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Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Beverly Hills, CA, Mélisse Santa Monica, CA, Hinoki & the Bird Los Angeles, CA, Heroic Italian Santa Monica, CA, Drago Centro Los Angeles, CA

By Sophie Gayot

December 9, 2020

Each year around this time, we publish our “Restaurant Issue” in which we bestow awards on restaurants in America for their accomplishments over the course of the last 12 months. The recurring categories include the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., the Best New Restaurants in the U.S., and Best Restaurateur.

As we have all been experiencing, 2020 is an unprecedented year. The least we can say is that restaurants have not been able to operate normally. Depending on the period of time, the state, the county, and, sometimes, the city, the health orders have been different and have continuously evolved depending on the case numbers and court rulings. Some can have dine-in, others can solely provide outdoor dining, and many can only offer takeout and delivery (most of the time, using platforms costing them an important commission). We know and we have seen it — chefs and restaurateurs have put their imagination to the task. They have come up with great ideas to attract and retain diners, turning unthinkable spaces into pleasant patios when they did not already have one. They have made important investments for the protection of their employees and of the diners. We have seen staff working for hours wearing both a mask and a visor while keeping a smile on their face and being courteous. If they have done it to retain their job, they also have done it for us so we could enjoy a meal outside of the house while we are seated maskless. Have you ever ventured into a restaurant’s kitchen where, most of the time, the heat is unbearable? Imagine being in there with a mask for eight hours…

It has become clear that we love our restaurants, and don’t want to see them shutter. In support of the restaurant industry, which by the way, involves much more than the team you can see in the restaurant, we have decided that all the restaurants in operation in 2020 are GAYOT’s winners.

We are very sad to see that the pandemic has forced many restaurants to close forever, but we are also happy to see that the culinary level in America is in constant elevation. It is a very good thing, because it triggers a “chain of command” of “requiring better” in many other domains. Wouldn’t you agree that if you have better food (which implies better ingredients), wouldn’t you want better music, better art, better movies, better books? Wouldn’t you better respect your surroundings? That would be your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues… not forgetting the environment, our legacy to our children and grandchildren and all the generations to come.

We feel very hopeful with the prospect of the COVID-19 vaccine. Yesterday marked the first time the vaccine was administered to someone outside of a clinical trial, a 90-year-old lady in the UK. [UPDATE 12/15/2020: Shipments of it are starting to arrive across the U.S.] The beginning of our victory against the virus is now a reality. We think we can all say that we are impatiently looking to close this chapter of our life and move to 2021. We wish you all good health and present our condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

To the next year!


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Chef Thomas Keller in the kitchen of the French Laundry, Yountville, California

By Gayot Editors

Best Restaurants in America for 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, we reflect on a year of exceptional meals and how they represent the current state of haute gastronomy. In some instances, fine dining has become a more intimate affair, with jewel-box dining rooms accommodating a select number of guests per service. Making reservations can sometimes be a competitive sport!

To please those diners who have parted ways from eating food prepared from formerly living creatures — of course, by that we mean the group (growing larger every day) formed by vegetarians and vegans — more and more chefs are now offering dishes and full menus to accommodate those eating habits, even at the level of the restaurants below.

Chefs have always focused intensely on flavor, but that same care and detail has also expanded to the aesthetic aspects of the experience. We’ve noticed such artistic strides in recent years, from intricate presentations to handmade ceramics to photography that truly captures the creative culinary spirit.

For us, it still always comes down to taste, and we are pleased to honor the best chefs across the U.S. and their dedication to their craft.

GAYOT’s 2019 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. are presented in alphabetical order.


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By Gayot Editors

Best Restaurants in America for 2018

To reach the upper echelons of gastronomy is a truly stunning feat requiring years (decades, more accurately) of dedication in the kitchen, a constant thirst for culinary knowledge, and passion to achiecve the next creative break-through.

We salute these stalwart chefs across America who continually exceed expectations with their cuising, seeking out the finest ingredients from near and far to please our palates.

GAYOT's 2018 Top 40 Restaurant in the U.S. are presented in alphabetical order.

