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

    Masa

    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

    Daniel

    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

    Alinea

    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

    Manresa

    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

    Mélisse

    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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