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Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants won’t be announced until Monday, but to whet our appetites, the organization behind the list has announced what they consider to be the best restaurants 51-100.

I’ve eaten at three of these, which you can click through to and check out my experiences below. Sadly, I never made it to #92, St. John, but rather the spin-off St. John Bread and Wine, for reasons explained at the link.

There are a few surprises here—The Fat Duck, which had been #33 in 2013 and #47 in 2014, has fallen out of the top 50 and is now #73.

Manresa, which in 2014 was #62, this year dropped to #100, almost falling off the list entirely. Of course, it was closed for many months due to a fire last year after my meal there. (I had nothing to do with it, I swear!)

51. Geranium, Copenhagen
52. Tim Rau, Berlin
53. Hertog Jan, Bruges
54. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
55. The Clove Club, London
56. Saison, San Francisco
57. Septime, Paris
58. Quay, Sydney
59. DiverXO, Madrid
60. Hedone, London
61. Martin Berasategui, San Sebastian
62. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong
63. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Paris
64. Maaemo, Oslo, Norway
65. Combal Zero, Rivoli, Italy
66. Amass, Copenhagen
67. Nomad, New York
68. Nerua, Bilbao
69. Momofuku Ko, New York
70. Waku Ghin, Singapore
71. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands
72. Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
73. The Fat Duck, Bray, UK
74. Jaan, Singapore
75. Coi, San Francisco
76. Fu He Hui, Shanghai
77. Indiana Accent, New Delhi
78. La Maison Troisgros, Roanne, France
79. Ryunique, Seoul
80. Daniel, New York
81. Joe Beef, Montreal
82. Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco
83. Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina
84. Sepia, Sydney
85. L’Effervescence, Tokyo
86. Hajime, Osaka, Japan
87. Brae, Birregurra, Australia
88. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, Franschhoek, South Africa
89. Zuma, Dubai
90. Estela, New York
91. Belcanto, Lisbon
92. St. John, London
93. Jungsik, Seoul
94. Masa, New York
95. FU1015, Shanghai
96. Mikla, Istanbul
97. Esperanto, Stockholm
98. Vila Joya, Albufeira
99. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
100. Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

One more thing—I’m hoping the absence of Boragó from the extended list—where it was #91 last year—means it has risen into the Top 50, rather than having fallen out of the Top 100, because Chef David Kinch and staff certainly deserve it.

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scottedelman
18 May 2015 @ 11:21 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Last month, I picked up a copy of Bryan Voltaggio’s new cookbook, Home, while he was making an appearance at a Barnes & Noble in Frederick. I’ve been to all of his restaurants often, and was looking forward to preparing some of my favorites at, well, home.

BryanVoltaggioCookbookEvent

I assumed the first recipe I’d attempt would be his Chicken Pot Pie Fritters, but when a friend invited us to her 60th birthday party, I realized I’d have to start with something else, because fritters don’t travel. So I decided to whip up the Blueberry Cake with Peanut Streusel, which according to the cookbook photo is to supposed to turn out looking like this.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
17 April 2015 @ 03:33 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I wish I could have shared about my lunch at Chef Rasmus Kofoed’s Geranium two weeks ago, but first I had to get home from Copenhagen (since I was having too much fun while there to spare any time for blogging), then I first had to tell you about my birthday dinner at Noma, and then spend a week preparing for our annual Thank God It’s Spring daffodil party. So only now do I have the spare brain to tell you about our afternoon at what’s currently #42 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Here are a couple things you should know before I move on to what you’re really here to see—pics of food porn. (And I will, for the most part, let those pics stand for themselves. Additional words would not do them justice.)

First, Chef Kofoed is a three-time winner of the Bocuse d’Or cooking competition, having walked away with the bronze, silver, and gold. Which had us impressed before we ever took a bite of his creations. (The closest I’d ever gotten to that famed event previously was when Next restaurant offered its Bocuse d’Or-themed menu.)

Second, the restaurant is in an unusual location. Rather than being in the center of Copenhagen, it’s on the eighth floor of Denmark’s national soccer stadium. Not at all a place where I’d have expected this level of cooking. But, oh—the view! Here’s the scenery out the window from our table.

