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by Sophie Gayot


Every year we pick the best of the best when it comes to restaurants, and compile them in our Annual Restaurant Issue.


The categories include the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S., Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S., and Top 40 Cheap Eats in the U.S. But there’s only one category where we pick a single winner, and that’s for the Best Restaurateur of the Year in the U.S.


For 2011, we have chosen chef Michael Mina. Read Mina’s profile to find out why we selected him, and watch my exclusive video interview with him shot during my recent visit to his new flagship restaurant Michael Mina in San Francisco.

Continue reading “GAYOT.com 2011 Best Restaurateur in the U.S.” »



08

Apr

Michelin spreading its stars over Japan (drawing by Jean-Pierre Desclozeaux, as published in the book "Rouge de Honte")

Michelin spreading its stars over Japan (drawing by Jean-Pierre Desclozeaux, as published in the book "Rouge de Honte")

by André Gayot


The book started as a gift, both to the audacious people who dared purchase an automobile in the early twentieth century, and to their indispensable companions, garage mechanics. Its purpose was to help those brave drivers find a tasty destination for lunch as well as a garage that could repair their new machines, and perhaps change the tires, since selling tires was and still is the main goal of the Michelin Company, and a lucrative one at that.


The brothers Michelin got mad and decided to end the free distribution of the guide when they discovered how one mechanic employed it: instead of using a jack, he had propped up a car in his garage with a pile of their books. The guide Michelin became a business; although not profitable in itself, it generated huge publicity value.
 

 

Continue reading “What Made Michelin Red?” »



Beet Comte cheese carpaccio by chef Christophe Bellanca of Aureole NY

Beet Comte cheese carpaccio by chef Christophe Bellanca of Aureole NY

by André Gayot


Traveling in Germany recently, I was impressed when at the Porsche plant in Leipzig, along with 600 American guests, I was served a high quality dinner. The duck was cooked just right, the plates were warm, the service was precise to the millimeter and the meal unwound in no time. The only lengthy part was due to the speeches of my fellow diners. For this gastronomical tour de force I credit the much heralded German engineering that also produces those sturdy vacuum cleaners and dishwashers, as well as prestigious limousines and coupés. Expensive, but they last a lifetime. The hip-hop generation may not be sensitive to hardware longevity, considering that progress moves faster than life.

Continue reading “When Democracy Rises from the Kitchen” »



10

Mar

Sepia is one of dozens of restaurants with special Chicago Chef Week menus.

by Jennifer Olvera


Chicagoans: they love their food. Having just wrapped up Chicago Restaurant Week, Chicago Chef Week — slated for March 20-26 — is soon to follow. With it comes an endless array of $22 three-course lunches and $33 three-course dinners, plus beverages, taxes and gratuity, at many of the city’s hottest tables. Some restaurants serve a special menu only at lunch or dinner, and some Chicago restaurants will offer both.


At Sepia, both meals will be served, with offerings such as English pea soup with Parmigiano custard; grilled rainbow trout with citrus, fennel and black olives; and sweet cornmeal financier with basil-goat cheese ice cream and apricot-date chutney during lunch. Meanwhile, at Nightwood, expect a divine-sounding dinner of fried artichokes with lemons and aioli; chili-laced rigatoni with almonds, ricotta and mint and toffee-rum bread pudding with vanilla sauce. Other participating restaurants range from avec and Blackbird to Sola, Sable Kitchen & Bar, The Bristol and One sixtyblue. For a full list of hot-spots, visit www.chicagochefweek.com.

Continue reading “Chicago Chef Week Begins March 20” »



Beantown Bargains

on March 08th, 2011
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08

Mar

Harvest in Cambridge, MA is one of many establishment participating in Boston Restaurant Week

Harvest in Cambridge, MA is one of many establishment participating in Boston Restaurant Week

by Jeff Hoyt


Celebrate Boston Restaurant Week on weekdays now through Friday, March 18. At participating restaurants, enjoy a 2-course lunch for $15.11, 3-course lunch for $20.11, and 3-course dinner for $33.11. It’s a great way to save money while dining out at those restaurants you’ve been meaning to visit. Try the seafood at Anthony’s Pier 4 on the waterfront, Italian food at Antico Forno in the North End, or contemporary cuisine at Harvest in Cambridge. For a full list of all the participating restaurants, visit www.restaurantweekboston.com.


Keep up with the Beantown dining scene with Boston Restaurant Reviews, News, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners.



