and lend an umami punch to gin and rum cocktails alongside unconventional additions such as bell-pepper-infused vermouth and shrimp paste. Free of frills ¨C decorations are dismissed as ¡®cocktail ketchup¡¯ ¨C and more savoury than sweet, they offer an antidote to the flower-flecked drinks found around town. This envelope-pushing den adds a whole new flavour to Bangkok¡¯s bar scene. By Chris Schalkx


Nicolaj Didriksen

Lyst, Copenhagen, Denmark

A bold Danish newcomer pairs elemental dishes with striking architecture

Copenhagen has been the restaurant capital of the world for a number of years, but now there are some exciting things happening outside the city, too. Forty miles south of Aarhus, on the first floor of Fjordenhus ¨C the extraordinary gesamtkunstwerk designed by installation artist Olafur Eliasson together with architect Sebastian Behmann ¨C Lyst is a no-expense-spared, ¡®build it and they will come¡¯ kind of a place. Constructed at a rumoured cost of more than ¡ê100 million, the three conjoined towers also house Kirk Kapital, an investment fund run by three grandsons of Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen ¨C the restaurant was the passion project of one of the brothers, the late Morten Kirk Johansen. With chef Daniel McBurnie, who spent time in a handful of Copenhagen¡¯s top kitchens, at the helm, it¡¯s intended to rival achievements such as Geranium and Noma. The course that perhaps best epitomises it ¨C the name means both ¡®desire¡¯ and ¡®to be light¡¯ ¨C is, ironically, its simplest: a glass of Krug Champagne accompanied by a slice of sourdough and a rectangle of butter. The Krug (when I dined, a Grande Cuv¨¦e Edition) shows that Nina H?jgaard Jensen, silver medallist at the 2019 sommelier world championships, is in charge of the cellar; the salty butter is locally sourced, like pretty much everything else on the menu, from the Lyskvad caviar to the Limfjord oysters and the langoustines from the Kattegat strait; and the bread is made with water from the owner¡¯s natural spring. That it comes midway through the 20-course feast adds an aptly discombobulating touch. Diners move from the circular glass-topped bar ¨C having tasted snacks such as a small salt-baked beetroot shattered with a silver hammer cast from the mould of a forest twig ¨C to the dining room with its sail-like table dividers, via the oyster bar and grill out on the balconies. Eliasson has said they aimed to create a restaurant at ¡®the intersection of food, architecture, design and people¡¯. Along with a sizable dose of chutzpah. By Michael Booth

Price: Tasting menu about ¡ê280

Felix Adler

C¨¦u Dining, Leipzig, Germany

How the legendary architect's vision turned a factory canteen into an incredible place to eat

A year before his death in 2012 aged 104, architect Oscar Niemeyer received a letter from Ludwig Koehne, a German crane manufacturer, requesting he design ¡®an intimate yet spacious restaurant with a special view¡¯ in Leipzig. The letter was part of Koehne¡¯s plan to hold on to his brilliant canteen chef Tibor Herzigkeit who was growing tired of cooking for 100-plus employees daily and wanted to move into the restaurant world (he was already drawing an excited crowd of paying customers to the cafeteria set in the factory¡¯s old boiler building). Surprisingly, perhaps, the Brazilian architect said yes and the space-age sphere is believed to have been one of his final sketches. It took almost nine years to create, but now a curved staircase leads visitors from a lower hemisphere bar to the bright, open room in the upper half of the gravity-defying space that looks out over the city. At C¨¦u (sky in Portuguese), Herzigkeit finally has the opportunity to experiment. Using ingredients from a rooftop garden next door, he shines a light on vegetables in his seasonal 10-course menu that spans the globe ¨C hopping from a local allerlei pot stew to a black-bean feijoada in honour of Niemeyer and an exhilarating dish of pear juice with shaved ice and chilli, which recalls memories of summer popsicles. Not only is this the region¡¯s most exciting new architectural landmark but the most talked-about restaurant to open here in a decade. By Florian Siebeck

