I have had the great fortune of eating at many wonderful restaurants, but there are many, many more that I haven’t eaten at, that I would very much like to. There are restaurants in the far corners of the world like Japan and Australia that I simply don’t bother to put on this list, because, for the moment, I have little hope of getting there. That is true for some of the European and South American restaurants too, but these remain more likely, if for no other reason than they typically require less of a time commitment (and money) for me to get to. Unfortunately, despite a wonderful year of dining, I didn’t get to knock any restaurants off of my 2012 Wish List, which means that there are a number of repeats here, though some of the rankings have changed and some have been supplanted by others representing more current desires.
- Pakta – Barcelona – Every thing I have had that was done by the Adria’s has been the best. This Peruvian/Japanese restaurant slated to open in January should be too. So should their as yet not officially named, upcoming Mexican themed restaurant.
- Boragó – Santiago, Chile – It’s time. Rodolfo Guzmán inspired me at StarChefs ICC in 2011 and then again this past summer at Mesamerica in Mexico City. His food looks and sounds so unique and delicious, I am dying to try it at its source.
- Saison – San Francisco. So many people who’s palates I trust consider this to be the best restaurant in the US right now. Unfortunately, I will have missed the original location.
- L’Air du Temps – Belgium – I got turned on to Sang-hoon Degeimbre’s food at StarChefs ICC 2011. Haven’t had the right opportunity yet. Hopefully this year.
- In de Wulf – Belgium – Another place raved about by so many friends with good palates.
- Willows Inn – Lummi Island, Washington. The food looks and sounds wonderful and so does the place.
- The Sportsman – England. Great ingredients well prepared in a lovely setting is what friends say about this coastal England restaurant.
- Le Grenouilliere – France – I always get turned on to something at StarChefs. This year it was Alexandre Gauthier’s food.
- D.O.M. Sao Paolo – I’ve been wanting to dine here since I first met Alex Atala in 2007 at the second StarChefs ICC. I just haven’t had the right opportunity.
- Diverxo – Madrid – It has been awhile. Hopefully, this will be the year for this tiny, Asian inspired Spanish restaurant. I’ve tried to go in the past, but haven’t been able to get a seat.
Honorable Mentions: De Librije (Zwolle, The Netherlands), Frantzen-Lindberg (Stockholm), Victor’s Gourmet Restaurant – Schloss Berg (Germany), Grace (Chicago), Süna (DC), Daikaya (DC), Husk (Charleston), Oxheart (Houston), El Ideas (Chicago), Yusho (Chicago), The Restaurant at Meadowood, (Napa Valley)Sat Bains (England), Atelier Crenn (San Francisco), Aska (Brooklyn), Pearl & Ash (NYC) & Manzanilla (NYC).