Sant Pau, Tokyo
Just two years after its opening, self-taught chef Carme Ruscellada's first reataurant in the village of San Pol de Mer north of Barcelona earned a Michelin star. In 2004, Ruscellada opened San Pau in Tokyo, and it quickly earned two stars. With wooden floors, bright ocher walls, sheer white curtains, and natural lighting, the 19-table San Pau mimics the Spanish original, but tapas such as daikon ravioli with berries and squid and prawn rice, and entrees such as monkfish in salsa verde show Japanese influence. There are 500 wines on the list, most of them Spanish.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.