Featuring restaurants in Amsterdam, Montreal, São Paulo, Tokyo, and Paris
There are few things in life more gratifying than great food. Food can hold memories, possibilities, adventures—you name it. It inspires art, conversation, love and passion. A single dish has all the potential to influence change in the world, whether it’s bringing two people together who otherwise wouldn’t have met, or drastically altering the atmosphere at a state dinner—the Chinese Minister and President Obama might know a thing or two about this. Most of all, it (hopefully) just tastes really damn good.
American Express posted an article about the top 10 international business travel destinations, and we thought we’d bring you our favorite restaurant in each city. You might be doing business during the day, but who says you can’t indulge in the evening? We say you can.
Bear in mind this list is, naturally, going to be subjective. But, personally, we think it rocks.
- Amsterdam – De Kas
You know what Amsterdam is best at and it’s definitely not their restaurant industry. At least, when we thinking of Amsterdam, our minds don’t go straight to the quality of their foodie scene. Nobody ever says, “I’m going to Amsterdam…to eat!” But, you might be surprised. Scattered throughout this cycling city are restaurants that defy expectations. Call it “globalization of food culture” if you want, but you can really find any cuisine you want, including (obviously) Dutch food, which has undergone a renaissance in recent years.
De Kas is a brilliant farm-to-table concept located in a set of greenhouses that used to belong to the Amsterdam Municipal Nursery. A critical darling for the past decade, De Kas believes that “food tastes best when it’s prepared with the freshest, local ingredients.” They grow their own herbs and vegetables in the greenhouses and breed on the farmland surrounding the restaurant. Worth it to note: the menu changes daily, of course, as any farm-to-table restaurant menu does. What you’re looking at is a restaurant without pretention that brings creative, organic plates to the table. 10/10 in our book.
- Montreal – Hoogan & Beaufort
The chef-sommelier duo, Marc-André Jetté and William Saulnier, who made headlines with their work at Les 400 Coups, have found a new home with Hoogan & Beaufort. Of the food, Jetté says, “it’s not heavy, not rustic, more travaillé.” Travaillé is right. Jetté and Saulnier take you on a palate journey back to the primitive basics of French cooking: meats and vegetables roasted over an open fire pit, suckling pig, fresh bread made in-house, and of course, desserts that could make a Parisian mother-of-six blush.
Speaking of food that has the ability to influence change: Hoogan & Beaufort opened its doors in the Angus Yard district of Rosemont—an area not heavily populated by hipsters and foodies. Well, like it or not, that’s changing now. And we know who to blame.
- São Paulo – Mani
When we think of Brazilian food, we think of feijoada and churrascaria and all the wonders that a nation steeped in European, African, and Amerindian would provide. A fusion of worlds exists in Brazilian cooking, and Helena Rizzo, the brain behind Maní, certainly took note when creating the restaurant’s milieu. Rizzo marries contemporary and traditional techniques, bringing both innovation and history to the plates she creates.
Highlighted on the Worlds Best 50 Restaurants website: “Brazil-born Rizzo’s roots are always to the fore. Hence the restaurant’s most popular speciality: the eponymous maniocas, baked and served with tucupi froth, coconut milk and a slick of white truffle olive oil. [Her] delicate – some would say feminine – approach to Brazilian cuisine and stunningly beautiful presentations have established Mani as one of the best restaurants in Brazil, and indeed Latin America as a whole.”
- Tokyo – Bird land
Located in a conspicuous corner at the basement of an unassuming building in Ginza, Bird Land is a discrete yakitori bar where foodies in-the-know head to. There are two omakase menuto choose from. They come with skewers of chicken wasabi, chicken liver, chicken skin & neck, tofu salad flavoured with salt and pepper, ginko, glizzard, chicken meatball, teriyaki chicken, shiitake mushroom and chicken with leek.
This is one of the best places in Tokyo to go for yakitori, and where you pay homage to the simple but very well-liked Japanese classic cuisine.
- Paris – Ellsworth
With one of the best dining scenes in the world, it would be impossible to name the best restaurant in Paris, so I’ll just give you my favorite restaurant: Ellsworth.
Ellsworth in Paris boasts an inviting and energetic vibe, a central location across from the Palais Royal, and a friendly staff makes this small eatery from the team that also owns the acclaimed Verjus a winner. Pro tip: Don’t miss the fantastic desserts.
Look for the TOP 5 next week, which includes restaurants in Shanghai, Cancun, Mexico City, Toronto, and your number one international business travel destination: London!!
Hillary Ferguson is a New York City-based poet and writer. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry and fiction at The New School and a co-founder of the journal Politics and Poems. She lives a quiet, Netflix-filled life with her partner and their two dogs. She can be found on twitter @Hillary_Ferg.