GeraniumView

But enough of the restaurant’s reputation and view—what counts is the food we were served. And so …Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
24 January 2015 @ 05:19 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

There’s an easy way to tell whether you’re my kind of foodie, and that’s if upon taking a look at this photo from Edible Selby‘s gallery of the Copenhagen restaurant Noma …

NomaEdibleSelby

… you don’t think “I’ll pass” or “that’s weird” or “what the heck is that,” but instead, your first thought is —

I want that in my mouth RIGHT NOW!

Because that was my immediate, visceral reaction.

There are other ways to know whether we’re on the same culinary wavelength … but that’s a good start.

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scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I told you earlier this month how I’d tried—and failed—to get a reservation at Noma to celebrate my milestone birthday later this year. Chef Rene Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant is currently considered the best in the world, and has been ranked as such four of the past five years. Noma’s home location is temporarily closed right now, and operating as a pop-up in Japan, where it reportedly has a waiting list of 60,000 people.

But last night, in a stunning surprise that I still can’t quite believe … I got my reservation!

Why is that so stunning?

Consider that a columnist for The Guardian once wrote: “The chances of getting a table at noma these days are about as likely as getting invited to the Queen’s Palace for dinner … ”

And that getting in is so difficult, the story of a woman who had a reservation and was looking for a date went viral.

So, yes. That I could get a table was astounding. How I was able to get that table is even more astounding, considering I let my dream of a milestone birthday dinner there go after my January 12th failure.

So I was stunned Wednesday night when—after I shared a recent review of the Japanese pop-up on Twitter to explain to my followers why I’d so wanted that birthday dinner—

NomaSniffTweet

—Chef Redzepi reached out to me personally and asked when my birthday was!Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

So late last night—or early this morning, depending on how you keep track of these things—I attempted to book a table at Noma. With a milestone birthday coming in March, I figured, what better place to celebrate then at the Copenhagen restaurant that’s currently considered the best restaurant in the world? And since you might want to eat there someday, I thought I should share how it all went down.

Reservations for the date in question began at 10:00 a.m. Central European Time, which translates to 4:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, so I set an alarm for 3:45 a.m.—two alarms, actually, because I activated a Fitbit silent one to vibrate on my wrist in case the main alarm failed—and slept for a few hours before waking, stumbling downstairs, and being confronted by this pre-booking countdown screen.

NomaPreQueue

I had no idea how many others around the globe were staring at something similar, but found out, once 10:00 a.m. Central European Time rolled around, that there were at least 1,449 of them—because I was number 1,450, with an estimated wait time of more than an hour. And there were equally as many behind me in the queue, because when I decided to try logging in using my iPhone, I was assigned a number greater than 3,000.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

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scottedelman
17 November 2014 @ 10:28 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

When it came time to choose where I’d eat during the recent World Fantasy Convention—and you know me, I hate to waste a meal on a hotel restaurant—my number one choice was Rose’s Luxury, judged by Bon Appétit as 2014’s best new restaurant in America. Getting the chance to eat there represented a different sort of challenge than most popular restaurants I’ve been to, which have involved using my Internet-fu to snag a table the instant reservations for the date I needed became available online.

Rose’s Luxury, however, doesn’t take reservations. Which results in the kind of wait one Yelp reviewer recently experienced: “We waited in line approximately 1h45m before putting our name down. After that was another 2h30m wait to get a table.” And another, who waited even longer: “I waited about 5 hours for a table on a Saturday night, starting from lining up outside at 4:30 to being seated around 10:00pm.”

There seemed to be only one way to avoid that kind of wait—arrive around 90 minutes before the restaurant opens, guaranteeing you’ll be part of the first seating. That will keep wait time to a minimum. I was up for standing outside the restaurant before it opened—hey, I had no problem getting to Franklin BBQ three hours before it opened, so 90 minutes was nothing to me—but would I find others foodies at WFC who’d think the experience worth the wait?

I did!

