It’s no great trick these days to track down the best grilled cheese in London: We ask our friends on social networks. Or you could consult Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine, which once a year asks its globe-trotting writers, journalists and chefs too, for their picks of the best restaurants in the world.
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This year’s list has 207 names, featuring the usual suspects like Noma in Copenhagen or Le Comptoir du Relais, one of the 20 restaurants it names in Paris. Among them we find Miznon, the Paris establishment of Israeli chef Eyal Shani, about which the critic – chef Ken Oringer – wrote, “Probably the best lunch spot in Paris. Get the whole roasted head of cauliflower, legendary in the inner circles of Paris.”
In the United States, we find Shaya in New Orleans, brainchild of Israeli chef Alon Shaya, and about which the British critic David Bowd writes, “A beautifully designed space with tables close enough to feel the community but far enough apart for a private dinner. I am British and never talk to the people at the table next to me, but here you just want to share the joy of the food, ambience, and service.” Shaya was also awarded the James Beard acknowledgement as the best new restaurant in America.
Zahav in Philadelphia, belonging to Michael Solomonov, is also there: Last year it won an award for the best hosting. “The hummus and house-made laffa alone are worth the dinner price,” wrote critic Peter Jon Lindberg.
Eyal Shani appears again in Israel, with Tzfon Abraxas, about which fellow Israeli Shaya suggests you order whatever is on the menu that day. About his double mention in the list, Shani told Haaretz that for years they’ve been investing “heart and soul” in Tzfon Abraxas and it makes him happy when somebody notices and appreciates it.
Four other Israeli restaurants on the list are Machneyuda (“a joyfully chaotic spot”), Studio Arkadia in Jerusalem, the Israeli Arab restaurant of El-Babor in Umm al-Fahm (which has branches in Acre and Yokneam) and Muscat in Rosh Pina.