Website: /ceu

Ilana Freddye

Outstanding in the Field, USA

A back-to-the-land roving restaurant without walls

When pioneering chef and artist Jim Denevan hosted his first supper club in a California orchard in 1999, his idea ¨C to bring the kitchen to the source while reconnecting diners with the land ¨C was simple yet trailblazing. More than 20 years later, the venues keep getting cooler. This year, among others, is a mezcal distillery in a remote Oaxacan agave field, a seaside retreat on Nicaragua¡¯s Emerald Coast and a wooden pier in Malibu with the waves breaking below. With each dinner, Denevan¡¯s 150-person tablescape creates an otherworldly artwork: stretched across a ridge overlooking the Pacific on a ranch in Australia¡¯s Byron Bay or arching through a golden pasture in Texas, pictured. But what ensures its cultish popularity is the killer food: ambrosial lamb curry cooked amid the foothills of Virginia, bowls of stracciatella di bufala with tomatoes from a fourth-generation farm in Connecticut. Keep a keen eye out for location releases because most of the family-style feasts sell out within an hour. By Lauren Matison


Art Sanchez

Botanic, Mallorca

Veg-centric cooking in Palma¡¯s loveliest hotel

The forces of nature seem irrepressible at Bot¨¤nic, a restaurant in a restored 16th-century mansion turned hidden-away place to stay. Ivy creepers wheedle their way back through parlour walls, bird cages swing from the ceiling, everything chirps with vitality. The vision of spritely chef Andr¨¦s Benitez (ex Michelin-starred Bou) is an ode to Mallorca¡¯s horticultural wonders. For his smart take on healthy eating, he invents, deconstructs and recalibrates recipes to deliver a nutritious score of flavours. The steamed avocado, for example, sits on a colourful cushion of pumpkin puree, broccolini and grapefruit. Set on the edge of Palma¡¯s largest private garden, this is the most life-enhancing feast in the Balearics right now. By Stephanie Rafanelli

Address: Forn de la Gl¨®ria 14 – 07012 Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain
Telephone: +34 871 871 202

Claes Bech Poulsen

Alchemist, Copenhagen

A six-hour sensory supper of snowballs and edible plastic from a firebrand Danish chef

In a former warehouse that's entirely sealed from natural light, Alchemist takes dining to epic proportions: 50 immersive courses served in five rooms over six hours. One space replicates the sights and sounds of New York City; in another, guests watch the chefs working with hi-tech, lab-like equipment in front of jars of freeze-dried ingredients (pictured). There's an air of rebellion at this Copenhagen joint. Young-gun chef Rasmus Munk's experimental plates range from fun ¨C solid G&Ts; white fermented-tomato snowballs ¨C to shocking and confrontational. Cod jaw is topped with pickled dill and edible plastic; chicken feet protrude from a tiny cage; lamb's brain is sliced at the table; a dish of sharp ice chunks floating in red liquid is named 'blood diamond'. Everything can be made for vegans, including the brain, replaced with Jerusalem-artichoke pur¨¦e and coated in cherry sauce. In the domed main room ¨C where dreamlike overhead projections change from an aurora borealis-filled sky to jellyfish drifting beside plastic bags ¨C diners are invited to kiss strawberries and edible petals off a rubber tongue. Elsewhere, apple-sauce 'antibiotics' are injected into a morsel of pork. In an age when food consumption has become an environmental issue, Munk is using the plate as his platform to speak out. A night here might just spark the most interesting dinner conversations you've ever had. By Clare Vooght

Address: Alchemist, Refshalevej 173C, DK-1432, Copenhagen
Telephone: +45 31 71 61 61

Vespertine, Los Angeles

LA's next-generation tasting menu

Having worked at some of the finest kitchens in the USA ¨C Alinea, French Laundry and Per Se ¨C chef Jordan Kahn made his solo debut with LA¡¯s minimalist, much-loved Destroyer. His follow-up, Vespertine, is just across the road in Eric Owen Moss¡¯s teetering Waffle Building. A lift deposits diners straight into the kitchen to meet Kahn himself, before being escorted to the rooftop to begin in the 20-something-course experience against the backdrop of a Culver City sunset. At a time when every other chef on the planet is raving about local ingredients, Kahn is doing the opposite: eat at Vespertine and you won¡¯t know what¡¯s on your plate, let alone where anything has come from. The otherworldly ceramics might bear bright red spinach or a slab of soft fruit laminated with sunflower petals, sparkling curls of something bright and white that turn out to be asparagus, or a fish dish with no sign of fish at all. The waiters, wearing uniforms seemingly inspired by The Handmaid¡¯s Tale, are instructed to let guests puzzle through the menu by themselves. Kahn¡¯s latest project is certainly the most controversial, talked-about restaurant among foodies right now. By Tabitha Joyce