Addison | Chef William Bradley
San Diego, CA

Alinea | Chef Grant Achatz
Chicago, IL

Atelier Cren | Chef Dominique Crenn
San Fransisco, CA

Atera | Chef Ronny Emborg
New York, NY

Aubergine | Chef Justin Cogley
Carmel, CA

Blue Hill at Stone Barns | Chef Dan Barber
Tarrytown, NY

Chef Marvo | Chef George Mavrothalassitis
Honolulu, HI

Daniel | Chef Daniel Boulud
New York, NY

Eleven Madison Park | Chef Daniel Humm
New York, NY

Everest | Chef Jean Joho
Chicago, IL

Frasca Food and Wine | Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson
Boulder, CO

The French Laundry | Chef Thomas Keller
Yountville, CA

Gabriel Kreuther
New York, NY

George Trois | Chef Michael Lachowicz
Winnetka, IL

The Inn at Little Washington | Chef Patrick O'Connell
Washington, VA

Jean-Georges | Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten
New York, NY

Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Las Vegas, NV

L'Espalier | Chef Frank McClelland
Boston, MA

La Folie | Chef Roland Passot
San Fransisco, CA

La Toque | Chef Ken Frank
Napa, CA

Le Bernardin | Chef Eric Ripert
New York, NY

Manresa | Chef David Kinch
Los Gatos, CA

Mélisse | Chef Josiah Citrin
Santa Monica, CA

Menton | Chef Barbara Lynch
Boston, MA

Michael Mina
San Fransisco, CA

NAOE | Chef Kevin Cory
Miami, FL

Patina | Chef Joachim Splichal
Los Angeles, CA

Per Se | Chef Thomas Keller
New York, NY

Picasso | Chef Julian Serrano
Las Vegas, NV

Providence | Chef Michael Cimarusti
Los Angeles, CA

Restaurant Eugene | Chef Linton Hopkins
Atlanta, GA

Restaurant Guy Savoy
Las Vegas, NV

The Restaurant at Meadowood | Chef Christopher Kostow
St. Helena, CA

Restaurant Nicholas | Chef Nicholas Harary
Red Bank, NJ

Saison | Chef Joshua Skenes
San Fransisco, CA

SingleThread Farm - Restaurant - Inn | Chef Kyle Connaughton
Healdsburg, CA

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire
Las Vegas, NV

Vetri | Chef Marc Vetri
Philadelphia, PA

Vie | Chef Paul Virant
Western Springs, IL

The Willows Inn | Chef Blaine Wetzel
Lummi Island, WA


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Le Maïs, Joël Robuchon Las Vegas

By Gayot Editors

Best Restaurants in America for 2017

The year 2017 brought some significant changes to the realm of fine dining in the U.S.
We mourned the shuttering of Tru in Chicago and SAAM at The Bazaar by José Andrés in Los Angeles, both previous honorees of GAYOT’s top restaurant awards. The spirit of reinvention, an imperative motif in the culinary world, was embodied by Eleven Madison Park as the New York restaurant embarked on a renovation to fortify its future and continued success.

Meanwhile, stalwart chefs across America persevered in their pursuit of culinary innovation through refined techniques and pristine ingredients sourced from near and far. We’re proud to honor these excellent establishments on GAYOT’s 2017 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., presented in alphabetical order.


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By Gayot Editors

Each year we honor fine-dining establishments in America that reach the top echelon of gastronomy, where meals transcend mere sustenance. Browse GAYOT’s selections for the 2016 Top 40 Restaurants in America, presented in alphabetical order.


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Chef Thomas Keller, Joël Robuchon Las Vegas dining room. Pristine sushi… Soulful Italian cooking… Exquisite French fare… These are just some of the cuisines represented among GAYOT's Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., honoring the crème de la crème of America's dining destinations. Newcomers to the list — NAOE in Miami, Grace in Chicago and Sushi Nakazawa in New York — join established icons of gastronomy that have been mainstays for years.

L'Espalier, Bouley, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, Le Cirque, Per Se, Sushi Nakazawa, Vetri, Restaurant Nicholas

The Mansion Restaurant Dallas, NAOE Miami, Restaurant August New Orleans, The Barn at Blackberry Farm Walland Tennessee, The Inn at Little Washington Virginia

Alinea, Everest, Grace< Tru Chicago, La Belle Vie Minneapolis, Vie Western Springs Illinois

Frasca Food and Wine Boulder Colorado, Aubergine Carmel California, Chef Mavro Honolulu, Studio Laguna Beach California, Joël Robuchon, Picasso, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire Las Vegas, Mélisse, Patina, Providence, Urasawa Los Angeles, The Willows Inn Lummi Island Washington, The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood Napa/Sonoma, Coi, Michael Mina, Saison San Francisco



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Guide Michelin nouvelle cuisine



More than 45 year ago, three rebels ignited a crusade against Guide Michelin and its pompous stars.







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