10 crazy cutting-edge restaurants
Marchal, Copenhagen, Denmark: Tucked inside the Hotel d’Angleterre, chef Ronny Emborg creates ambitious dishes inspired by classic Nordic and French cuisine. Emborg produces elevated, delicious food that is accessible to anyone, from those looking for just a bite to those seeking a Danish feast. Dishes include slow-cooked pork belly with lemons, hazelnuts, salsify, and snails, and grilled whole monkfish for two. His recently launched “The Wizard’s Cookbook” is filled with Emborg’s favorite recipes, beautifully captured by photographer Signe Birck. / Signe Birc
Curating a list of the top 10 most cutting-edge restaurants is definitely a challenge. I could have taken the easy route, satisfying any gourmand’s wish list by including Noma, D.O.M, Eleven Madison Park, etc. But I have chosen to disrupt this chain of featured restaurants (we all know they are at the top of their game) and interject some up-and comers that I have been keeping my eye on. These are places where it’s not just the food that is cutting-edge, but where the attention to design and concept also help to truly create a full sensory experience.
Whether you are interacting with a meal or the environment, going out to dinner is no longer just about eating food. Restaurants are a destination and a form of edible entertainment, and diners are only getting smarter about what and where they choose to eat. This is why these chefs have set out to instill culinary memories, and they’re succeeding. From playing a game to see what sauce you get at Breeze to simply taking a minute to appreciate a beautiful plate of food – and trying their very hardest not to take a picture – diners are finding new ways to appreciate a restaurant experience.
True culinary leaders are early adapters of new techniques that some people will probably find somewhat offensive at first. I seek out this element of disruption and highlight the places where innovation reigns over all else. These restaurants show creativity in flavor, plating, interior and ingredients – causing people to rethink dining and food as we know it. This list of 10 restaurants will take you from Morocco to Singapore, New York City to Copenhagen, Australia to Bangkok, and back again. Some of these hidden gems are sprinkled right in your hometowns and you may not even know it. Explore and appreciate innovative chefs, as any one of them could become the next RenÃ© Redzepi or Ferran AdriÃ .
The Bridge Room, Sydney
This Aussie eatery is outfitted with one of the most multi-talented chefs. Chef Ross Lusted has an impeccable eye for design, and it’s not just the plating, but the plates themselves, that he maintains creative control over. The flavors of Europe, Asia and the best seasonal ingredients are the creative inspiration for Lusted’s palate. With beautifully presented dishes such as sake-cured John Dory with smoked milk pudding, The Bridge Room is setting the new design standard of cuisine.
Pidgin, Vancouver, British Columbia
This cabinet of curiosities is not something you will find hiding under the bed – or in your closet. The food that chef Makoto Ono is creating in his Vancouver restaurant, Pidgin, is intriguingly inspired cuisine. The taxidermy bird parts scattered around the interior get creepier and creepier as the (on-tap) sake continues to flow, but the food stays consistently impressive, with menu offerings such as raw scallops with pomegranate curry oil and smoked ling cod with lentils, clams and a bacon dashi vinaigrette.
Prospect, Brooklyn, N.Y.
If you live in any of the five boroughs and have not been to Prospect, you should make a reservation immediately. Chef Kyle McClelland is immensely talented, known for his innovative plating and use of simple, fresh ingredients. The menu changes frequently but dishes on offer may include seared foie gras with pumpkin spice cake, maple-pecan “soil,” candied pecans, and corn gelato as well as “Milk-Fed Veal & Its Cheek” with chanterelle mushrooms, “Black Rock” potatoes, squash, and garlic purÃ©e. Be sure to sit at the chef’s counter for a front-row seat to all the plating action.
The Waldorf Project, London
OK, so I guess you can’t technically call this a restaurant, but could it be the future of dining? Who knows, but that is exactly why I couldn’t resist including The Waldorf Project. This is a fully interactive dining experience from the brain of culinary artist Sean Rogg. Rogg creates a harmony of the senses through food, drink, dance, sound and environment. His last installation, “Muskmelon,” featured a menu in the style of a traditional tea ceremony, with a twist – the plates were carried out by four dancers in a carefully choreographed presentation. With the next event, “Color,” set to launch in 2014, this is a food memory just waiting to be created.
NÃºmero 7, Fez, Morocco
Cutting-edge design with “pan-Mediterranean and Moroccan influences are what inspire the locally sourced cuisine,” says chef Bruno Ussel. Former fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman Stephen di Renza is responsible for designing what’s possibly the chicest looking restaurant in Morocco. The interior may be black and white marble, but the color is represented in the vibrant food parading out of the kitchen.
Marchal, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tucked inside the Hotel d’Angleterre, chef Ronny Emborg creates ambitious dishes inspired by classic Nordic and French cuisine. Emborg produces elevated, delicious food that is accessible to anyone, from those looking for just a bite to those seeking a Danish feast. Dishes include slow-cooked pork belly with lemons, hazelnuts, salsify, and snails, and grilled whole monkfish for two. His recently launched The Wizard’s Cookbook is filled with Emborg’s favorite recipes, beautifully captured by photographer Signe Birck.
The interactive dining menu called China2020 at Breeze restaurant in Bangkok’s Lebula Hotel incorporates medicinal elements and is definitely the most molecular of the bunch. Here, chef Sam Pang Pin Lee has devised clever dice games to choose a sauce for the beef tenderloin, serves roasted duck in a Pandora’s Box, and offers do-it-yourself cocktails in the form a chemistry set. Enjoy the most cutting-edge trends in food all while gazing out at the Chao Phraya River.
Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.
Chef David Kinch prepares new California cuisine with a European refinement at his Los Gatos restaurant. Kinch has a love affair with ingredients – respect for the surrounding landscape is what makes Manresa an edible escape in Northern California. While the menu changes frequently, dishes might include “garden beignets and leaves” or smoky eggplant with lightly cured mackerel and toasted rice. Kinch’s newly launched book, An Edible Reflection, gives you a glimpse at how to create the thought-provoking dishes that Manresa has been lauded for.
Aamanns-Copenhagen, New York
Celebrating the “New Nordic Manifesto,” chef Carl Kristian Frederiksen represents Scandinavian cuisine with his own creative additions. Frederiksen cooks simply and artfully. Whether it be his house-made rye bread (which took more than 50 tries to perfect), infused aquavit or a perfectly cooked piece of fish, any meal at Aamanns-Copenhagen will make you wish you were from Denmark.
Tippling Club, Singapore
Chef Ryan Clift has created a restaurant that is worth the flight to Singapore. There is a primal element to the restaurant design and branding that is intoxicatingly alluring. Diners enjoy elevated food and drink in a lush tropical rainforest, just outside downtown Singapore – are we there yet? Refined dishes inspired by the vast culinary influences of Singapore are bursting off the plate, with offerings such as razor clams with purple garlic and parsley root and kingfish with yuzu sorbet and black radish. This English chef certainly has found a home away from home in Singapore.