Gold Standard Restaurants 2015!

Sergio Herman closed his three-Michelin-starred Oud Sluis restaurant in the Netherlands in 2013, deciding it had reached its peak. Holland’s loss is Belgium’s gain: his reincarnated cooking at The Jane, alongside one-to-watch chef Nick Bril, is phenomenal – and has just been awarded a Michelin star of its own. This is the coolest new space in Antwerp, built in the chapel of an old military hospital, with quirky stained-glass windows and a luminous skull hanging in the apse. Choose how many starters you’d like (three is a delight, seven sublime), but the rest is out of your hands. Oysters with verbena and Champagne granita, roe and swirls of samphire are served with the artistry of a De Beers necklace. Forks clash over sharing plates of harissa-spiced lamb and pumpkin with ras el hanout foam. All this, and there’s an ace little bar upstairs too. +32 3 808 4465; www.thejaneantwerp.com. About £85 for two

Like many of the best places, or at any rate the most diverting ones, there’s no sign on the door of this restaurant at the Marlton Hotel in Greenwich Village by Sean MacPherson (best known for the Waverly Inn and who’s just opened The Ludlow hotel), but  New York’s fashion crowd have found it all the same. Through the lounge you go, past the clubby bar, and there at the end is open-all-day Margaux, a  Paris brasserie in miniature, with a conservatory at the back that’s cosy even in winter. Crudités have been revamped – dips including labne, tahini and bagna càuda, for instance – and the farmer’s board of tabbouleh, spicy sweet potato and beets is terrific. +1 212 321 0111; www.margauxnyc.com. About £50 for two

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This is the place that introduced London to rustic Italian food and, three decades later, it’s still the best place to eat it. The Café has every ingredient for a wonderful meal down pat, from the comfortable and dramatic atmosphere with its wood-burning oven, open kitchen and summer terrace, to the precise but never obsequious service. The food philosophy hasn’t changed since Rose Gray (who died in 2010) and Ruthie Rogers started: it’s all about the finest seasonal fare prepared with minimal fuss. Classics include chargrilled squid with chilli, pork shoulder cooked in milk and the much-imitated but never bettered chocolate nemesis tart. No other London restaurant has spawned so distinguished a diaspora: Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo Randall and New York transplant April Bloomfield are just a few stars among its alumni. +44 20 7386 4200; www.rivercafe.co.uk. About £150 for two

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One comment

  1. I love the pics you post. Gorgeous! 🙂

    Like

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