Dear Kitchen: Thank You!

on October 22nd, 2010
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22

Oct

by Sophie Gayot 


Most times I dine at a restaurant, no matter where, I pop into the kitchen at the end of the meal. I do it to say hello, to get a tour, to shoot a video, to compliment the chef, or, on the contrary, tell him or her what did not work. Even if I didn’t enjoy the experience, there is always one thing I do: I have to acknowledge the very hard work that the kitchen team puts together trying to please our palates. They work under lots of pressure, standing up during the entire service, in a noisy environment (due to the air extraction devices), most of the time in artificial light with no fresh air, and under intense heat from the stoves.
 

Continue reading “Dear Kitchen: Thank You!” »



No Foodies in LA, Indeed?

on October 18th, 2010
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18

Oct

Is this scallop dish from Providence restaurant not good enough for Michelin?

Is this scallop dish from Providence restaurant not good enough for Michelin?

by André Gayot


Monsieur Jean-Luc Naret, the director of the red Michelin restaurant guide who is leaving his post at the end of the year, is a strongly opinionated person. Based on his brief stints, I presume, in the city of Angels, he affirmed to our colleague John Mariani that people here are not real foodies. He feels that they are not interested in eating well, but rather to look at other people going to restaurants, where they have to go to see them. In a word, they don’t really eat; they only devour the others with their eyes.


We poor Angelenos! As if it were not enough to cope with the earthquakes, the fires, the crises, and the gangs, now we also have to deal with the mediocre content of our plates. One of the tragic consequences of our ignorance is that Michelin will not publish any more restaurant guides for LA. So now, how can we learn how to eat? Sad! Continue reading “No Foodies in LA, Indeed?” »



22

Jun

Chef Pierre Gagnaire

Chef Pierre Gagnaire

by Sophie Gayot

 
The first time I met chef Pierre Gagnaire was on a cruise ship crossing from Dakar, Senegal to San Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. A “Croisière Gourmande” had been organized with chefs including Jacques Chibois. Alain Dutournier, Michel Bras, and many more. It must have been some time ago, as I think I was still under the legal drinking age!
 
At the time, I gave Pierre Gagnaire the nickname “The Salvador Dali of Gastronomy,” and it still holds true today. His renderings are creative, dramatic, somewhat crazy, unexpected, phantasmagoric, with a genius touch. But the catch is you either love it or hate it; and always at a high price, just like Dali. A 2005 menu from his eponymous restaurant in Paris I keep in my office offers a perfect illustration: a casserole of chestnuts and topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke), with a crème chocolatée de panais (carrots’ cousin) served with a gâteau de foie blond and truffle, at a staggering € 143!
 


So Long, Sona

on May 11th, 2010
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11

May

Chef de cuisine Kuniko Yagi, pastry chef Ramon Perez, chef David Myers with Sophie Gayot

Chef de cuisine Kuniko Yagi, pastry chef Ramon Perez, chef David Myers with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

After many months of swirling rumors, David Myers’s fine dining restaurant Sona will be closing its doors after a last service this Saturday, May 15th.

We were impressed with the restaurant from its 2002 opening, and recognized the talents of the then-twenty-eight-year-old chef. At 17/20, it was one of our highest-rated restaurants in Los Angeles, and even made our Top 40 Restaurants in the US list in 2007. Even today, it graces many of our Top 10 lists, including: Top 10 Los Angeles Wine List Restaurants, Top 10 Los Angeles Business Restaurants, Top 10 Los Angeles Food Rating Restaurants, Top 10 Los Angeles Romantic Restaurants, Top 10 Los Angeles California Restaurants and Top 10 Los Angeles Special Occasion Restaurants.

Continue reading “So Long, Sona” »



28

Apr

The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants

The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants

By Jeff Hoyt

We’re a big fan of S. Pellegrino, both their water and their awards. For the last few years, we’ve helped judge their cooking competition for young chefs. Last year, GAYOT.com was even able to attend the gala night they announced the world’s 50 best restaurants.

We’re glad to note that many of the American selections earning a World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award already graced our choices of top 40 restaurants in the USA, including Daniel, Per Se, The French Laundry, and Alinea. (For more on Alinea, The Aqua Panna Best Restaurant in North America, read André Gayot’s description of his recent meal there.) Around the world, we’ve written extensively on the soon-to-shutter El Bulli in Spain, and reviewed many of the honored restaurants, from The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in South Africa to Quay in Australia to Iggy’s in Singapore to Biko in Mexico. We have nearly 500 restaurant reviews each in London and Paris, including The Fat Duck, which S. Pellegrino ranked #3 in the world, and Le Chateaubriand, ranked #11. You can view the rest of the winners at: theworlds50best.com.

So keep coming back to GAYOT.com for the latest in restaurant reviews and news worldwide.



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