Cooking Beyond Category
Since the mid-1990s, the highest-rated restaurants in America have been those most engaged in reinventing everything a restaurant does. Instead of bringing established dishes to new peaks of excellence, these chefs start with no assumptions and finish with entirely new flavors, visuals, and methods. Some take cues from culinary traditions, sometimes blending them with one another or new ideas. Others go down to the moleculear level in their explorations of new possibilities, leaving no gustatory bookmarks.
For those who like nothing more than trying a dish they never heard of before, this has been an exciting time. Diners for whom familiarity with favorite taste have been at least a little puzzled. Although the chemistry-lab approach to cooking seems to be past its acme, there's no shortage of chefs whose goal is to make revolutionary statements with their food. Here are the best of them, and all their many rating stars.
Click on any of the restaurants listed below for a detailed, updated review.