RosesLuxuryAfterDinner

Here I am with Rajan Khanna, Jenn Reese, Liz Argall, Greg van Eekhout, and Barry Goldblatt after we’d ordered and eaten EVERY FREAKING DISH on the menu that night.

But let’s go back in time, and see how the night began …Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
01 November 2014 @ 10:33 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

We’ve eaten at Bryan Voltaggio’s Frederick restaurant Volt multiple times, both in the Main Dining Room and the Chef’s Dining Room. But somehow, we’ve never been able to snag reservations at Table 21, the 8-seat counter which wraps around the open kitchen, where you’re served a tasting menu comprised of (what else?) twenty-one courses. Reservations become available at 9:00 a.m. exactly one month in advance , and I guess I just never jumped quickly enough for the days I was seeking.

But last week, serendipity worked in my favor. Old friends who’d long been drooling over my various Volt reports were visiting from out of town, and I’d gotten reservations for us in the Chef’s Dining Room. But the day before, I received a cell from Volt asking whether we might like to move to Table 21, as there were suddenly four available seats.

Who could say no to that?

ScottEdelmanFriendsTable21

And so last Thursday, the four of us headed over to Maryland to join four strangers (who due to the intimate nature of the seating would soon become friends) around the kitchen as Chef de Cuisine Scott Muns (recently of Rose’s Luxury) led his team to serve up a delicious and inventive meal.

And so it began …Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
25 October 2014 @ 09:11 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Remember the Sansaire immersion circulator I bought earlier this year, which I used to prepare the best steak I ever cooked? I loved all the food it helped me sous vide, but there was one relevant issue which prevented 100% satisfaction.

Food cooked via that method ends up pale and unappetizing on the outside, and requires searing to develop a nice crust. I was using a hot pan to achieve this, but in addition to that being messy, not all food is flat, so it’s difficult to reach all the nooks and crannies of a chuck roast, for example.

Something more was needed. That something is my new toy, the Searzall.

ScottEdelmanSearzallSelfie

The Searzall, which I’d backed on Kickstarter, is a cone that attaches to a blow torch head, basically turning it into a radiant broiler, achieving much higher temperatures than can be reached in a home oven broiler. Additionally, the Searzall is meant to protect the meat from what’s known as “torch taste” which can sometimes occur with an open torch flame. For both of those reasons, I signed on for a Searzall as soon as I heard of it.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
10 October 2014 @ 10:53 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Well, here it is, the second week of October, and I still have one final meal to tell you about from my London trip, a restaurant I visited all the way back during the second week of August. What’s up with that?

One reason is that the food at St. John Bread and Wine was just that good. The fact life threw so much at me during the past two months that I was delayed in getting to this shouldn’t prevent me from sharing the experience with you.

But the other reason to write this up even after all that time has passed is to once more praise the serendipitous power of Twitter.

Lisa Gemino, whom I’d somehow managed never to meet before even though we both have many years of parallel convention-going, reached out to me on Twitter (my foodie frenzy had caught her eye, I guess) to ask if I wanted to join her and her merry band of eaters for a trip to St. John, the Fergus Henderson restaurant known for its nose-to-tail menu. And I thought … why not?

It’s far too easy in our field to stick with the known, create cliques, insulate ourselves among our friends, and never make new ones. So I’ve often broken bread with total strangers at conventions. Though if we’ve both come to the same place out of our shared love of science fiction or fantasy or horror (depending on the con), are we really strangers?

So the Friday of Loncon3, nine of us headed to St. John Bread and Wine. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get to the originally planned St. John due to a mix-up—that entire restaurant was closed for a private party, and our reservation had been taken in error.

The dish I’d earlier seen on the menu that I was lusting after the most was ox cheek pie—a dish which was unfortunately being crossed out on the chalkboard just as our server reached us, because another party had moments before ordered the last one!

But don’t worry. What we had was amazing.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

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scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Internet, you have disappointed me.

Wait … let me back that up a bit.

