Opinionated About Dining

If you are on the fence about which restaurants to put on your must visit or travel to list for this year then the information  released this week by Opinionated About Dining (OAD) in Brussels of the top ten restaurants in Europe will hopefully be a useful guide.

According to the OAD panel, which considered opinions of 4,300 diners and food lovers who sent in over 140,000 reviews, the following order of restaurants emerged:

1. In de Wulf of Dranatour, Belgium

2. Troigros of Roanne, France

3. Quique Dacosta Restaurante in Denia, Spain

4. 41° Experience in Barcelona, Spain

5. Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Monaco

6. Amador in Mannheim, Germany

7. Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark

8. Fat Duck in Bray-on-Thames, UK

9. L’Astrance in Paris, France

10. L’Arpege in Paris, France

The complete list has 100 top tables from a dozen European countries such as France with 34, Spain with 13, Italy with 12, Germany with 11, UK with 7, Sweden with 5, Denmark with 4, and Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands with one each.

In addition new restaurants were also recognized. Upon seeing Azurmendi of Spain recognized as “new” makes me wonder about the term “new” since this restaurant has won critical acclaim for its sustainable cuisine as well as three Michelin stars in the last few years. New to this poll or new on the radar for the diners who were in this pool? To observe Albert Adria’s 41° go from 19th spot to the 4th in 2014 was heartening as it is very well deserved. This list also gave prominence to well established temples of cuisine and chefs like Troigros, Alain Passard, Heston Blumenthal, and Alain Ducasse, whose celebrated careers and contributions to the food world have been significant. Quique Dacosta of Spain (according to me) is someone to watch in the next few years.

Opinionated About Dining released its Top 100 American Restaurants of 2014 list placing Joshua Skenes’ Saison (San Francisco) as this year’s top restaurant. This list first surfaced in 2008 and the European version was first released in 2012, featuring he opinions of diners on the cost of dining in these restaurants and the quality of their experiences. Of course the dining habits and preferences of those writing the reviews no doubt influence their experiences.

If you have any comments about this list or have dined at these restaurants please do share them with me. Most diners visit these establishments after much research or making special travel plans at exhorbitant expense so your views may help other diners who have these restaurants on their radar or bucket list. I am also curious as to whether these lists or the repute of the chef is the major criteria when people make their choices.

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