Food & Drink

United States: Top 10 Exclusive Restaurants

The United States of America may be Fast Food Nation and the land of Super Size Me but, on the other side of the continuum, the country that gave us the Double Down and Baconator has a spectacular brigade of fertile culinary minds.

These pantry pioneers, from Alice Waters to Dan Barber to Sean Brock, have led vital, transformative movements as a kind of pushback in the face of industrial farms and GMO multinationals: think key concepts like organic, farm to table, sustainable, heirloom seeds and heritage breeds.

As a result, from Palo Alto to Westchester, diners sup with a lot more purpose and mindfulness than they did a few short decades ago. As the most exclusive tables in America prove, a memorable restaurant experience is much more than a repast. It is theatre and, indeed, performance art.

Dessert at Eleven Madison Park – Photo credit

Le Bernardin

155 West 51st Street, New York

Impeccable service and the genius of Chef Eric Ripert and pastry chef Michael Laiskonis make Le Bernardin a New York must when budget is no object.

Where to stay: Sheraton Hotel Towers New York

Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Avenue, New York

Swiss master Daniel Humm plates pure art and operates the most inventive menu in New York at Eleven Madison Park.

Where to stay: Hotel Giraffe New York City

Per Se

10 Columbus Circle, New York

The “urban French Laundry” is a dynamic, emphatic force on the Big Apple culinaryscape.

Where to stay: Empire Hotel New York


10 Columbus Circle, New York

A drink can cost close to $30 and figure over $1,000 for the obligatory omakase for two. Entirely worth every red cent, of course.

Where to stay: Jumeirah Essex House New York


60 East 65th Street, New York

The eponymous restaurant of Lyon native Daniel Boulud has three Michelin stars.

Where to stay: Plaza Athenee Hotel New York

New York City Guide


1816 North Clark Street, Chicago

Grant Achatz, the Ferran Adrià of Chicago, is the virtuoso in command of one of the most provocative restaurants on the planet and Next, a new star on the Windy City scene.

Where to stay: Hotel Lincoln Chicago

Chicago City Guide

The French Laundry

6640 Washington Street, Yountville

Arguably the best and most influential restaurant (Chez Panisse aside) in the culinary history of America.

Where to stay: Bardessono Hotel Napa Valley

Napa Valley Guide


320 Village Lane, Los Gatos

Chef-Proprietor David Kinch culls from the bounty of California to deliver gustatory glee in the Bay Area.

Where to stay: San Francisco City Guide


1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica

Chef Josiah Citrin is at the helm of Mélisse, a gorgeous two Michelin star gem in Santa Monica.

Where to stay: Fairmont Miramar Hotel Bungalows Santa Monica

Los Angeles City Guide

Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas

The Michelin star man himself, Joël Robuchon, runs the only three star temple in Las Vegas. Claude Le Tohic is Executive Chef.

Where to stay: MGM Grand Hotel Casino Las Vegas

Las Vegas City Guide

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