23. (Tie) The Restaurant, Meadowood, St Helena, California
€340 for two people; 9-10 courses (wine pairing additional €170 per person) And you thought bespoke was just for clothes. The Restaurant at Meadowood caters to every guest's individual preferences so that the tasting menu perfectly reflects your tastes. And even though the dishes may vary from night to night (or customer to customer), they are all guaranteed to be presented and cooked by chef Christopher Kostow and his team with impeccable attention to detail.
23. (TIE) Minibar by José Andrés, Washington DC
€340 for two people; 25+ courses (wine pairings range from €57-€152 per person) With over 20 courses, one might think the tasting menu at José Andrés's Minibar could get boring. But dishes like sweet BBQ eel cocooned in peppery cotton candy or "dragon's breath" frozen popcorn that causes steam to come out of the diner's mouth keeps things different and exciting. And the finale dessert is worth waiting for — coconut milk ice cream, frozen peanut powder, and lemongrass-tamarind gelee.
23. (TIE) Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, New York
€342 for two people; 20+ courses No jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, shorts, or short sleeved shirts are permitted at Brooklyn Fare, Brooklyn's only three Michelin-starred restaurant. But the 18-seat space is worth the dress code with its 20+ elaborate, bite-sized courses of fresh seafood made and garnished right in front of you by Chef Cesar Ramirez and his team.
22. Quay, Sydney, Australia
€350 for two people; eight courses (wine pairing additional €138 per person) Australian Chef Peter Gilmore's Quay serves an eight-course tasting menu combining classic dishes with new seasonal additions. The meal flows flawlessly from the delicious starters to the guava snow egg — one of Gilmore's signature desserts. The intimate dining room with crisp white linens only adds to this serene meal.
21. Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego, California
€357 for two people; 10 courses Addison actually has three tasting menus, but its "Le Menu Gourmand" is the 10-course, unforgettable version for €179 a pop. Langoustine with caviar, parsley, and vermouth, or duck with port wine and garlic bread are just a few of the delicacies diners enjoy at Chef William Bradley's San Diego hot spot.
20. The Inn at Dos Brisas, Washington, Texas
€380 for two people; 12 courses (wine pairing additional €95 per person) The Inn at Dos Brisas is not as well known as the other restaurants on the list, but its €190-a-pop "Chef's Grand Tasting Menu" may turn this Texas establishment into a household name. The menu rotates seasonally with an emphasis on vegetables grown in Dos Brisas' own organic gardens and farm, plus seafood, foul, and meats delivered fresh daily from around the world.
19. Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, Dubai, UAE
€392 for two people; seven courses (wine pairing additional €81 per person) "Le Grand Menu D'Avril" at Reflets lives up to its name. Chantilly of caviar, large rock lobster with lemongrass, and whipped ice cream with champagne and snow peas are just a few of the fabulous offerings to grace the table. And it's not just the food that's decadent — expect pink damask chairs, Murano glass chandeliers, and mother-of-pearl adorned walls.
18. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
€400 for two people; 20 courses (wine pairing additional €133 per person) "The World's Best Restaurant," Noma serves reinvented Nordic cuisine in surprising ways. For instance, the first appetizer is actually hidden in a table arrangement and one of the desserts is toffee inside bone marrow. Executive Chef René Redzepi is known for using ingredients foraged from the nearby forests and shores, and keeps guests guessing throughout the 20 courses.
17. Alinea, Chicago, Illinois
€400 for two people; 18 courses Alinea is Chicago's only restaurant with three Michelin stars, and it earned every one. Its avant-garde dish presentations are a testament to the skill of molecular gastronomy chefs Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. Diners are constantly surprised by the delicious creations, from a DIY ravioli course to a hot potato topped with a slice of black truffle and suspended above cold potato soup.
16. The French Laundry, Yountville, California
€410 for two people (service charge included); nine courses The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller's iconic Napa Valley restaurant, is a foodie mecca because of its stunning location, amazing service, and outstanding food. It's famous in particular for the salmon cornets, cauliflower panna cotta with caviar, and perfectly presented sorbets — but every dish here is truly a knockout.
15. La Pergola, Rome, Italy
€415 for two people; nine courses Considered by many to be the best restaurant in Rome, La Pergola overlooks Monte Mario with an elegant array of candles, trompe l'oeil ceilings, and sliding glass walls. And Chef Heinz Beck's menu takes Italian food to new heights, with dishes like venison in pistachio crust with persimmon jam and medallions of foie gras with jelly of white Port and Madeira.
14. Per Se, New York
€448 for two people (service charge included); 13 courses The sister restaurant of The French Laundry, Per Se has one of the most exquisite tasting menus in the US. Chef Thomas Keller's butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster and Oyster and Pearls dishes keep guests coming back for more.
13. Saison, San Francisco, California
€453 for two people; 18-20 courses (wine pairing additional €112 per person) Saison offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience with 10 small tables and a big open kitchen. The menu is playful and inventive, with the dishes changing nightly based on the local ingredients and what's available from their own garden. Some sample courses from Chef Joshua Skenes's menu include foie gras toffee, oyster leaf with cream, and thin slices of beef aged for eighty days and complemented with soy vinaigrette.
