Even though dining at nice restaurants is a part of our job description, there are a number of places around the globe we’re dying to try individually. Some of the spots have just opened. Some have simply eluded us for years. A few are just so far away that we’re not sure when we’ll ever be able to make a reservation. All of them are appetizing addresses editors around the office find amazing, and we’re pretty sure you will, too.
1. Sardine, Bali. This Bali beauty is one of those places that probably would have made my list even if I weren’t moved by the menu. With lily ponds, live bamboo and actively tended rice fields bordering the outdoor dining area, Sardine has a serenity about it that’s hard to put to words. As for the seafood-centric menu, I can certainly come up with a number of delightful terms to describe why I want to dine on the pan-seared wild snapper or grilled kingfish drizzled in balsamic beurre rouge, but I’m thinking “astounding” is a sufficient descriptor until I actually visit.
2. Antoine, Paris. As a seafood connoisseur, my interest always piques the moment I hear about a place with an outstanding fish selection, and for me, the ultimate place to find that would be Antoine in Paris. To be acknowledged as one of Paris’ best anything in the world of cuisine is a feat, but from the way Antoine Vigneron’s establishment serves up edible masterpieces like wood-grilled sea bass and bouillabaisse, you understand why it’s universally considered one of the city’s top addresses for fresh fish. That the Eiffel Tower can be seen from your table must make the experience that much more memorable.
3. Per Se, New York. When it comes to fine dining, few places exemplify the term with more confidence than this Manhattan institution. From its location (the restaurant is perched above Columbus Circle), to its décor (muted tones, wood and metal accents) and rock-star owner (Thomas Keller), everything about the place exudes excellence. The menu changes daily, but the chance to dig into boudin de crustacés (crayfish, grapes and turnips) while sipping a glass of white Burgundy is a dining dream I’ve waited years to happen.
4. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Naples. On the surface, there’s nothing spectacular about this pizzeria. The dining room is about the size of a large oven. The design aesthetic of green and white checkered tiles and hanging cooking pots won’t blow you away, either. But people haven’t lined up for these pizzas since 1930 for the look; they’re piling in specifically for a margherita pie that’s been lovingly leavened and topped with only the freshest tomatoes and basil. Critics across the globe call the place the “Sacred Temple of Pizza.” Julia Roberts probably agrees, seeing as how the pizzeria was the setting for her memorable pizza scene in the 2010 movie Eat Pray Love.
5. The Tasting Room, Macau. When people speak of this restaurant located within the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Crown Towers, some fawn over the view. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Cotai Strip, that’s understandable. Others speak equally as highly about the cuisine, a detail-oriented display of European-influenced dishes (French pigeon, deconstructed artichoke soup with truffles) from chef Guillaume Galliot’s team. Until I can make my own assessment of the restaurant in person, we’ll call it a draw — a delicious draw.
Photos Courtesy of Sardine, Per Se and City of Dreams