The 10 Coolest Restaurants To Eat At In 2022, According To Experts – Forbes

The amuse bouche at AM par Alexandre Mazzia
Covid still hasn’t killed creativity. And the world’s professional eaters are still out there exploring. During yet another year that simple pleasures, unexpected flourishes and genuine hospitality mattered more than ever, they’ve been unfurling their napkins in dining rooms from Singapore to Dubai to Bogatá.
I asked a few of them what has impressed them the most lately—not necessarily Michelin star or World’s 50 Best–type places, but just restaurants that point to a better future. Kristian Brask Thomsen is a culinary ambassador, award-winning filmmaker (Michelin Stars), producer of a second documentary, world tour manager and host of dinner parties extraordinaire. Gerhard Huber is one of a handful of people who have dined at every Michelin three-star in the world and a cofounder of foodle.pro, an international online community. And Marco Invernizzi is the first non-Japanese Bonsai master, a deep diver with orcas and a passionate seeker of the world’s most innovative restaurants. 
They got so excited about their discoveries this year that they came back to me with 11 restaurants. None of those is world famous—at least not yet. For now, they provide a modicum of bragging rights and a great amount of joy. These places (in alphabetical order) are where these experts will send their friends. 
Langoustine at AM par Alexandre Mazzia
AM par Alexandre Mazzia, Marseille
Huber sings the praises of this tiny restaurant with a kitchen smaller than many domestic kitchens. “Mazzia was born and raised in Congo and claims to be influenced by his childhood experience,” notes the critic, who returned to the restaurant in 2021. In the years since his previous visit, the chef “has not only developed but made a quantum leap. His compositions are bold while at the same time delicate. The layering of flavors is sometimes subtle and sometimes aggressive. The execution is always flawless, which is a feat when serving 36 dishes. But most of all, the combination of flavors is simply stunning. To churn out this number of dishes for 24 dinners in such a kitchen is by itself an accomplishment, but doing it at such a quality and tastiness beggars belief.”
The dining room (and kitchen) at Cocina Hermanos Torres
Cocina Hermanos Torres, Barcelona
“If the fall of the Adrià kingdom has brought anything good to Barcelona, it is revealing what great quality and diversity the city’s food scene has beyond the internationally known usual suspects,” says Brask Thomsen. “The most sparkling of those is Cocina Hermanos Torres, a grand stage where guests are spectators to three buzzing cooking stations in the center of the dining room. It’s a scene and a great example to how the restaurant and theater industry go hand in hand. Add to this a hypercreative and playful new haute cuisine inspired by Spanish tradition and childhood memories, wizardry, a touch of France and a pinch of Brazil. It’s an avant-garde fairytale of flavors; the spiral of truffle cream, hazelnut, almond bread, thyme and lemon, drawn with a 3D printer, is a great example of Sergio and Javier Torres’s vision of what a culinary beauty moment should look like.”
The dining room at Delta
Delta, Athens
“In front of the sea, where history was made, and only a few minutes away from Acropolis, where democracy was born, at the stunning Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a new ambassador of the globally loved Greek cuisine found its home,” says Invernizzi. “The extremely creative and innovative young team is focused on local raw materials and small-scale producers. They apply methods of cooking from ancient Greece and transform them into fine dining art. Sustainability, seasonality, preservation, taste and minimalistic perfection are the main pillars on which this modern temple of gastronomy is built. Modesty is transformed into grandeur.”
At El Chato, a library of house-made products is part of the decoration
El Chato, Bogotá
“Álvaro Clavijo must be the Colombian chef with the most impressive international experience, and yet he’s still quite young,” notes Brask Thomsen. “After culinary school in Barcelona, he spent years in Paris, where he shaped his horns at Le Bristol and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, before moving to New York to cook at Atera and Per Se, then to Noma in Copenhagen. Yet El Chato is not a fine dining restaurant as one might have thought. Rather, it is an intimate, casual, bustling two-story establishment with a Quentin Tarantino feel on the ground floor. However, upstairs is where you want to find yourself, at the open kitchen with a spice library and ten-seat chef’s table. Here Clavijo takes classic Colombian ingredients for a spin, such as chicken hearts, tropical fruits, offspring potatoes, egg yolk par excellence, masterful grilled lamb and avocado soufflé. He elevates seemingly simple dishes to the next level.”
Frangente
Frangente, Milan
Chef Federico Sisti describes his cuisine as impulsive, says Huber of this restaurant that opened in April. “Driven by instinct, creativity and top products, he also is entrenched in the long tradition of Romagna, where he is from. Nine dishes and three ‘spoons’ of dessert made for an unbelievable meal, all of it flavorful, full of umami and very tasty. I can see this place becoming a temple of pilgrimage, like Trippa across town.”
The hen’s egg dish at Jaan
JAAN by Kirk Westaway, Singapore
Invernizzi says, “In an Asian country with strong ties with Her Majesty, chef Kirk Westaway is delivering his interpretation of elevated and truly delicious British cuisine in a restaurant with the greatest view of Marina Bay. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy how a restaurant can change the world’s opinions about the true potential of a cuisine better known for fish and chips.” The menu’s signature dish, the English Garden, was inspired by his childhood memories of picking fruits and vegetables. “It’s the first step on the path that will bring foodies to taste British food the way it could and should be seen for the future.”
Chef Ryan Ratino at Jont
Jônt, Washington DC
“Jônt is a little gem tucked away on the second floor of chef Ryan Ratino’s other innovative eatery, Bresca, » says Invernizzi. “After climbing dark stairs, a secret door opens, revealing a very bright and sophisticated counter-only dining room—the hottest seats in Washington. With luxurious and clean décor, subtle ambiance, stylish music and the most surprising dishes, guests enjoy a unique holistic experience that galvanizes every one of their senses. It’s a concept that melds art with the seasonality of the finest Japanese ingredients and smart French technique, served by a team devoted to enhancing every detail.”