12. The Fat Duck, West Berkshire, UK
€455 for two people; 14 courses The modernist cuisine at The Fat Duck is worth a flight across the pond. The multi-sensory experience is highly entertaining, and the dishes all taste as good as they look. For instance, the "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" is mock turtle soup paired with a watch formed from freeze-dried beef stock, and "Sounds of the Sea" is a seafood dish with tapioca that diners eat while listening to crashing waves on an iPod (seriously).
11. Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo, Japan
€460 for two people; 20 sushi courses The 87-year-old Jiro Ono is the most famous sushi master in the world. His sushi prix fixe is impeccable, and watching him work behind the counter at Jiro is worth the cash-only, ¥30,000 price tag alone. After gorging yourself on the freshest sushi courses like hirame, oo-toro, and kuruma-ebi (and ordering seconds of anything you like), diners then enjoy melon and tea for dessert.
10. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
€468 for two people; eight courses Heston Blumenthal (of the Fat Duck) brought in executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts to oversee Dinner, and the pairing is perfect since both men have an eye for detail and love for British gastronomy. At the chef's table, guests can watch Ashley and the team create some of their amazing dishes, such as a foie gras parfait with grilled bread and Black Foot Pork Chop, a recipe from the 1820s.
9. Solo Per Due, Vacone, Italy
€495 for two people; averages three courses The cash-only Solo Per Due (literally "only for two") is the ultimate in private dining since it has just one table for two people overlooking the Sabine Hills north of Rome. After sipping Prosecco before dinner, guests will sit down to a custom-designed menu based on their favorite foods and wines created by the father-son Di Claudios team. The waiter is even summoned by a silver bell.
8. Les Menus par Pierre Gagnaire, Moscow, Russia
€500 for two people (service charge included); seven courses (wine pairing additional €170 per person) Les Menus at the Lotte Hotel Moscow showcases why Pierre Gagnaire is a Michelin three-star chef. Everything in this opulent restaurants has his French touch — even the chefs, sommelier, and managers are trained in Paris. But especially the food, which is a veritable feast of langoustine, foie gras, and a gorgeous cheese plate.
7. Urasawa, Beverly Hills, California
€600 for two; 30 courses Urasawa's Michelin-starred chef Hiroyuki Urasawa is known for his outstanding sushi courses prepared in his intimate, 10-seat restaurant. Some have an inventive blend of ingredients — like shabu shabu with foie gras, lobster, and scallop — but most are simple, and rely on the freshest ingredients available. (Hint: The lobster you're about to eat was still alive two courses ago.)
6. Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco
€608 for two people (service charge included); six courses One of a few Alain Ducasse establishments, Le Louis XV has resided in Monte Carlo's Hôtel de Paris for the last 25 years. It's three-star rating in the Michelin Guide is well-deserved due to the decadent Mediterranean and seasonal dishes, such as the roasted Pyrenean baby lamb seasoned with Espelette pepper and the rum baba — a type of cake — with rum and whipped cream.
5. Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas, Nevada
€661 for two people; 16 courses Even the butter will blow away your taste buds at Joël Robuchon. Each dish prepared by Chef Robuchon is richly flavorful, with every ingredient contrasted expertly. Le Caviar (a trio dish of thin couscous) and Osetra caviar (with smooth cauliflower cream and gelée of green asparagus) are both particular favourites.
4. Masa, New York
€684 for two people; 18 courses Masa Takayama is the famed sushi chef behind this New York restaurant, and he delivers some of the highest quality Japanese food America has to offer. If you go, try and sit at the bar and watch Masa himself create the dishes, from risotto folded with uni and truffles to slabs of foie gras cooked in a shabu-shabu pot.
3. L'Arpege, Paris, France
€702 for two people; 10 courses Alain Passard's L'Arpège centers most of his courses around vegetables from his garden — and by garden, we mean five acres of land. His entrées all live up to the three Michelin star rating, but it's the Oeuf à la Coque that's the signature dish. It's a lightly cooked egg yolk with crème fraîche, maple syrup, vinegar, and spices. It may sound complicated, but diners make a special trip to Paris just for this amuse bouche.
2. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, Paris
€743 for two people; six courses The food prepared at Alain Ducasse by Chef Christophe Saintagne uses simple, yet unforgettable ingredients. Some favourite dishes from this established culinary team are langoustines served cold with caviar, hot guinea-fowl pie with black truffle, and foie gras ravioli.
1. Guy Savoy, Paris
€933 for two people; 18 courses Guy Savoy runs his eponymous restaurant with the precision, service, and finesse worthy of the most expensive tasting menu in the world. His 18-course, €490 "Innovations, Inspirations" menu has made this restaurant the new priciest, with razor clams with lemon and sweet garlic purée, caviar with large green asparagus and a smoked sabayon egg, and lobster served in its shell with cooked heart of palm.