Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

TOP 40 RESTAURANTS IN THE U.S. 2004


ALAIN DUCASSE
NEW YORK
Not only has Ducasse taken Manhattan, he’s about to take Las Vegas, too. Instrumental in every aspect of the process, from interior design to staff selection to the menu, the highly acclaimed French chef and businessman raised the bar and ushered in a new era of fine dining in New York.

ALAN WONG'S RESTAURANT
HONOLULU
As part of the team of chefs that shattered the Hawaiian stereotype of hokey lodges and ukulele sing-along luaus, Alan Wong earned international attention for Hawaii Regional cuisine. His eponymous restaurant is still the best place in Honolulu to experience island-inspired food.

AUREOLE
NEW YORK
Charlie Palmer has had his finger on the pulse of American fine dining for over two decades, first at The River Café and then at Aureole. Although his empire has expanded to ten locations on both coasts and points in between, this original solo venue, led by chef Dante Boccuzzi, continues to stand out in the crowded New York market.

CHARLIE TROTTER'S
CHICAGO
Thanks to cutting-edge chefs like Charlie Trotter, Chicago is no longer a second city when it comes to dining. Trotter continues to stretch his creativity with techniques such as sous-vide and raw cuisine as he prepares for any chef’s acid test: opening in New York City.

CHEF MAVRO
HONOLULU
George Mavrothalassitis may be Greek to you but his cuisine is the inspired hybrid of his French upbringing and adopted home in Hawaii. In Honolulu, he’s synonymous with spectacular Hawaii Regional cuisine, particularly seafood—perhaps a tip of the toque to his origins near Marseilles.

CHILLINGSWORTH
BREWSTER
In the land of the bean and the cod, chef Robert "Nitzi" Rabin's pristine establishment counters the Cape Cod image of lobster shacks and chowder bars with this elegant retreat. Open only during the summer months, the restaurant, located on an historic estate, translates New England cuisine with a light French accent.


DANIEL
NEW YORK
Any chef brave enough to allow a journalist in his kitchen for weeks at a time to analyze the inner workings of his brigade earns our praise. Obviously, he has nothing to hide. Daniel is perfection, even after chef-owner Daniel Boulud expanded to Florida and soon, Las Vegas.

DANUBE
NEW YORK
Just when New York plates were becoming more deconstructed than a Derrida essay, David Bouley created this Austro-Hungarian gem to remind us how good a simple schnitzel can be. His idea has since been copied, but this is the masterpiece.


THE DINING ROOM
ATLANTA
This elegant room is perhaps the epitome of The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead ’s commitment to fine dining. Chef Bruno Ménard’s extraordinary cuisine will no doubt inspire you and others for years to come.

 

L'ESCALIER
PALM BEACH
From the extraordinary vegetables to the subtle but intricate sauces, everything about L'Escalier speaks quality. Multiple generations have been feeding on the fare of the restaurant, nestled in the legendary The Breakers hotel. Tip:
Chef Matthew Sobon has a particular affinity for foie gras.


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RESTAURANT AWARDS 2014

Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.