I’m not sure exactly when I fell in love with James Beard. Perhaps it was in the early ’70s while reading his wonderful American Cookery, in which he went off on a rant about how today’s chickens (well, the chickens of 40 years ago) just weren’t what they used to be—

Few have the delicate, delicious flavor of the old barnyard chicken, which may not have been raised so pristinely and plucked so cleanly but tasted of chicken and had excellent texture. … They come to the market uniform in size, uniform in color, and uniform in lack of real flavor. They require a good deal of seasoning to give them any character, and they fail to produce a rich broth.

I loved that curmudgeonliness! Beard’s commentary surrounding the recipes were (and continue to be) as interesting as the recipes themselves.

But that’s not what brings me here today.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
02 October 2014 @ 09:58 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

You’d think that lunch at The Fat Duck and dinner at Dinner would be enough Heston Blumenthal for one trip to London … but you would be wrong.

Because as we headed for home, we had time for a final Heston Blumenthal meal—in Terminal 2 at Heathrow.

PerfectionistsCafeFront

I hate what you’re forced to put up with in airports. Bad Chinese food. Pizza that’s pizza in name only. BBQ that makes me cry … but in the wrong way.

So when I heard back in June that Blumenthal had opened The Perfectionists’ Café at Heathrow, with a wood-fired oven and liquid nitrogen ice cream, I knew that’s where we had to have our last meal in London.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
19 September 2014 @ 11:48 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve often told you that I’m never quite sure these days whether the highlight of the many conventions I attend is the conventions themselves or the destination restaurants I arrange to visit at the same time. Such was the case with Loncon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. (Though it was only my personal 27th … and the 40th anniversary of my first, at that!)

Which means I’d arranged to visit The Fat Duck before Loncon3 was to begin. Sadly, United Airlines lost my luggage for two days, which meant that I was unable to wear my purple boating blazer as planned, and was stuck with the casual jacket and jeans I’d worn over on the flight. This caused a bit of anxiety at first, because surely one of the best restaurants in the world deserved a bit of dressing up, but a quick read of The Fat Duck FAQ calmed me down, as it reads:

We do not have a dress code policy at the restaurant – please come along however you feel comfortable.

And so, after picking up a new shirt, socks and underwear (TMI, I know) at a men’s shop near our hotel, Irene and I met David Shaw, Diane Martin, their son, and Graham Sleight at Paddington Station for a train to Maidenhead, followed by a short cab ride to the village of Bray.

BrayBeforeFatDuck

We arrived slightly early for our 1:30 lunch, and so wandered the picturesque village for a bit until we could bear to wait no longer.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
19 September 2014 @ 11:48 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve often told you that I’m never quite sure these days whether the highlight of the many conventions I attend is the conventions themselves or the destination restaurants I arrange to visit at the same time. Such was the case with Loncon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. (Though it was only my personal 27th … and the 40th anniversary of my first, at that!)

Which means I’d arranged to visit The Fat Duck before Loncon3 was to begin. Sadly, United Airlines lost my luggage for two days, which meant that I was unable to wear my purple boating blazer as planned, and was stuck with the casual jacket and jeans I’d worn over on the flight. This caused a bit of anxiety at first, because surely one of the best restaurants in the world deserved a bit of dressing up, but a quick read of The Fat Duck FAQ calmed me down, as it reads:

We do not have a dress code policy at the restaurant – please come along however you feel comfortable.

And so, after picking up a new shirt, socks and underwear (TMI, I know) at a men’s shop near our hotel, Irene and I met David Shaw, Diane Martin, their son, and Graham Sleight at Paddington Station for a train to Maidenhead, followed by a short cab ride to the village of Bray.

BrayBeforeFatDuck

We arrived slightly early for our 1:30 lunch, and so wandered the picturesque village for a bit until we could bear to wait no longer.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
19 September 2014 @ 11:48 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve often told you that I’m never quite sure these days whether the highlight of the many conventions I attend is the conventions themselves or the destination restaurants I arrange to visit at the same time. Such was the case with Loncon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. (Though it was only my personal 27th … and the 40th anniversary of my first, at that!)

