We couldn’t be more proud. On the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013, Europe dominated the list, taking eight places in the Top 10.
Of those eight, Spain wins the most top restaurants, with #1, #4 and #8. A sampling of other European countries are represented in the remaining spots, including Denmark (#2), Italy (#3), England (#7), Austria (#9) and newcomer Germany (at #10).
Here’s the rundown of Europe’s Best Restaurants:
El Celler de Can Roca, Spain. Ranked No. 1 in the world, El Celler de Can Roca is a family restaurant lead by three brothers in the charming Catalan city of Girona. Each brother adds a touch to the winning combination, with Joan heading the kitchen, Jordi creating the desserts and Josep running the house as sommelier. Though they have made the list for the past eight years, this is their first year in the top position, knocking reigning leader NOMA down a seat.
NOMA, Denmark. After three years at No. 1, NOMA in Copenhagen drops down to No. 2. Not bad. Here, the rough landscape combines with locally hunted and gathered foods, and with the rough touch from chef-patron René Redzepi, a wild Scandinavian tasting menu is born. That is, a wild menu which finishes with sweet ¨treats¨.
Osteria Francescana, Italy. Modena‘s inventive Massimo Bottura designs a dish called ¨camouflage,¨ with froi gras, hare blood, chestnuts and herbs. His mixture of old Italy and new cuisine gets him the No. 3 spot.
Mugaritz, Spain. Termed as ¨Techno-emotional¨ Spanish cuisine, this No. 4 restaurant in San Sebastián is an Adrià contemporary. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz has each creative dish on his tasting menu planned down to the second. Guests can expect a culinary experience more than a meal.
Dinner, England. Two words: Heston Blumenthal. Britain’s leading chef and his protégé-turned-head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts rework classic British recipes from centuries’ past and give them a modern twist. ¨Frumenty,¨ from 1390, is grilled octopus, smoked sea broth, pickled dulse and lovage. You don’t know half of those ingredients now, but you will. Dinner is #7 this year.
Arzak, Spain. San Sebastián’s staple inspired a London spinoff earlier this year, and stays steadily at #8 on the World’s Best. Father and daughter chefs Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina have made an international hit of their cutting-edge Basque cuisine, which is true to local tradition but also worldy in its resources. Ms. Arzak was voted World’s Best Female Chef last year by the same publication.
Steirereck, Austria. For the first time, Vienna‘s Steirereck lands in the Top 10, at No. 9. Chef, owner and farmer Heinz Reitbauer is calling on his Styrian roots to unearth a neo-Austrian cuisine which relies heavily on produce from his own farm and co-operative.
Vendôme, Germany. No. 10. Just outside Cologne, the neue Deutsch küche movement is being heralded by chef Joachim Wissler. This cuisine is said to break from Gallic influences and focus on real German food, in an avant-garde sort of way. Also coming back into style: large portions. A meal at Vendôme can include up to 25 courses.
By Eric JRM E.