I don’t know Thomas Keller. I don’t know David Chang. I don’t know René Redzepi, Grant Achatz or José Andrés. I didn’t know Ferran Adrià when he cooked at El Bulli, and I don’t know him now, when he doesn’t. But, no problem. I wanted to land some of the world’s most impossible restaurant reservations without calling in favors to their superstar chefs.
This task has gotten harder and harder in recent years. A particular au courant kind of restaurant seems built to stymie would-be diners: an extraordinary, minuscule establishment reflecting the unmediated vision of a single brilliant chef. Today, from the moment they open, such places rack up crazy Internet buzz and serious critical kudos. (Famously, César Ramirez’s 18-seat Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare won three Michelin stars before even getting a liquor license.)
- Paris Restaurants
- Where the Jet Set Eats
- The Rise of Restaurant ADD
- World’s Best Sommelier vs. World’s Worst Customer
- Top 10 Restaurant Dishes of 2011
- The World's Most Beautiful Restaurant Dishes
Also, food geekdom is now a major tenet of nerd-cool. Your niece who just graduated from liberal arts college probably knows where to get the best pork belly entrée within 50 miles. San Pellegrino’s pronouncement of the world’s top tables is greeted each year with ever-mounting frenzy by those who obsessively follow tastemaking bloggers like The Ulterior Epicure and A Life Worth Eating, who organize their lives around profound dining experiences.