Address: Vespertine, 3599 Hayden Avenue, Culver City, California, USA
Telephone: +1 323 320 4023

Erin Little

Cervo's, New York City

NYC's buzziest after-work haunts

In a hip, lively block on the edge of New York City¡¯s Chinatown, Cervo¡¯s feels like a hangout for wine lovers who also need to eat. The seafood-focused, Iberian inspired restaurant is headed up by Nialls Fallon, Leah Campbell and chef Nick Perkins, the same team behind always-rammed Brooklyn joints Hart¡¯s and The Fly, which pour killer natural wines and serve unpretentious dishes. Almost everything at Cervo¡¯s is to be shared, and preferably soaked up with lots of sourdough, with small plates including meaty prawns a la plancha, juicy scallops drizzled in chilli oil and paper-thin serrano ham with cucumber. There are also more substantial mains to tuck into, such as half a piri-piri chicken served with a heap of fries and a tender lamb burger topped with vinegary anchovies. But people are really here to sit at the sleek, minimal bar and sip Portuguese orange wine while snacking on crispy shrimp heads. You could almost be in Lisbon if it weren¡¯t for the sound of the F train rumbling in the distance. By Lale Arikoglu

Address: Cervo's, 43 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002, United States

Warren Heath / Bureaux

Wolfgat, South Africa

A foraged find in South Africa

The 20 seats in this humble cottage above a beach in Paternoster, two hours from Cape Town, get snapped up months in advance. Here, chef Kobus van der Merwe has gained a cult following for his foraged beach vegetation menu. But success didn¡¯t arrive overnight. He has been pioneering sustainable cooking on South Africa¡¯s west coast for a decade ¨C first at Oep ve Koep (the tiny bistro he still runs in his parents¡¯ farm stall) and now at Wolfgat, pictured, named after a nearby cave which contains remnants of an early civilisation. Today, he uses ingredients typical of the ancient diet of the nomadic Strandlopers, who combed the shores of this stark coast. Seasonal foods include bokkoms (dried fish), veldkool (flower buds) and pickled slangbessies berries. Wild oysters are whipped into a pat¨¦ with housemade fynbos-infused vermouth and foraged purslane. And for pudding there might be crispy kelp served with sweet pear ice cream. This off-the-beaten-track spot is worth the significant detour out of the city. By Jane Broughton

Address: Wolfgat, 10 Sampson St, Kliprug, Paternoster, 7381, South Africa

Chris Schalkx

FV, Bangkok

A rustic no-waste Bangkok arrival

¡®I take what¡¯s undesired and make people want it,¡¯ says Opas Chantkam, founder of FV (Fruits and Vegetables), a low-key, high-concept juice bar in Bangkok¡¯s Chinatown. The Thailand native left a career as a creative director in London and New York to return home to where, he says, ¡®the balance was off¡¯.

Irked by the fact that local farmers could barely make ends meet because modern food consumption requires unblemished, highly modified goods, he set out to make a difference. Working with natural farms and research groups, he re-grows Thai crops to prevent them dying out. The produce (shogun oranges, guavas, red tamarind) ends up in FV¡¯s kitchen, where pulpy drinks bring out the fruit¡¯s flavours. Even the ultimate unwanted flora make it onto the menu in weed juices, made from ivy gourd and sleeping grass.

