Gordon Ramsay, London
From the moment you pass through the glossy black-and-white exterior of Ramsay’s eponymous flagship (there are almost two dozen others worldwide), you know you’re in for a seriously grown-up experience. Inside this three-Michelin-starred restaurant, opened in 1998, the David Collins décor is contemporary and elegant, with muted shades of cream and gray. The exquisite French cuisine is subtly flavored, complex, and incredibly creative. Poetic dishes include roasted Isle of Skye sea scallops with octopus carpaccio; black pudding tempura and sweet corn vinaigrette; and fillet of Angus beef with braised cheeks, creamed potato, salsify, and baby girolles (mushrooms) in a truffle and Barolo sauce. This spot should be on the checklist of every culinary connoisseur and oenophile (the wine list is 37 pages long). Expect to part with more than $200 per person. (Or opt for the less financially damaging prix fixe lunch for $85.) Not surprisingly, men must wear jackets.
Insider Tip: Call on the exact calendar date two months in advance for the best chance of securing a booking.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.