Thomas Keller is the only chef to have two restaurants on GAYOT.com’s list of Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.: The French Laundry in Napa Valley in the city of Yountville, CA; and Per Se in New York City. Congratulations! Watch my exclusive video with one of America’s top chefs, filmed at the temple of gastronomy that is The French Laundry, and find out how he does it.
Of the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. selected, six of them did not appear on last year’s list, and one of those, Menton, is gracing the list for the very first time. Five that made Top 40 lists in earlier years are making a comeback: Frasca Food & Wine, The Herbfarm, Coi, The Inn at Little Washington and TRU. That means that six from last year’s list did not make the cut: Charlie Trotter’s, Thomas Henkelmann, Arrows Restaurant, The Restaurant at Meadowood, The Dining Room (in San Francisco), and L’Escalier.
GAYOT.com brings you the latest restaurant news and reviews every day. But once a year, we compile the best of the best from coast to coast. Sign up now to receive the 2012 edition of our Annual Restaurant Issue, featuring the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., the Top 10 Steakhouses, Top 10 Romantic Restaurants and much more.
The highly-anticipated issue, which will also be available for the very first time as an iPhone app and touch-optimized iPad version, drops on March 28.
“The ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys,” star restaurateur Mario Batali declared at a recent panel sponsored by Time Magazine. No surprise Mr. Batali got a lot of flak, especially, of course, from bankers and the like. The restaurateur realized belatedly that quite a number of his clients in his twenty fancy establishments might very well belong to or be associated with the banking industry because, according to his own terms, bankers “… have taken most of the money into their hands,” and thus can easily afford the hefty bills. Some talked vigorously of boycotting Batali’s restaurants. Deterring such a well-heeled clientele is not good business practice in these uncertain times.
Sorry, oops, my mistake, went Mario, who said through a spokesperson, “It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history.” So we get the message: these two guys are really bad, but bankers are OK. OK, but not angels?
In 1990, Joël Robuchon was named Cuisinier du Siècle, Chef of the Century. The title, which did not come easily, was based on his impressive, extraordinary talent, so-well-controlled creativity, religious respect of produce and the purity of his flavors. Luckily for us, his gifts are still going strong in this century.
Since moving from Poitou (a Western region of France) to Paris in 1978, Robuchon has distilled his undisputable cooking skills throughout the world with ultra-fine dining establishments like Restaurant Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas (a GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant since its 2005 opening), and the L’Atelier concept. I have to admit that when I saw the first Atelier under construction in Paris in the winter of 2002, I was skeptical about having Robuchon’s delicacies sitting behind a bar on a bar stool, without having the possibility of sharing these culinary pleasures with more than one or two persons (it’s not easy to have a larger party along a bar). Oh, boy, was I wrong! There are now nine Ateliers around the world, with the latest addition in Singapore.