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Gymkhana – London, UK

A must if you love Indian food and are in London.  Beware that a lot of the dishes are spicy.  I like spice and the prawns in particular were burn your ears spicy!  Unless you are an Indian food pro and know what each ingredient is, ask your server for some guidance with the menu and they’ll make sure you get a well rounded meal.  And don’t forget the cocktails.  Wowzer they were good (Gooseberry Nimbu Pani)!  I especially love how on the menu there’s a little notation under each drink telling you what time of day they’d each be appropriate for.  Did I mention they have a Michelin star?!

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Divellec – Paris, France

I’m not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best meals of my entire life.  Truth.  One of the ladies in my group said had we gone there the first night of our trip she would have requested we go back the last night.  Everything made this meal perfect – from the decor to the incredible staff, the night really couldn’t have been any better.  I truly feel that Divellec is Paris’ best kept secret.  They earned their first Michelin star after only being open for 4 months and I think soon enough this place will be the talk of the town.

I have never felt so glutinous but I couldn’t help myself.  Started with the caviar, next the sashimi and then followed it all up with the classic sole meunière.  The sole might sound boring to some but let me tell you, boring it was not.  I rolled each bite of fish in the butter it was sitting in and moaned out loud the whole dinner.  This really could have been my last meal on earth and I would have been perfectly satisfied.  Although I felt like I needed to be rolled out of the restaurant…we ordered desert.  Who can pass up a beautiful chocolate soufflé?!  Not me apparently.  Go here and enjoy yourself!

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Le Bernardin – New York, NY

There’s a reason this restaurant has three Michelin stars, seven James Beard Awards and is  ranked 24 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.  Time and time again it’s impeccable.  I’ve been twice now, the first time having the Chef’s Tasting Menu and the second ordering a la carte.  Both were divine and different which was extremely satisfying.  Each dish is so beautifully composed and perfect from the presentation to the moment the flavors touch your tongue.  Mmmm…I just wanted more!  Definitely set your alarm to call two months in advance at 9am EST.  It’s worth the effort and money if you can manage it.

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Hamachi – flash marinated Hamachi, young radishes and amaranth crisp, Yuzu vinaigrette

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Langoustine – seared langoustine, fennel mousse line, spiced citrus-sambal sauce

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Snapper – crusted red snapper, pickled Persian cucumbers, green curry-goat yogurt emulsion

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Funky Gourmet – Athens, Greece

I am SO glad this restaurant was recommended to me.  I feel like it’s one of the best kept secrets in Athens although it’s not-so-secret seeing that it just received it’s first Michelin Star.  Funky Gourmet is owned and run by Nick Roussos, Georgianna Hiliadaki and Argyro Hiliadaki, the first two mentioned being the head chefs.  Both were in the house the night we ate there.

The whole meal was absolutely incredible!  So fun and playful…it was enjoyable from start to finish.  Favorites for me included the “picnic”, pesto pasta that we got to make and cook ourselves (not really but I love that they let you think you’re doing it:)), and Greek Salad sorbet – that was nuts!  I was hesitant to try the foie gras truffle (simply because I don’t care for the taste of fg) but I was pleasantly surprised.  It truly tasted like a chocolate truffle!

At the end of the meal I have to say, I was shockingly NOT stuffed but 100% satisfied.  If you’re in Athens be sure to check this place out.  It’s a special experience that you’ll never forget.  Hats off to the chefs!

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