Stunning otherworldly dishes from restaurants like Denmark's Noma and Italy's Combal.Zero.
Food & Wine
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Mugaritz; Errenteria, Spain
Dish: Red Fruits From the Garden
A year's worth of experimentation went into Andoni Luis Aduriz's voluminous edible bubbles, made with sun-ripened berries and beetroot. The Michelin-two-starred Mugaritz was destroyed by a kitchen fire earlier this year, but Aduriz plans to reopen it this summer.
Seafood genius Eric Ripert juxtaposes the high and low in this playful dish of white tuna poached in olive oil, topped with delicate sea beans, crispy potato chips and a light red-wine béarnaise sauce.
At Alinea in Chicago, the always-forward-thinking Grant Achatz (an F&W Best New Chef 2002) serves hearts of palm stuffed with five different fillings—from vanilla pudding to truffle-pumpernickel puree—on five separate pedestals.
Dish: Royal Sterling Caviar "Vichyssoise" of Caraquet Oysters
Daniel Humm (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) of Eleven Madison Park juxtaposes extravagance (caviar pearls, oyster gelée) with classic French comfort food (a vichyssoise of potatoes and leeks)—all inside an oyster.
At the much-celebrated El Bulli on the Catalonian coast, Ferran Adria; continually pushes food boundaries with dishes like Snails on a Tin. Adria; surprised the food world earlier this year by announcing that he would close his restaurant in December 2011.
Dish: Glazed beetroot with smoked ox-bone marrow, apples and sorrel, beetroot sauce
At the Michelin-two-starred Noma, René Redzepi's fierce devotion to regional ingredients like Nordic musk ox and beetroot from Sweden's Gotland island are on display in brilliant dishes like this one, composed of intensely flavored discs.
At Manresa, David Kinch pays homage to the iconic farm-egg dish at Paris's L'Arpège: egg yolk poached in its shell with sherry vinegar, cream, and maple syrup. Among Kinch's twists: He accents it with Tasmanian pepper.
At his two-table restaurant, Yoshiaki Takazawa's complex, almost theatrical dishes includes one that mimics falling snow: a piece of yellowtail, mountain vegetables and edible lily bulbs are served tableside with a dressing chilled so low—minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit—that it takes on a powdery texture that steams on contact.