Which means I’d arranged to visit The Fat Duck before Loncon3 was to begin. Sadly, United Airlines lost my luggage for two days, which meant that I was unable to wear my purple boating blazer as planned, and was stuck with the casual jacket and jeans I’d worn over on the flight. This caused a bit of anxiety at first, because surely one of the best restaurants in the world deserved a bit of dressing up, but a quick read of The Fat Duck FAQ calmed me down, as it reads:

We do not have a dress code policy at the restaurant – please come along however you feel comfortable.

And so, after picking up a new shirt, socks and underwear (TMI, I know) at a men’s shop near our hotel, Irene and I met David Shaw, Diane Martin, their son, and Graham Sleight at Paddington Station for a train to Maidenhead, followed by a short cab ride to the village of Bray.

BrayBeforeFatDuck

We arrived slightly early for our 1:30 lunch, and so wandered the picturesque village for a bit until we could bear to wait no longer.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

While I was down in Florida last week visiting my mother, I spotted a box of Manischewitz matzoh which celebrated the creators of Superman, those two Jewish kids from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. My first thought was, how cool is that?

My second thought was … well … take a look at the back of the box and see whether you can guess.

ManischewitzSiegelShuster

Did you spot it?Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’m at the London Worldcon right now. If you are too, then why not drop by the Exhibit Hall to see photographs and descriptions of my 10 favorite dishes?

ScottEdelmanFoodieExhibit

And if you’re not at Loncon3, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. You can check it all out below.

Get ready to drool …Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
11 August 2014 @ 04:08 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I was supposed to have dinner at Bryan Voltaggio’s newest restaurant, Aggio, back when it opened, but an ice storm forced me to cancel. That an ice storm was the cause will show how early in the year this was. I wanted to try again, but life was far too busy for me to make it happen, until Saturday, when I finally had that dinner … and also the crazy idea of making it at all-Voltaggio day at the same time.

AggioCharlieNewtonScottEdelman

Which meant that before the evening’s meeting of the Seersucker League—aka me and Charlie Newton—first came breakfast at Family Meal and lunch at Volt.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Before heading off to Wooster last week to visit the Ohio Light Opera, I checked Yelp in search of a worthy restaurant to stop at for lunch, not wanting to rely on whatever fast-food monstrosity happened to be visible from the highway. About 2 1/2 hours out (which based on our planned departure, would be just the right time for lunch), in a little town called Acme, I found a spot called Brady’s Restaurant, which at first seemed as if it would not be a place anyone would want to eat.

There were lots of one- and two-star reviews for Brady’s on Yelp, complaining about the “terrible service,” turkey that “always tastes gamey,” and “the absolute most disgusting meatloaf ever” … but as I read on, I came across this review by Greg B.

Good food at decent prices. If your some snooty tourist who is used to eating hormone injected slop that’s full of who know’s what, then don’t come here. The meet is locally raised and some of the fish is from right up the road. The people who own this place are decent hardworking people who give allot to local charities. The original owner was a hard working business women who employed 100′s of people in the area and never turned someone down in need. My family fell on hard times many years ago and Mrs. Brady was always willing to help us out and even brought us christmas gifts one winter when my wife passed away. The night she delivered the gifts, my children and I watched her through the candlighted window as she walked over 30 yards in her work dress through a snow drift to bring my kids a christmas ham and I’ll be damned if I will stand for some jerk with a smartphone disparage her and the business she created. This place serves good food at decent prices. IF you want something fancy, then go up the highway . The Brady’s don’t need your cash. Excuse me, you people with your bad reviews probably pay with credit cards because you spend your paycheck before it came in.

Which had me saying, I don’t care what all those other reviewers say—I’m in!Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

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scottedelman
28 July 2014 @ 05:19 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

It’s been two weeks and a day since my dinner at Journeyman during Readercon, a meal which I should have shared with you sooner. Ah, Life … it does get in the way.

But since it would be unfair to the wonderful meal not to give you a few details even after this passage of time, read on.

After last year’s meal at Journeyman, I was eager to return.

JourneymanScottEdelmanCeciliaTan

And so, on Saturday night, I skipped out on the con, along with Cecilia Tan (above), David Shaw, Diane Martin, and others, for a meal that began at 8:00 p.m. and went on way past midnight. (And if I’d gotten to this sooner, I could have told you exactly when we left.)Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )