Charter a Private Jet to America’s Hottest Chef’s Tables
There are the best restaurants in America, and then there are the best tables in the best restaurants in America. A seat at a chef’s table is a culinary experience like none other: a ticket to watch a master chef at work while experiencing a world-class meal. We’ve reached out to in-the-know contacts in the food world to get their insider tips on the hottest chef’s tables in the country. If you can settle on one, or if you want to try them all, we can help you charter a private jet to get there.
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
The only three-Michelin-star restaurant in Brooklyn, Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is the city’s premier example of the eponymous fine dining experience. An elusive seat at the U-shaped counter, tucked in the annex of a Brooklyn grocery store, is a ticket to watch Chef César Ramirez at work. Chef Ramirez’s cuisine is fresh and innovative with strong influences from classic Japanese and French cooking. The 20-plus-course tasting menu features fine ingredients such as black truffles, hokkaido uni and foie gras alongside oily fish, house-cured meats, and custom-grown vegetables.
Shuko, heralded as the most exciting Japanese restaurant in New York City, is a reservation worth flying for. A seat at the bar, a C-shaped beauty made of one butterflied Japanese ash tree, is your chance to see some of the most exquisite sushi in the city prepared directly in front of you. Chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, who worked in the kitchen at Michelin-starred Masa before opening Neta, their first wildly popular omakase venture, serve a meticulously-prepared tasting menu that takes diners on a voyage of eight prepared courses and 17 pieces of sushi.
Courtesy of film producer Meredith Littas
The 26-seat n/naka is the creation of Chef Niki Nakayama. A native Californian, Chef Nakayama trained in the art of Japanese cuisine at a traditional inn in Japan before opening a series of acclaimed restaurants in LA. Her newest venture specializes in kaiseki, a form of Japanese cuisine that focuses on sourcing the freshest seasonal ingredients and serving them in their most natural states. The 13-course menu features a series of delectable, not to mention spectacularly beautiful, dishes including spaghettini with abalone, truffles and ponzu.
Courtesy of film producer Meredith Littas
Set in a strip mall behind a blinking pizza sign, Trois Mec is a refreshingly unpretentious approach to fine dining. Helmed by Ludovic Lefebvre, one of the most influential chefs in LA, a prepaid ticket to the 26-seat restaurant is nearly impossible to get. The five-course menu is served in an open kitchen setting where you can watch Lefebvre and his team at work. Highlights of the ever-changing menu are iberico ham cooked with clams in a mustard-scented broth and grilled baby corn with black garlic, voted one of the ten best dishes of 2013 by Food & Wine Magazine.
Oxheart, set in Houston's Warehouse District, takes a rustic but refined approach to fine dining that feels so at home in Texas. All 31 seats in the restaurant have a view to the open kitchen, but the 11 seats at the counter offer the best vantage point to watch James Beard Award-semifinalist Justin Yu at work. The six-course menu is vegetable-forward and features local ingredients in innovative preparations. A highlight of the ever-changing menu is Chef Yu’s stews, including his grain and Texas winter wheat porridge with vadouvan spices, cauliflower, cilantro and oranges.
Brennan’s of Houston
The over 40-year-old Brennan’s of Houston is still the city’s premier address for Cajun cuisine. The kitchen attracts talented young chefs who come to hone their skills under Executive Chef Danny Trace’s tutelage before setting out on their own. The Kitchen Table, a private dining room set in the kitchen and surrounded by glass for noise control, is your chance to see the up-and-coming chefs in action. The five- to seven-course tasting menu is fusion of Creole flavors with French techniques, such as a sea drift blue crab soufflé.
Casa Tua, which translates to “your home,” offers an intimate Italian dining experience in a chic Mediterranean-style villa, a welcome contrast to high-energy South Beach. The 18-seat chef’s table, set alongside the open kitchen, is your chance to see Chef Sergio Sigala prepare your meal in front of the communal table. The Italian menu, which features dishes inspired by Naples and Piedmont, serves up simple but not simplistic dishes, including an octopus salad with local cherry tomatoes, tomino cheese from Piedmont wrapped in speck, and beef tartare with summer truffles.
The tiny eight-seat NAOE, located on Brickell Key, is among the most exclusive restaurants in America, with diners flying from around the world to get in. Despite the hype, Chef Kevin Cory has maintained a decidedly unfussy atmosphere at his award-winning restaurant. As such, there is no dress code here. The tasting menu starts with an exquisite bento box, followed by a journey through one meticulously-prepared piece of nigiri to the next. If you would like, you can even pair your meal with sake from Chef Cory’s family’s distillery.