Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. 2019

By Gayot Editors

21. La Toque | Chef Ken Frank

La Toque, Napa, CA; Photo credit: Tia Gavin
La Toque | Photo credit: Tia Gavin

Napa, CA

Visionary chef Ken Frank’s passion for ingredients and attention to detail is apparent at La Toque in Napa. In addition to boasting a state-of-the-art kitchen, the restaurant features a distinguished wine cellar and choreographed service.

> La Toque has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list in 2004 and 2016-2018.

Read the full review of La Toque restaurant

22. Le Bernardin | Chef Eric Ripert

Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, New York, NY; Photo credit: Francesco Tonelli
Chef Eric Ripert | Photo credit: Francesco Tonelli

New York, NY

At Le Bernardin, chef Eric Ripert works his Neptune-like charms with seafood in thoughtful preparations that fall under the headings of “almost raw” and “barely touched.” The restaurant has been a highlight of the New York dining scene since Maguy Le Coze and her late brother, Gilbert, brought the concept to the Big Apple in 1986.

> Le Bernardin has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list since 2004.
Read the full review of Le Bernardin restaurant

23. Manresa | Chef David Kinch

Manresa Roast Squab Endive sauce Albufera
Roast squab, endive, sauce Albufera | Photo credit: Marc Fiorito

Los Gatos, CA

Manresa in Los Gatos, California, showcases the hyper-meditated, progressive cuisine du terroir of chef David Kinch. Amid the welcoming contemporary feel of the restaurant’s interior, guests are offered a tasting menu composed from seasonal ingredients, perhaps utilizing Monterey Bay abalone or hay-smoked and lightly torched bonito.

> Manresa has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list since from 2005-2006, 2008, 2011-2014 and 2016-2018.

Read the full review of Manresa restaurant

24. Menton | Chef Barbara Lynch

Seared foie gras Menton Boston
Seared foie gras

Boston, MA

Reservation OpenTable

Chef Barbara Lynch hails from Boston, that is why she is so familiar with the city and has quite a few restaurants and bars there (seven different concepts, to be exact). Menton is where fine dining takes a modern twist. Each dish is composed of only a few ingredients (top quality, of course), so all of them can shine. The wine program, under the direction of Cat Silirie, plays an important part of the evening.

> Menton has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list from 2012-2014 and 2017-2018.

Read the full review of Menton restaurant
Barbara Lynch was one of GAYOT’s 2017 Best Female Chefs in the U.S.

25. Michael Mina

Michael Mina black bass (c) Jordan Wise
Black bass | Photo credit: Jordan Wise

San Francisco, CA

Reservation OpenTable

Michael Mina’s flagship restaurant in San Francisco presents an elegant, sleek dining room touting a minimalist design and high ceilings. The cuisine draws inspiration from his Egyptian roots, blending Middle Eastern flavors and Mediterranean ingredients and techniques. Assisting him in bringing this culinary vision to fruition is executive chef Raj Dixit.

> Michael Mina has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list from 2005-2010 (previous location) and 2013-2018.

Read the full review for Michael Mina restaurant
Michael Mina was GAYOT’s 2011 Best Restaurateur in the U.S.

26. NAOE | Chef Kevin Cory

NAOE: Yakimono - Local black belly rose, organic trumpet mushroom, lotus root, French breakfast radish, gingko nuts, organic lemon; Photo credit: www.foodforthoughtmiami.com
Yakimono: Local black belly rose, organic trumpet mushroom, lotus root, French breakfast radish, gingko nuts, organic lemon | Photo credit: www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

Miami, FL

At NAOE in Miami, Japanese/sushi chef Kevin Cory presents omakase (chef’s choice) meals of roughly 20 constantly changing courses. The experience is a cultural and culinary revelation you’ll be thinking about for years. Dedication to craft is a trait also shared by his family, who supply the soy sauce and saké for the restaurant from their breweries in Kanazawa, Japan.

> NAOE has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list since 2015.

Read the full review of NAOE restaurant

27. O’ by Claude Le Tohic

O by Claude Le Thohic amuse bouche
Cauliflower panna cotta, red cabbage jus, essentials oils

San Francisco, CA

For his first solo venture, opened in June 2019, chef Claude Le Tohic made an impressive entrance in the world of ultra fine dining. A perfect evening is what we experienced in San Francisco, a city that is new to him after cooking many years in Las Vegas. (His casual restaurant, One65 Bistro & Grill, made our 2019 Best New Restaurants in the U.S.)

> O’ by Claude Le Tohic makes its debut on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list.

Read the full review of O’ by Claude Le Tohic restaurant

28. Patina | Chef Joachim Splichal

Patina chef Andreas Roller with founder Joachim Splichal
Patina chef Andreas Roller with founder Joachim Splichal

Los Angeles, CA

Reservation OpenTable

Located in the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, Patina delivers an overall gourmet and luxurious experience. Chef/founder Joachim Splichal’s restaurant group boasts some 60 restaurants in America, so chef Andreas Roller plays a key role in executing the culinary vision of this Los Angeles institution of haute gastronomy. (Editor’s Note: Chef Andreas Roller is no longer executive chef.)

> Patina has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list from 2004-2012 and 2015-2018.

Read the full review for Patina restaurant

29. Per Se | Chef Thomas Keller

Nova Scotia Lobster Tart - Per Se NYC
Nova Scotia lobster tarte | Photo credit: Deborah Jones

New York, NY

At its gorgeous New York City location overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle, Thomas Keller’s Per Se boasts understated but elegant décor as well as a wealth of creativity and meticulousness that continually re-define the concept of haute cuisine.

Chef Thomas Keller has the distinction of being the only chef in the U.S. with two restaurants on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., with Per Se and The French Laundry, garnered with GAYOT’s highest rating of 19 out of 20.

> Per Se has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list from 2007-2015 and 2017-2018.

Read the full review for Per Se restaurant
Thomas Keller was GAYOT’s 2013 Best Restaurateur in the U.S.
• Watch our exclusive video interview with chef Thomas Keller

30. Picasso | Chef Julian Serrano

Picasso Chef Julian Serrano Bellagio

Las Vegas, NV

Reservation OpenTable

There are many reasons to push open the doors of one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world. You can admire the décor, the original Picasso paintings and the terrace overlooking the Bellagio lake and its dancing musical fountains — or perhaps you want to dine at table 44 where George Clooney and Julia Roberts sat for a scene in “Ocean’s Eleven.” However, your foremost purpose should be to enjoy the cuisine of Spanish (of course) chef Julian Serrano. Precise and elegant, Serrano’s art has been consistent, making an evening at Picasso restaurant one to remember.

> Picasso has previously been featured on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list since 2004.

Read the full review of Picasso restaurant