For many of us, travel is the go-to road whenever we need respite from our mundane lives. These trips not only soothe our senses but also bring us closer to ourselves as we explore different routes, places, cultures and cuisines. One of the most important factors that escalates any globe-trotting experience is food. And if it is served in a luxurious setting by a famous chef, even better.
Here are some Michelin three-star restaurants around the world you should add to your itinerary for a fine dining experience as you set out to quench your #wanderlust.
Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence, Italy
Italy has always been known for its rich food and one of the best restaurants to sample authentic Italian cuisine will be Enoteca Pinchiorri located in Florence. Owned by Annie Féolde and Giorgio Pinchiorri, this restaurant should definitely be on your bucket list. Their repertoire boasts of six scrumptious menus — discovery, contemporary, appetizers, the first, seconds, the sweets — to satiate the palate of diners. Your Pinchiorri experience will be incomplete if you don’t complement the three-star cuisine by chefs Riccardo Monco and Alessandro Della Tommasina with a selection of wines sourced from the most renowned wineries in the world.
Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo, Monaco
With 60 addresses in seven countries spread across three continents, Ducasse Paris has truly fulfilled its vision of culinary excellence. Taking the house’s credibility notches higher is Le Louis XV, Ducasse’s flagship restaurant. It is located inside Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, where chefs Dominique Lory and Alain Ducasse strive to create a modern and contemporary menu. Their sauces, broths and fresh condiments will delight your palate and make it come alive. Some of the dishes on their menu include Minestrone vegetables and condiment, crushed basil; Provence garden vegetables cooked with black truffle; baked locally-caught fish, aubergine, olive and bitter salads; and strawberry from Carros, granité, mint ice cream.
Akellarre by Pedro Subijana, San Sebastián, Spain
Popular for its seafood, the restaurant is owned and managed by Pedro Subijana. Enveloped by breathtaking views, it is snugly placed on Mount Igueldo in San Sebastián. The menu provides two thoughtfully curated choices, aranori and bekarki, both of which consist of signature dishes and the latest creations. The restaurant has an ace up its sleeve for oenophiles too. Wine lovers can enjoy their time at Akellarre’s wine cellar, La Bodega. From crisp whites to powerful reds, La Bodega — home to Akellarre’s vintage wine collection — promises to have the perfect wine for your taste. Travellers can contact them beforehand to visit the cellar and enjoy a wine tasting session.
Eleven Madison Park, New York City, US
A fine dining restaurant located in the heart of New York, Eleven Madison Park has been owned by Chef Daniel Humm since 2011. Guests can get a taste of exquisite plant-based dishes from their tasting menu in the main dining area, along with visiting the bar for light snacks, cocktails or wine. Apart from its delightful food, the restaurant sets an example with its concern for New York city’s citizens. Eleven Madison Truck in partnership with Rethink Food has taken the responsibility to transport and serve nutritious meals weekly in various New York neighbourhoods. Every dinner purchased at the restaurant provides five meals to New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity, giving people one more reason to dine here.
Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
Known for their meticulous attention to serving guests nothing but the best, the staff at Hof van Cleve makes sure that their decor complements the culinary delights they have to offer. Owned by chef Peter Gossens, the restaurant prepares its dishes only using fresh produce and depends on daily market supplies. To ensure that guests have ample time to enjoy their food, the staff stops taking orders for the seven-course menu at one pm for lunch and eight pm for dinner. On Friday and Saturday evenings, they only serve the six-course or seven-course menu.
The Fat Duck, Berkshire, England
Run by celebrity chef proprietor Heston Blumenthal, The Fat Duck completes 25 years in business this year. To celebrate this milestone, they are inviting people from across the globe to join them to raise a toast with an anthology menu of Fat Duck classics. Over the next twelve months, the restaurant will successively feature four menus or volumes — each presenting some of Heston’s unique dishes. It can take weeks to book a table at this Berkshire restaurant, so it’s advisable to plan accordingly.
Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
The single-table restaurant was opened in 2012 by French chef Paul Pairet and VOL Group. Through its 20-course meal, the prolific restaurant aims to weave a story worth sharing. The menu moves in a series of dishes grouped by size and nature. Expert usage of lighting, projections, sounds and scents is sufficient to transform the white-walled dining room and transport the diners from an abstract otherworldly setting to an autumn forest. Those planning a visit need to know that the place only accepts 10 guests per night and it’s tough to get a reservation here.
Mirazur, Menton, France
Surrounded by verdant environs and a gorgeous view, the restaurant is run by chef Mauro Colagreco, who concocts the perfect confluence of different cultures to present a memorable dish to his guests. Drawing inspiration from nature’s elements — sea, mountains and the fruit and vegetables grown in his gardens — and the impact the moon has on plants, chef Colagreco has created a new menu over the past year, which takes into account the life cycle and lunar calendar. The menu has four universes, namely leaves, flowers, roots and fruits.
Each day, the restaurant serves dishes based on only one of the elements to ensure that the food is at its absolute best according to the calendar. It would be wise to check the official website and make your reservations, which are not easy to come by!
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland
Chef Franck Giovannini creates magic as he balances tradition with faultless service. The menu keeps changing, with recent offerings including red mullet, lamb and cléry strawberry. The restaurant and its five ambiences — room Philippe Rochat, room Frédy Girardet, private room Benoît Violier, Franck Giovannini’s guests’ table and the smokehouse — ensure that guests have the time of their lives as they dine here.
Alinea, Chicago, US
The only Chicago restaurant to retain a three-star status, Chef Grant Achatz employs molecular gastronomy to curate an immersive experience for its guests. Alinea offers three experiences to choose from: the kitchen table, a completely private dining experience and the gallery menu — the first-floor gallery provides seating for 16 only. Guests are expected to show up on time for the multi-sensory 16-to-18 course menu or the experience may begin without them; the salon menu offers a 10-12 course tasting menu.
Main and Feature image: Le Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville de Crissier/Facebook