This anti-industrial ethos extends to the interiors. Beneath the mirrored ceiling stands a reconstructed original, stilted Isaan dwelling; Buddhist art hangs on the walls; glasses are fashioned from discarded bottles. FV¡¯s mission is admirable ¨C it walks the locavore talk and provides a much-needed antidote to the city¡¯s increasingly over-polished restaurant scene. By Chris Schalkx

Address: FV, 827 Song Wat Road, Bangkok
Telephone: +66 81 866 0533

Steve Herud

Bar Shuka, Frankfurt

A taste of Tel Aviv in Frankfurt

Though new Israeli flavours have taken root all over the globe it¡¯s still a surprise to find some of the most exciting iterations in Germany¡¯s financial capital. Frankfurt¡¯s Bahnhofsviertel, a red-light district long avoided by locals, is home to the majority of the city¡¯s 180 nationalities ¡ª arguably the most international quarter in the world. It has become a bit of a foodie hub, too, ever since the arrival of German-Jewish entrepreneurs David and James Ardinast and their restaurant, Stanley Diamond, and deli, Maxie Eisen. For their latest brainchild, Bar Shuka (shuk means ¡®market¡¯ in Hebrew), the Ardinast brothers enlisted chefs Stephan Kaiser and Yossi Elad ¡ª the mastermind behind The Palomar in London ¡ª to create a standout menu. Dishes include shared plates spiced up with homemade harissa and za¡¯atar; pillowy pita; roasted cauliflower with tomato salsa and almonds; oxtail ravioli with polenta; and crispy aubergine with mango puree. There¡¯s also a velvety speakeasy sake bar, but the action is in the restaurant where neon letter spell ¡®friendship¡¯ in Hebrew and Arabic. It¡¯s a lively spot ¡ª the volume ramps up as the night unfolds, with dancing on tabletops actively encouraged. By Florian Siebeck

Address: Bar Shuka Niddastra?e 56, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Telephone: +49 69 2566772280

Il Pescatore, Sardinia

Sardinia's original honeypot buzzes again after a shiny bright upgrade

When the Aga Khan turned Sardinia¡¯s Costa Smeralda into a millionaire¡¯s paradise in the 1960s this rugged north-eastern coast quickly became a place for mega-yachts to dock. Since then, Beyonc¨¦, Rihanna, the Clooneys and the Obamas have all dropped anchor. While restaurants in high-glamour destinations can often be more show than substance, Il Pescatore, surrounded by pine trees and with a wooden terrace that juts into the sea, has always been a charmer. Designed by Jacques Couelle in the 1960s, it was the first smart place to eat in the seaside town of Porto Cervo and has been dishing up simple fish dishes ever since. Now, following an overhaul by London designers Blacksheep modelled on a fisherman¡¯s adobe hut, it has a roof of bleached logs, terracotta tiles and a raw-stone-bar-turned-DJ-booth lit by blown-glass bubble lampshades. But it¡¯s not just a new look; with it comes a new chef, Antonio Mellino of two-Michelin-starred Amalfi favourite Quattro Passi. And with him, a new name: Quattropassi al Pescatore. The menu is still centred on seafood, but it¡¯s more refined. There¡¯s amberjack tartare, calamari sliced into ribbons of fettucine and the chef¡¯s famous lobster spaghetti. People come for the oysters, but stay for the dancing. This old-time Porto Cervo legend is back in the spotlight ¨C the only place to be on Sardinia this summer. By Sebastian Marc Graham

Address: Il Pescatore, Costa Smeralda, 07020 Porto Cervo OT, Italy
Telephone: +39 0789 931624

Jacs Powell

Saddles, Australia

A bush restaurant from the man who put Bondi icebergs on the map

In a most unexpected location, an hour¡¯s drive from Sydney on the Central Coast, is a new no-expenses-spared restaurant. Anywhere else, its boot-scootin¡¯ cowboy aesthetic might be on the wrong side of kitsch. But here, on 25 acres overlooking a large dam and surrounded by thick and dry, sepia-toned bush landscape, it works. Saddles was opened by John Singleton, the most moneyed advertising big shot in Sydney ¨C if not Australia ¨C who once owned Bondi¡¯s scene-stealing Icebergs.

