A quick way separate the best restaurants from the rest is to check for a Michelin Star, or more than one. While not a universal determining factor, it is certainly a huge boosting factor in the restaurant’s image and favor. The Michelin Guide upholds a rigorous series of guidelines to achieve this reward, and the company must be doing something right to get this kind of recognition. Similarly, checking reviews, online forums, and similar ratings will give you a somewhat mollified version of the same thing.
From there, you’ll want to browse the menus and see what regular and specialty items are available. Do they try to push fresh, local ingredients, or are they more interested in diversity and global delicacy? Exotic choices like hot Scandinavian Lefsa or pickled Madagascar Herring might be great, but only if they are made while adhering to the same set of standards. Ask if your meat was frozen, by chance, and you will be able to tell right away whether they take their industry seriously.
Authenticity in Atmosphere
Your next step will be to see whether they have been apt with décor and motif. Have they expanded their seating arrangements to be not only spacious but indicative of the mood they are trying to set? For example, let’s say you wanted to host a traditional Greek dinner at an authentic Greek restaurant. Your family is all Greek, and you are celebrating a big Greek wedding. You’ll want to make sure that the setting is calming, hospitable, and harkening to the traditional strengths of Grecian architecture and philosophies like minimalism.
When analyzing the décor, take special note of whether they use “faux” pieces. In the previous example of the Greek theme, see if they use plastic of stone columns. If they are attempting to present you with something realistic (it doesn’t have to be marble, but the effort is important), judge whether you actually feel that way. Your clients, family, or other acquaintances are probably going to hold it against the high standard of the best restaurants, so you might as well do so yourself.
Finally, a singularly defining aspect of some of the best restaurants in the world is their live performance schedule. Usually a series of pianists, orchestral numbers, or even in some rare cases, cabarets or full-band ensembles can serenade you with sweet sounds over the course of your delicious meal. There’s a reason we’ve loved the combination of these two arts for generations, and when it’s done properly, there’s no other dining experience than can match it.
You’ll want to time your reservations for the big events. If there’s a special genre of music, you or your party likes, try to match the evenings accordingly. Don’t be afraid to ask management their opinion. And look for special events that happen on weeknights. Not only are you less likely to get too large of a crowd, but also you’ll be able to get better seats and a better view.