My wish list of restaurants that I have not yet visited has evolved a bit with time. Some have made it off the list, because I have finally eaten at them, while others have slid off due to changing interests. Missing for the first time in years is The Fat Duck. It isn’t that I no longer wish to go and try it. I do. Rather, these restaurants listed below, for various reasons, have at this time supplanted it in my imagination. As a region, I really want to check out what is happening in Benelux. In addition to the 2 restaurants mentioned in the list below, there are others that aren’t mentioned numerically, secondary to the artificial construct of limiting myself to 10. De Librije, Oud Sluis and Hof van Cleve are examples of such restaurants that I could easily include and I would very much love to try. I could also have added a few more from Scandinavia like Faviken and Frantzen/Linberg, but space is more precious than dreams at times. In the same vein, I have not included restaurants from parts of the world that I have essentially no hope of making it to in 2012 such as restaurants in Japan and Australia. There are quite a few more in the USA that could easily been included here, but haven’t been due to space constraints, for example Saison, Curaté, Volt, Red Medicine and though I have been to Next for Paris – 1906, I suppose each new iteration of Next could be on here without cheating.
- L’Air du Temps – Belgium – Sang-hoon Degeimbre’s presentations and personality at the most recent Starchefs ICC drove this restaurant straight to the top of my wish list. His food and approach appear to be fresh, unique and salivatingly delicious.
- Geranium 2 – Copenhagen – I watched Rasmus Kofoed, first at Madrid Fusión, then at the Bocuse D’Or and finally Michael Talalaev’s account on this website makes his restaurant a must. I would have eaten there when I was in Copenhagen in 2010, but he was in between restaurants and training for the Bocuse, which he ultimately won.
- Victor’s – Schloss Berg – Germany – Christian Bau’s 3 Michelin starred restaurant was the one that I just couldn’t get to on my fabulous trip to Germany this past September, though I did get a tantalizing taste of his cooking at a special dinner he prepared along with Sven Elverfeld, Thomas Bühner and Nils Henkel.
- D.O.M. – Brazil – Alex Atala’s cooking has been on my wish list since I first met him at the second Starchefs ICC. It is exotic and very intriguing.
- In Da Wulf – Belgium – I have read and heard too many great things about Kobe Desmaraults cooking to not have this on my list.
- The Sportsman – England – This is a favorite of many who’s opinions and tastes are well proven to me.
- Husk – South Carolina – Sean Brock is a dynamo and the American version of Rene Redzepi in his zeal and skill at reforging a regional cuisine and identity. McCrady’s is awesome, but Husk sounds unique.
- Il Canto – Italy – Sienna is a magical spot with a magical cuisine and Paolo Lopriore appears to have a special way with it.
- Boragó – Chile – This is another restaurant and chef, Rodolfo Guzman, whose cooking demonstration at the latest Starchefs ICC really caught my attention.
- Grace – Chicago – I missed Curtis Duffy at Avenues. I will not miss him at Grace.
What restaurants are on your wish list?