Europe’s fine dining scene has been growing from strength to strength for a long time now. With everyone now looking towards local, organic produce, the difference in flavours, ingredients and styles as you pass through different borders is huge.
The Michelin guide is steeped in history; it began in 1900, alongside the invention of the car, and was initially a guide filled with practical advice for travelling on the road. The history behind the well-respected guidebook is a long and interesting one that resulted in one of today’s finest restaurant ranking systems worldwide.
In recent years, food blogging has become a popular and enjoyable way for food enthusiasts to combine what they love doing with making a living, and ever since the process of creating a blog has been made easier, there is now a large selection of blogs out there to guide you on whichever Michelin star restaurant you choose. In the meantime, here’s the Modern Gentleman’s overview:
Noma: Copenhagen, Denmark
Located in Copenhagen, Noma currently holds two Michelin stars and has been ranked as the best restaurant in the world for four years running. According to a beautiful interview on the Lucky Peach with co-owner René Redzepi, the original restaurant location was closed down at the end of 2016, but will reopen in a more central location with a slightly different concept: a small farm and truly local food.
Osteria Francescana: Modena, Italy
This Italian Osteria currently holds three stars. Its chef, Massimo Bottura, recently made an appearance on the Netflix show Chef’s Table, as he describes his approach as a mix of old Italian tradition meets modern experimentalism. When the restaurant first opened, all the locals ate there regularly, whereas now, it’s next to impossible to get a table.
Aniar: Galway, Ireland
Situated in the rural west coast of Ireland, Aniar reflects its very distinct geographical location and everything about it that makes it special. Head chef JP McMahon has an affinity for traditional cooking methods like fermenting, pickling and curing, all of which can be seen in the creative menu.
Borkonyha Wine Kitchen: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest currently offers four Michelin star restaurants. Aside from the Hungarian capital, there are still very few stars in Eastern Europe. Borkonyha features a contemporary take on Hungarian cuisine and a fine selection of excellent Hungarian wines.
The Yeatman: Porto, Portugal
With a big portion of Portugal bordering the sea, fresh fish has always been a large part of the cuisine. Like all of the above restaurants, there is an emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local food. The restaurant itself has lovely views of Porto and a very extensive wine list.