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Twenty Fantastic Meals Worth the Journey

Choosing the very best among the multitude of great chefs and cuisines is not for the faint-hearted. Undaunted, International Herald Tribune food critic Patricia Wells spent a year traveling the globe to do just that. Her method: "When I dine, I filter out everything about the restaurant that's not food: its reputation, my preconceived notions or previous experiences, other people's opinions, even the service and the room in which I dine. I focus only on the look, the aroma, the taste, the texture of the food. The restaurant wins or loses on the basis of my physical and emotional response." Concerned at the outset whether she'd know when she'd found the finest example of a country's cuisine, Wells wrote in presenting her choices, "I needn't have worried. When the big one comes along, the earth moves." Picking 10 favorites from the thousands of more casual restaurants with superb food was a far tougher assignment, she says. Her choices:


FINE DINING

  1. Joel Robuchon
    59 Avenue Raymond-Poincare
    Paris 16, France
    47-27-12-27

  2. Restaurant Fredy Girardet
    1 Route d'Yverdon
    Crissier, Switzerland
    21-634-0505

  3. Lai Ching Heen
    The Regent, Salisbury Road,
    Hong Kong
    721-1211

  4. Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse
    Hotel de Paris, Place du Casino,
    Monte Carlo
    92-16-30-01

  5. Osteria da Fiore
    San Polo-calle del Scaleter
    Venice, Italy
    41-721-308

  6. Jiro
    Chuo-ku, Ginza 4-2-15,
    Tsukamoto Sozan Building, B1,
    Tokyo, Japan
    3535-3600

  7. Guy Savoy
    18 Rue Troyon
    Paris 17, France
    43-80-40-61

  8. Taillevent
    15 Rue Lamennais
    Paris 8, France
    45-63-96-01

  9. Restaurant Daniel
    20 East 76th St..
    New York, NY
    212-288-0033

  10. Da Cesare
    12 Via Umberto
    Albaretto della Torre, Italy
    173-520-141


CASUAL DINING

  1. Al Forno
    577 South Main St.
    Providence, R.I.
    401-273-9767

  2. La Tupina
    6 Porte de la Monnaie
    Bordeaux, France
    56-91-56-37

  3. Frontera Grill
    445 N. Clark St.
    Chicago, IL
    312-661-1434

  4. City Chiu Chow
    E. Ocean Ct., 98 Granville Rd.,
    Tsim Sha Tsui East
    Kowloon, Hong Kong
    723-6226

  5. Ca l'Isidre
    Les Flors 12
    Barcelona, Spain
    441-1139

  6. The Seafood Restaurant
    Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall
    PL28 8BY, England
    841-532-485

  7. Checchino dal 1887
    30 Via Monte Testaccio
    Rome, Italy
    6-574-6318

  8. Cibreo
    8R Via del Verrocchio
    Florence, Italy
    55-234-1100

  9. Viridiana
    Juan de Mena 14
    Madrid, Spain
    523-4478

  10. Le Cameleon
    6 Rue de Chevreuse
    Paris 6, France
    43-20-63-43

SOURCE: International Herald Tribune.


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