In sharing this list from Gayot, it is nice to know that I’ve been fortunate enough to eat at several of the top 40. But I’ve a long way to go to hit them all.

TOP 40 RESTAURANTS IN THE U.S. 2011

From left to right: a creation from Chef Mavro, John Besh of Restaurant August in New Orleans, Studio in Laguna Beach, CA
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Culinary genius is not the only attribute a restaurant needs to make it to our Top 40 list. Destination dining needs to be exciting, intelligent and offer an exceptional experience that truly makes it heads and tails above the rest. Passion is essential because that is at the heart of a chef or restaurateur who can offer us a meal we will never forget. We congratulate our seasoned “old timers” who demonstrate unwavering focus to maintaining culinary quality that wins — and keeps — a loyal audience. And we offer kudos to the thrilling newcomers here who shine with hard-fought achievement, promise and innovation. From the glamorous metropolitan centers of New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Las Vegas to the rustic farmhouses of Maine, the verdant hills of Napa Valley and the tropical shores of Hawaii, each restaurant on our list adds its own unique contributions to the very best of American dining.


ATLANTA
Restaurant Eugene

BOSTON
L’Espalier

CHICAGO
Alinea

Charlie Trotter’s
Everest

GREENWICH, CT
Thomas Henkelmann

HEALDSBURG, CA
Cyrus

HONOLULU
Chef Mavro

LAGUNA BEACH, CA
Studio

LAS VEGAS
Joël Robuchon

Picasso
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

LOS ANGELES
Mélisse
Patina
Providence

Spago Beverly Hills
Urasawa

LOS GATOS, CA
Manresa

NEW ORLEANS
Restaurant August

NEW YORK
Daniel
Eleven Madison Park
Jean Georges
Le Bernardin
Le Cirque
Masa
The Modern
Per Se

OGUNQUIT, ME
Arrows Restaurant

PALM BEACH, FL
L’Escalier

PHILADELPHIA
Vetri

RED BANK, NJ
Restaurant Nicholas

SAN DIEGO
Addison

SAN FRANCISCO
The Dining Room
Gary Danko

Masa’s

ST. HELENA, CA
The Restaurant at Meadowood

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Michel Richard Citronelle

WESTERN SPRINGS, IL
Vie

YOUNTVILLE, CA
The French Laundry

The Epicurean Explorer

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