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My Top Ten Restaurants of 2014

I’ve visited some absolutely incredible restaurants this year: I’ve tried triple Michelin wonders, had tasting menus galore and consumed more sushi than you would believe possible. Therefore, perhaps my greatest achievement of the year is still fitting into my clothes. I can thank a hardcore workout programme and the consumption of salads in between the vast banquets for that!

Anyway, here’s a Top 10 round up of the best restaurants I’ve eaten in, both in London and around the world. I’ve presented the round up in the form of awards but they are in no particular order.
Award for Top of the Bucket list goes to….

The French Laundry, Napa Valley
Thomas Keller’s three Michelin star restaurant in the Napa Valley was at the very top of my bucket list and in 2014, I achieved my dream of dining there.
 After a nine (that was more like a twenty) course tasting menu of French cuisine with American influences and fresh local ingredients, Mr S and rolled out of the restaurant, feeling very, very full…
 Read my full review of the French Laundry here.
Runner up for Top of the Bucket List: Le Bernadin
Award for Best New Restaurant in London goes to…

City Social, London
We visited Jason’s Atherton’s City Social back in September for Mr Silver’s birthday.
 
 The fabulous restaurant, serving Modern European food really ticked all the boxes for me. An incredible view, wonderful service and seriously good food.
Winning a Michelin star only six months after opening was a well-deserved achievement.
Read my full review of City Social here.
Runners up for Best New London Restaurant: Chiltern Firehouse and Kurobuta
Award for Internationally Fabulous…

Hakkasan, International
With humble beginnings in Hanway place in London, Alan Yau’s Cantonese restaurant has grown into an international brand with branches across the United States, Mumbai and Dubai to name a few.
 Hakkasan will always be one of my favourite restaurants, not least because Mr Silver and I had our first dinner date at the Mayfair branch, but also because the food is always excellent and the interior is so sleek and sexy.
As well as visiting my favourite Mayfair restaurant, Mr S and I also paid a visit in New York where we had to die for desserts.

And the mega-Las Vegas restaurant in the MGM Grand.
 Which also holds a five storey, 80,000 square foot nightclub with a capacity of nearly 7,500 people. Is a hotel on the horizon, as with rival super foodie brand, Nobu? I hope so…I’d stay there and eat all the dim sum!
Read my full review of Hakkasan, Mayfair here.
Read my full review of Hakkasan, New York here.
Read my Las Vegas Round up, including Hakkasan here.
You can also read my review of Hakkasan’s sister restaurant in London, HKK, here.
Runners up Internationally Fabulous: Nobu (reviews of Malibu and West Hollywood) and Sushi Samba (Reviews of New York, Las Vegas, London, Miami)
Award for Best UK Restaurant Outside of London…
The Artichoke, Amersham
By sheer coincidence I was invited to review The Artichoke, back in my home town of Amersham.
 It should be a crime that this restaurant doesn’t have a Michelin star. The food tasted exquisite, it was beautifully presented and absolutely excellent value for money.Read my full review of the Artichoke here.
Runner up for Best UK Restaurant Outside of London: Mr Cooper’s House and Garden, Manchester.
Award for Most Fun…

Chotto Matte, London

When Mr S and I headed out on a date one night we didn’t expect to discover our new favourite place.

 We loved the clubby vibe of the restaurant and it’s cool interior decorated with funky graffiti and interesting light effects.
 The Nikkei cuisine hit all the right notes with us and and we were confirmed fans of the place. We were introduced to both the chef and the owner and were treated to a kitchen tour and found out about the inner workings of place! After forging a great connection with the team I was invited back for a celeb filled tostaditas party!
Read my full review of Chotto Matte here.
Runners up for Most Fun Restaurant of the Year: Kurobuta and Buddha Bar in London and Tao in New York.

Award for Most Romantic…

Enotecca Pinchiorri, Florence

A just-married couple, a three Michelin starred restaurant and a garden setting in a Renaissance Palace in Florence…need I say more?

 How about one more?
 Chocolate!!!

Read my full review of Enocteca Pinchiorri here.

Runner up for Most Romantic: Il Palagio, Florence.
Award for Just Plain Crazy
The Bazaar, LA and Miami
A feast of molecular madness at the Bazaar, which we visited both in LA and in Miami.
 
 Jose Andres menu of small plates deconstructs, rearranges and explodes dishes presenting a ‘not-your-average’ selection of tapas, served alongside rather more usual offerings. Visit any of his restaurants ready to be inspired, delighted and confused!
Read my full review of the Bazaar in LA here.
Read my full review of the Bazaar in Miami here.
Runner up for Just Plain Crazy: Sushi des Artistes, London
Award for Best Al Fresco Restaurant 
 
With waves breaking at our side, the heat of the LA sun and the best sushi ever, Nobu Malibu isn’t just my favourite Al Fresco of the restaurant of the year, it’s one of my favourite’s of all time.
 
 Read my full review of Nobu Malibu here.
Runner up for Best Alfresco Restaurant: La Cucina, Il Salviatino, Florence
Award for Best Sushi 
 
Roka, Mayfair
I had to sneak in a category for my favourite cuisine and by far the best sushi I had this year was for my birthday dinner at Roka, Mayfair.
 
The restaurant has an amazing atmosphere and absolutely incredible food, it’s a place I’ll just return again and again.
Read my full review of Roka Mayfair here
Runner up for Best Sushi: Dinings, Marylebone
My Best Restaurant of the Year

Le Bernadin Eric Ripert’s three Michelin star restaurant is one of the best restaurants in the world and the most popular place to dine in New York.

Regular readers of my blog will know I’m not a big meat eater, so to visit a three Michelin star restaurant with a menu made up nearly entirely of seafood was an absolute dream for me.

At the end of the meal, Mr Silver said it was his favourite restaurant of all time. I wouldn’t quite go that far but it was definitely my top restaurant of the year!

Read my full review of Le Bernadin here

Runner up for Restaurant of the Year: City Social
This year alone I’ve reviewed 78 UK restaurants, eaten a total of 24 Michelin stars (four of which have been three Michelin star restaurants), I’ve taken a bite out of the Big Apple, munched in Miami, noshed in Napa, crunched in California, feasted in Florence and banqueted in Bora Bora.I’ve met some incredibly talented chefs and lots of wonderful fellow bloggers!
Rather fittingly this marks my 200th blog post. Here’s to plenty more calorie consumption in the New Year!