Here it feels like the Man from Snowy River has retired in prosperity and turned his ranch into a daybreak escape for city-slickers. There are grand sandstone fireplaces and leather saddles doubling as bar stools ¨C crafted at a cost of up to ¡ê4,000 each by artisanal master saddler Heath Harris. The food is simple and hearty, and completely unpretentious: whole roast chickens, tender lamb shoulder and meat pies packed with rich, slow-cooked beef chunks steeped in red wine. Everything from the tomato sauce to the still-warm sourdough is made here, and native ingredients such as finger limes, lemon myrtle and Davidson plums are picked from the restaurant garden; the drinks list, bar the Champagne, is all-Australian, too. Saddles has injected some oomph into the go-slow coast, a once lo-fi spot that¡¯s now attracting a savvy Sydney crowd every weekend. Among a smattering of new openings in the area, this is certainly the place to be for Sunday lunch ¨C worthy of a motorway detour in its own right. By Chloe Sachdev

Address: Saddles, 20 Ashbrookes Road, Mount White, New South Wales, Australia
Telephone: +2 4370 1152

Douglas Friedman

Che Fico, San Fransisco

West coast pizza pioneers tempt purists with the ultimate cheesy crust

From dough to toppings, pizza can be a divisive topic in the USA. Adherents usually fall into one of two camps (New York thin-base vs Chicago deep-dish), so imagine the collective surprise when a small taverna in San Francisco proposed a whole new type: a distinctively wide crust ¨C at least an inch all around ¨C roasted at a low temperature, with a charred finish, then sprinkled generously with Parmesan.

Che Fico¡¯s pizzas are visually thrilling, but the use of local Californian produce is what really hits the mark: the changing menu may involve pizza with mortadella, ricotta, pistachio and avocado-blossom honey, or piquant pineapple, red onion and fermented chilli. Ex-Eleven Madison Park chef David Nayfeld¡¯s menu has been an instant success. Since opening, the same team have launched Theorita downstairs, an old-school diner where the pie obsession is sweet rather than savoury. Social-media attention from early fans including Gwyneth Paltrow ensured that, seemingly overnight, Che Fico became the hardest reservation to get in the entire country. By Todd Plummer

Address: Che Fico, 838 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA USA
Telephone: +1 415 416 6959

Martin Westlake

Room 4 Dessert, Ubud, Bali

A Balinese remake by a New York pastry wizard

Will Goldfarb is the Willy Wonka of Bali. His story started in New York: after a stint at Spain¡¯s El Bulli and a few pastry-chef roles, he struck gold with the original Room 4 Dessert, a 20-seater pudding bar in Nolita that quickly obtained rave reviews as well as regulars including film director Wes Anderson.

When it was shuttered following a fallout with his partners, Goldfarb upped sticks and relaunched it in Bali ¨C this time flanked by palm trees, with ingredients such as fresh cocoa, palm sugar and soursop on his doorstep. His all-pudding tasting menu features Incidente Stradale, mixing jamu, a traditional tonic, with coconut and coffee, while Angel¡¯s Kiss is made with jackfruit, pandan and mango. All of his creations are paired with wine or a cocktail ¨C the Planifoglia, a cheesecake-like sabayon, is matched with a vodka-based mangosteen and hibiscus concoction.

From April the surrounding gardens will also be put to work, meaning medicinal herbs will be picked minutes before they¡¯re used. Combining Goldfarb¡¯s skills with his passion for Bali¡¯s local ingredients has been a sweet success ¨C this is the most exciting restaurant in Indonesia, if not Asia, right now. By Anna Chittenden

Address: Room 4 Dessert Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Ubud Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 813-3705-0539

