Molecular gastronomy Modernist cuisine can be seen at Tapas Molecular Bar, where duck “cigar” rolls are smoked inside…

This means that now that 2019 is almost over, it’s time for my annual review of my favorite meals from restaurants. I started this tradition with my “10 Most Memorable Restaurant Meals of 2011” nearly a decade ago and have continued it each year since. This thusly is important for my yearly Year in Movement roundup, which additionally incorporated the 10 Best Lodgings of 2019 which you ought to look at.

In contrast to the majority of publications, I do not confuse “new” with “good,” which is one reason why my food lists are especially helpful for travelers. If I ate at a restaurant this year that I have already been to multiple times before or one that has been open for fifty years and made this list, it is because the food there is still excellent. If it opened this year and I enjoyed it and believe it will continue, it will be on this list. You won’t find anything here that is trendy, new, or hot, but not great. In addition, unlike the majority of food magazines, my picks are not all based in Scandinavia. Some of you will be traveling there for business or pleasure anyway, so they are not all in Scandinavia. It does not matter how expensive or Michelin-starred a restaurant is to be one of my favorites; what matters to me is the taste of the food.

My food news sources take me from one side of the planet to the other, and thus I invest a ton of energy in eateries at each price tag. According to rough calculations, I eat out at least 250 times per year. Sadly, many of these meals are either forgettable or just “fine.” My ten very best taste memories of 2019 are the coveted exceptions, in no particular order.

Each course is served by one of the two head chefs, who also explains how to eat it and how it was made. Gifts are traditionally wrapped in patterned fabric known as furoshiki in Japan, and upon arrival, each guest receives a delicately wrapped miniature toolbox containing all of the unconventional tools necessary to properly consume the meal. Some dishes are served on Bunsen burners, while others shrink, grow, or explode when you eat them. Seasonal changes lead to new dishes with Japanese ingredients and influences from around the world. You can add four or seven different flight wine pairing options, and I think you should book this meal a long time in advance of any trip to Tokyo because it’s so amazing.

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