Final Thoughts

Ottawa, Canada

The five year journey has come to an end. Here are my final thoughts.

It’s been an incredible journey around the world to visit 50 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants before I turn 50. I managed to get it done just before my 49th birthday, as it would turn out.

I decided to sort all of the restaurants into my own personal ranked list.

1. DiverXO

DiverXO was absolutely phenomenal. The food and service was amazing from the moment I sat down at my table to the very end. The dishes were inventive and delicious. I liked the information cards used throughout. It was definitely the best meal I’ve ever had.

2. Alchemist

Alchemist is an experience and probably the best restaurant experience I’ve had in my life. The food wasn’t as consistently amazing as DiverXO, with some dishes making more of a statement than being take-me-to-another-plane style of dish. It’s like theatre but with incredible food.

3. Atomix

I enjoyed the casual venue and amazing service. Even more than that, I enjoyed the flavours, including more spicy heat than I’ve seen from most restaurants. It was also the first time I’ve seen cards used to describe each of the courses. They were originally introduced to minimize how much the staff was talking to the customers. Now, I wish all restaurants did this (and delighted that DiverXO does) because it gives me a chance to refer back to what’s in the dish without having to remember what the server said.

4. Eleven Madison Park

Considering Eleven was one of the first few restaurants on the list that I went to, it’s impressive that it held top spot for so long along this adventure. I found the food was just so consistently amazing and the service that came with it was fantastic.

I had some reservations keeping Eleven so high on my list as I revisited after its switch to a plant-based menu. The food and service hadn’t lived up to my original experience.

5. Blue Hill at Stone Barns

They really did a spectacular job of turning a meal into an event, taking 7 hours to get through everything. It was educational and tasty. Their dedication to creating a custom food experience is impressive and well worth a visit.

The Rest of the List

  1. El Celler de Can Roca
  2. Pujol
  3. Azurmendi
  4. L’Arpège
  5. Singlethread
  6. Restaurant Tim Raue
  7. The Clove Club
  8. The Ledbury
  9. Frantzen
  10. Maaemo
  11. Geranium
  12. Noma
  13. Mugaritz
  14. Central
  15. Alinea
  16. Ikoyi
  17. Jordnaer
  18. Maido
  19. Mayta
  20. De Librije
  21. Saison
  22. Arzak
  23. Quintonil
  24. Relae
  25. Hof Van Cleve
  26. Narisawa
  27. Boragó
  28. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée
  29. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen
  30. L’Astrance
  31. Disfrutar
  32. Atelier Crenn
  33. Tickets
  34. Astrid y Gastón
  35. Benu
  36. Le Bernardin
  37. Belcanto
  38. Elkano
  39. Nobelhart & Schmutzig
  40. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
  41. Cosme
  42. Don Julio
  43. Lyle’s
  44. Nerua
  45. Tegui

Now that I've completed this adventure, who knows what is next. No doubt plenty of more amazing restaurants to enjoy. Thanks for following along.

Bon appetit...

* * *