My latest dinner at Le Calandre was one of my two best meals of 2017. Precise cooking, masterful technical ability, concentrated flavors, professional but not stuffy service and an outstanding wine list all combine for a memorable dining experience.
France: Burgundy, Vinous Table
Jean-Michel Lorain’s is the sort of restaurant nobody does better in the world than France. A bucolic setting, refined food and service and a great wine list make for dining nirvana.
Vinous Table, Italy
Cul de Sac is Rome’s best wine bar. Authentic down to earth, hearty, mostly Roman dishes, a very good selection of charcuterie and cheeses, and a truly hard to lift, huge wine list all make a night at Cul de Sac memorable.
Italy: North, Vinous Table
I haven’t done the math, but I would be willing to bet no other place in the world can match Piedmont for its sheer concentration of world-class restaurants, most of which are situated within a few kilometers from each other. Located in the heart of Barbaresco, Campamac is the newest addition to Piedmont’s glorious dining scene.
D’Brendelstub offers a nice mix of tradition and twenty-first century flair, with modernist lighting and open kitchen, but also a spit-roast and mostly old Alsatian reliables on the menu (choucroute, tarte flambée, kugelhof, and foie gras.)
We all have favorite restaurants in the world. Tan Dinh is certainly one of mine. A laid-back, casual atmosphere, friendly service, great Vietnamese food and one of the fifteen or twenty best French wine lists in the world make Tan Dinh an essential destination in Paris.
United States: New York, Vinous Table
Eric Ripert’s brilliant cuisine and Le Bernardin’s elegant dining room make for a fabulous escape from the hustle and bustle of mid-town Manhattan.
Vinous Table, Toronto, Canada
This recent dinner out with the kids at Café Boulud – Toronto was a terrific opportunity to get back to Daniel Boulud’s Toronto outpost. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Café Boulud offers a menu rich in the classics under the direction of Chef de Cuisine Sylvain Assié. Wine Director Drew Walker’s list is small, but well chosen, with a number of gems sprinkled throughout a selection that focuses on France and the United States, with quite a few wines from Italy among the reds.
Vinous Table, United States: New York
Located in the Redbury Hotel, Marta is one of the more recent additions to Danny Meyer’s restaurant empire. Delicious thin-crust pizzas and a terrific wine list presented in an energetic, casual atmosphere make for a fun night out. The large space, with its high ceilings and open, wood-burning pizza ovens is immediately welcoming. The menu is built around thin-pizzas and handful of appetizers and mains, many of them done in the wood fire ovens.
This recent dinner at Saison was one of the very best meals I have had not just in 2017, but in a very long time. Executive Chef Joshua Skenes and Wine Director Mark Bright have created one of the most memorable dining and hospitality experiences in the United States.