Cities & Hotel Restaurants
Athens: Milos, at the Hilton
While still running restaurants in New York and Montreal, maverick chef-owner Costas Spiliadis returned home in 2004 to launch this elegant dining room. His superfresh seafood dishes, like kakavia (Greek fisherman’s stew) are determined by the day’s catch (which could be prawns from Thessaloniki or inky cuttlefish).
We loved: Salt-baked fish.
Bangkok: Celadon, at the Sukhothai
Tranquil and grand in equal measure, this dining room is justly famed for its exquisite setting amid pools of floating lotus flowers. Also remarkable are authentic Thai dishes like roasted duck in a red curry spiked with tangy green apples.
We loved: Grilled Phuket lobster.
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Barcelona: Moo, at Hotel Omm
This fashionable space is run by the three Roca brothers—chef Joan, pastry whiz Jordi and sommelier Josep. The Rocas are obsessed with scents, matching haute Catalan cuisine like a heady curry made with lobster, rose and licorice with bottles from the brilliant, eclectic wine list.
We loved: Foie gras soup with cherries and coffee, paired with Banyuls Terra Vinya.
Chicago: NoMi, at the Park Hyatt
It’s got to be tough to wrest diners’ attention from the seventh-floor views, Tony Chi’s moody-chic design and glassworks by Dale Chihuly, but rising star Christophe David does so with his sophisticated, French-influenced cooking.
We loved: Braised Jamison Farms lamb with pastilla and eggplant marmalade.
Hong Kong: Lung King Heen, at the Four Seasons
This fourth-floor spot has been called the French Laundry of Hong Kong for its exacting treatment of top ingredients. Chef Chan Yan Tak serves refined Cantonese specialties like stir-fried minced pigeon lettuce wraps and flawless dim sum on jade and silver place settings.
We loved: Frog legs in spicy salt served in a crisp basket fashioned from whitebait.
Jerusalem: Scala, at the David Citadel Hotel
At this new Piero Lissoni–designed restaurant, chef Oren Yerushalmi (an alum of NYC’s WD-50 and Tel Aviv’s Catit) gets the balance of creativity and tradition just right in Mediterranean dishes meant for sharing. Yes, all are kosher.
We loved: Onion stuffed with lamb, bulgur and herbs.
Paris: Restaurant le Meurice, at Le Meurice
Yannick Alléno won his three Michelin stars for boldly combining modern flavors and classical French techniques in precise dishes at the city’s most glittering boîte, inspired by the Salon de la Paix at Versailles.
We loved: Sole glazed with lobster coral.
Stockholm: Mathias Dahlgren, at the Grand Hôtel
Last year, Mathias Dahlgren closed his lauded Bon Lloc to take over the restaurant in this famed hotel, instituting precious, ingredient-driven dishes like a delicate seafood soup.
We loved: Sheep’s-milk yogurt with hazelnuts, peach sorbet, honey and olive oil.
Sydney: Etch, at the Intercontinental
Justin North builds on his reputation as a champion of local, organic producers at this more moderately priced version of his iconic Becasse. The kitchen, under Becasse alum James Metcalf, turns out clean-flavored dishes featuring Outback-raised wagyu and Australian saltbush lamb.
We loved: Spiced kingfish sashimi with shredded fennel and orange.
Best Boutique Hotel Values
Mama Shelter The great Alain Senderens oversees the communal dining at this hip new Saint Blaise refuge.
We loved: Grandma’s simmered chicken casserole.