Our 50 Top Restaurants, or so

Our Favourite Chefs around the World

Restaurants worth their salt


There’s nowhere quite like Røros anywhere in Scandinavia, perhaps even anywhere in the world. (David Nikel, MOON’s Norway.)

Yes indeed, David. For reasons you mention—and more, many more.

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“We went in the early 90s,” my sister Joyce said. “Twice. I remember the ocean views and the gorgeous beach, the ruins and the single road. It wasn’t that busy, maybe forty people walking around. I don’t remember seeing any restaurants or hotels.”

Tulum blinked on our radar in the 80s. But our bare feet didn’t touch its white sands until January of 2017 when Magellan said, “Let’s get out of this dismal rain and go somewhere warm for a week.” It took us almost that long to decide where to stay.

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“I ran down to your place this morning and stole juniper berries from your kitchen—couldn’t find them anywhere on our way or earlier grocery travels yesterday.” Yikes, I thought when I received this message from Lynn when we were in Norway. Long overdue for a cleanup, my spice cupboard was a bit of an embarrassment. Last week in a rare burst of housecleaning energy, I tackled the job. “A good thing” as Martha would say. Three good things actually—a tidy drawer, a blog source and a new recipe.

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Pumpkins. Mushrooms. Persimmons. Mmmm…

Late autumn ripens my memories of Japan.

To the night Lynn, Ward, Magellan and I, dressed in kimonos, ate kaiseki at Ryokan Kurashiki. “Dishes of October, The feast to do the sight of autumn colors,” served by a kindly Japanese woman in the autumn of her life who Ward nicknamed “Ryokan Mommy.”

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When people ask, “How was the food in Norway?” they often follow it up with “Did you eat at that famous restaurant in the Faroe Islands?” “Did you get a reservation at Noma?” “Did you go to Fäviken in Sweden?” Super foodies specify the chefs: Poul Ziska, René Redzepi and Magnus Nilsson, respectively.

No, we did not.

Years before these men became world-famous chefs, a woman chef in Norway quietly pioneered New Nordic Cuisine—Heidi Bjerkan at Credo, the restaurant she opened in 1999.

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Have you been watching the Netflix series Chef’s Table?

Did you see Season 4 Episode 2 about Caffé Sicilia in the baroque hilltop town of Noto in southeastern Sicily?

“I knew that I was in paradise,” says Faith Willinger in the opening minutes, describing her first taste of Corrado Assenza’s aromatic, flavourful and creamy almond gelato.

Caffé Sicilia is the Sistine Chapel of sweets and Corrado Assenza, master craftsman and creative genius, is the Michelangelo of sweets.

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