レヴォ L’Evo, Japan
“A true destination restaurant, it is a hike but worth the journey!” proclaims Huber. “Chef Eiji Taniguchi used to cook in a hypermodern resort south of Toyama. However, he decided to move deep into the mountains of the Nanto region and rejuvenate an old village, which was left 50 years ago. He built a main building housing the dining room and the kitchen as well and added three cottages where guests can stay overnight. The open kitchen is about three times the size of the dining room, which has only three tables. His food, which he developed in his last place and calls ‘avant-garde regional cuisine’ is now even more refined. His flavors are restrained, almost subtle, but very well calibrated. I cannot wait to go back.”
Oz head chef Timo Fritsche picking herbs for his menu
Oz, Fürstenau, Switzerland
“Facing a castle dating from 1670, renowned chef Andreas Caminada runs his multi-awarded restaurant in what once was a coach house,” says Invernizzi. “Guests feel welcome in his new space with an open kitchen, designed like a noble living room, to enjoy vegetarian-only tasting menus. The name means ‘today’ in the local language, because every day only the best of what the castle’s garden has to offer become the ingredients for numerous exciting dishes. It’s a style of cuisine that keeps evolving, just as nature influences the 700+ vegetables, herbs and fruits growing around the estate. Head chef Timo Fritsche has mastered the new-old art of sustainable gastronomy.”
The Samuel
The Samuel, Copenhagen
“Champion chef restaurateur Jonathan Bentsen showed his excellence, determination and ability to make things happen against heavy odds,” says Brask Thomsen of this restaurant that opened just three weeks before the country was locked down for five months. “It had a mere combined four months of operation before receiving a Michelin star, which has to be a record.” It serves a 16-course “deep-flavored, intense menu with dishes created from the finest produce; from the Nordics, yes, but indeed also from the southern parts of Europe. Then there’s the wine menu—with only one vintage from this millennium and all the rest starting with a 19. That is nothing short of spectacular and warms the heart of a former sommelier such as myself.” (Disclosure: Brask Thomsen provides communications assistance to a small group of restaurants in which he strongly believes, and the Samuel is among them.)
The dining room at Tresind
Trésind Studio, Dubai
“When I attended the Best Chef Awards in Amsterdam this year, the scent of Himanshu Saini’s cooking on stage quickly found its way to my nose,” remembers Brask Thomsen. “It was so profound that I had to break off a conversation and fully focus on what this young Indian chef I had never heard of was doing. When I tasted his cooking, I instantly knew I had to visit Trésind Studio in Dubai, which I did two months later. That turned out to be a really good idea, as this 20-seat studio that’s the backstage to a much bigger restaurant serves some of the most original food I’ve had this year—modernist Indian fine dining, I would call it: incredibly beautiful dishes, colorful with deep flavors, wizardry, fun, dreamy and rooted in the street food culture of India, whose story it tells.”
This is the eighth year my partners in food and I have been compiling this list. Here are the restaurants that excited us for 202120202019, 2018, 20172016 and 2015.
Atomix, New York City
Boragó, Santiago
Dani Maison, Italy
Higashiyama Wakon, Japan
KOKS, Faroe Islands
Noor, Spain
Rote Wand Chef’s Table, Austria
Sorn, Bangkok
Table by Bruno Verjus, Paris
Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Wales
Alchemist, Copenhagen
Direkte, Barcelona
Hiakai, Wellington
Jordnær, Denmark
Kjolle, Lima
Meizan Kimiya, Japan
Mercado Little Spain, New York City
Salsify, Cape Town
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
UNDER, Norway
3Fils, Dubai
28 Hubin Road, Hangzhou
À L’aise, Oslo
Alcalde, Guadalajara
Atelier, Munich
CoCoCo, Saint Petersburg
LOCO, Lisbon
Pizza Studio Tamaki Roppongi, Tokyo
Sanchez, Copenhagen
Somni, Los Angeles
Amelia, San Sebastián
Arca, Tulum
Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh
Espai Kru, Barcelona
Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha, Barcelona
Kazbek, Moscow
Kichisen, Kyoto
LASA, Los Angeles
Takiya, Tokyo
Villanos en Bermudas, Bogotá
AOC—Aarø & Co, Copenhagen
Back Kitchen Table at Osso, Lima
Bros,’ Puglia, Italy
The Cellar, Anstruther, Scotland
Chef’s Bar at Machneyuda, Jerusalem
The Dysart Petersham, London
La Docena Oyster Bar & Grill, Mexico City
La Nave de Sake, Barcelona
McCrady’s Tavern, Charleston
Tempura Matsu, Kyoto
Bar Brutal, Barcelona
Beefsteak, Washington, DC
Disfrutar, Barcelona
Floriege, Tokyo
Grace, Chicago
Hedone, London
Ibai, San Sebastián
Jimbocho Den, Tokyo
Le Calandre, Italy
Les Prés d’Eugénie, France
Semilla, Brooklyn
Taberna Pedraza, Madrid
Taller, Copenhagen
Taubenkobel, Austria
Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau (Schloss Berg), Germany
White Rabbit, Moscow
Atera, New York City
Attica, Melbourne
Burnt Ends, Singapore
Central, Lima
DiverXO, Madrid
Fäviken Magasinet, Sweden
Geranium, Copenhagen
Minibar by José Andrés, Washington DC
Pakta, Barcelona
Restaurant A.T, Paris
Robuchon au Domé, Macau
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo

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