Line Klein

Barr, Copenhagen

The Nordic food revolution continues with an upstart in Noma's old home

After Ren¨¦ Redzepi moved his game-changing restaurant, Noma, from its warehouse on Copenhagen¡¯s harbourfront, a restaurant called Barr arrived to inhabit its space. With Redzepi a co-owner, its?head chef, Thorsten Schmidt, knew he had to find a way to fill the shoes of its lauded predecessor. So rather than exploring the Nordic region, he embraced flavours inspired by Denmark¡¯s southerly neighbours, the lands of beer and meatballs. But what meatballs! Following epic tasting sessions, Schmidt led with venison and wild duck frikadeller, which have been a huge hit. There are also hauntingly good marrowbone waffles with lumpfish roe, and cod tail glazed in ¡®Barr-mite¡¯ (Schmidt¡¯s rich, oniony version of Marmite). The schnitzel, meanwhile, is a Platonic ideal of the dish, with super-tender pork and a coating as crisp as the topping on a cr¨¨me br?l¨¦e. The style is less hair-shirt and more cosseting than New Nordic places tend to be. In a city that sees new openings wither on a wave of short-lived hubris, Barr stands apart for its consistency: it makes the stuff you want to eat, slightly differently than expected and much better than anyone else. Noma might be the once-in-a-lifetime experience, but Barr ¨C which always has space for walk-ins ¨C is the place to become a regular. Lightning can, it seems, strike twice. By Michael Booth

Address: Barr, Strandgade 93, 1401 K?benhavn, Denmark
Telephone: +45 32 96 32 93

Our review of Noma 2.0

Douglas Merriam

Palace Diner, Biddeford near Portland, Maine

A perfectly-edited diner menu in Biddeford

The sheer number of outstanding restaurant openings in Portland, Maine, over the last year means that this small New England city is suddenly in the spotlight. There¡¯s Moxie-braised pork belly at Little Giant, oven-warm biscuits spread with Maine blueberry jam at Tandem Coffee and Bakery, briny bivalves from The Shop at Island Creek Oysters, traditional sushi at Izakaya Minato, and flawless bagels at Jewish deli Rose Foods. But while modern food trends have percolated in downtown Portland, an unpretentious local favourite has patiently stood guard just a few minutes south, in the town of Biddeford. Palace Diner is set in a repurposed railway car, with an open kitchen and a single line of bar stools (no booths), where owners Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley have got rid of any sad frozen ingredients. Consider this a greasy spoon without the grease. Instead, there¡¯s a perfectly edited menu of just 12 dishes, including buttermilk-pancake stacks, house-smoked corn-beef hash and a tuna melt that is so well-executed it¡¯s a winner with both regulars and critics. If you¡¯re flying in and out of Boston and driving up to Portland, the route brings you through Biddeford, so there¡¯s no excuse not to stop. Better yet, stop on your way back too, because this modern distillation of the quintessential American diner is worth a double hit. By Todd Plummer
Address: Palace Diner, 2502, 18 Franklin St, Biddeford, Maine, United States
Telephone: +1 207 284 0015

Jimena Agois

KJOLLE, Lima, Peru

The wife of Lima's most famous chef goes it on her own

Working with her husband Virgilio Mart¨ªnez at their restaurant Central in Lima, P¨ªa Le¨®n may just be the most famous chef you¡¯ve never heard of. She¡¯s spent the last decade traversing Peru¡¯s mountains, valleys and rivers sourcing ingredients such as Amazonian pacay (ice-cream bean) for the Mater Elevations menu at Central, ranked number six in the World¡¯s 50 Best list. But, this year ¨C following the launch of Mil, the couple¡¯s ambitious Andean project, 3,500 metres above sea level, as well as the relocation of Central to Lima¡¯s hipster Barranco district ¨C Le¨®n has opened her first solo joint: Kjolle (pronounced coy-yay).

Where Central focuses on ecosystems on an altitude-by-altitude basis, here Le¨®n is plating Peru her way. Her monthly-changing eight-step tasting menu fuses ingredients from all over the country, matching the Amazon jungle with the Andean high plateau. Pato curado ¨C duck tartare ¨C stars Pacific baby squid, crunchy onion rings and ka?ihua, an Andean cereal, while Muchos Tub¨¦rculos is a vibrant tart tribute to Peru¡¯s 4,000 root vegetables. The indidivual dishes on the tasting menu can also be ordered as larger sharing platters.

This new Barranco hub is home to a cocktail bar, Mayo, too, as well as the HQ of the couple¡¯s biological and cultural research arm, Mater Iniciativa. Some flavours will tickle taste buds for the first time, such as black mashua ¨C a wrinkled black tuber that tastes like fermented corn juice. ¡®Mater does its work, then I do mine,¡¯ explains Le¨®n. Finall

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