Dine in style: Six of Europe’s best chef’s tables
The best tables in Europe are so exclusive that many may not even know of their existence. The chef’s table, often set in the bustle of the kitchen, is your chance to watch a world-class chef at work.
We’ve reached out to some of the best names in the culinary world to get their insider tips on the most exclusive chef’s tables in Europe.
Courtesy of food blogger A Hungry Chef
Kitchen Table, tucked in the back of Bubbledogs, the posh Champagne and hot dogs purveyor in Fitzrovia, is one of the most coveted seats in London. Helmed by Chef James Knappett, who honed his craft in the kitchens of Per Se and Noma, the Michelin-starred 19-seat chef’s table serves up a 14-course menu of contemporary British cuisine. “Diners are made to feel like they’re being cooked for at home. The level of comfort and relaxed atmosphere coupled with such high quality produce and cooking is a rare experience – one not to be missed!”
Aulis at Claridges
Dinner doesn’t get much more exclusive than the six-seat Aulis at Claridge’s. The dining room, accessed by walking through the award-winning kitchen at Simon Rogan’s Fera, operates as a test kitchen during the week and a cutting-edge chef’s table from Thursday to Saturday. The 15-course tasting menu, prepared by the chefs before your eyes, rarely sees the same dish twice. Highlights of past visits include a piece of fresh halibut topped with gingerbread and a homebrewed stout ice cream with fermented buckwheat and sweet clover.
Restaurant le Meurice
Alain Ducasse’s Restaurant le Meurice is Paris’s premier palace dining experience. While the glittering dining room is truly breathtaking – it was inspired by the Chateau de Versailles, if that’s any indication – there’s an even better seat in the house. The eight-seat chef’s table offers front row seats to Chef Jocelyn Herland’s two Michelin-star kitchen. Chef Herland has worked alongside the legendary Alain Ducasse for decades and shares his passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients. Signature dishes include the simple but delectable Brittany lobster with tomatoes and for dessert, a roasted Doyenné du Comice pear with honey and Sarawak pepper.
Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire
Pierre Gagnaire is often considered to be the most cutting-edge of the three Michelin-star chefs in Paris. In keeping with his reputation, Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire is playful and exciting. The Table du Chef, located in the kitchen, is the most intimate way to experience the cuisine. Chef Gagnaire’s style is to serve many variations on a main ingredient. For example, a scallop can be served poached in a nettle soup, stuffed with a mousseline, and grilled and flavored with coffee. “Le grand dessert,” as it’s aptly called, features no less than 14 offerings.
Restaurant Villa Rothschild
Courtesy of travel writer Allison DiLiegro
The two-Michelin-star Restaurant Villa Rothschild is among the most exquisite dining experiences you can have in Frankfurt. “Beginning with the drive from the city into bucolic Königstein, the experience of dining at Villa Rothschild is a joy throughout. The young Chef Christian Eckhardt is known for putting innovative twists on meticulously-prepared French classics, creating a menu that is refined and sometimes daring. You will be spoiled by the exceptional service at the chef’s table, which seats only four.”
Unlike the more formal dining establishments on this list, Club Michel is perfect for foodies looking for something a bit edgier. Located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Bahnhofsviertel, Club Michel is a members-only supper club on the second floor of an office building. The rotating roster of chefs features the elite of Frankfurt’s culinary scene serving menus specially designed for Club Michel. And you never know who you’ll wind up sitting next to at the communal table. You can become a member here to receive updates on upcoming dinners.
Madrid’s most coveted reservation is a table at DiverXO, the experiential three-Michelin-star restaurant in the working-class neighborhood of Tetuán. Chef David Muñoz, called “Spain’s new culinary enfant terrible” by the New York Times, has combined the best of gastronomy with a playfully mischievous dash of theater. The 12-course menu, focusing on Spanish cuisine fused with Asian ingredients, is designed to delight, and occasionally confuse, the senses. Service also aims to keep you on your toes: wait staff have been known to spoon a dish directly into the mouths of diners.
Chef Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef in the world to earn a Michelin star, was already a superstar in London’s culinary scene when he decided to open an outpost of Mayfair’s wildly popular Benares in Madrid. The Spanish iteration fuses Kochhar’s signature modern Indian cuisine with ingredients from Spanish traditions, including pekorah with Spanish anchovies and plantain and spinach tikki. The exclusive chef’s table alongside the open kitchen is the seat to score, with a view of the chefs at work on the exquisite six-plus-course tasting menu.
Le Chat Botté
The chef’s table in the kitchen of Le Chat Botté is so much more than dinner and a show: it is a bespoke gastronomic experience designed by Michelin-starred chef Dominique Gauthier. Chef Gauthier will design a menu exclusively for your party, keeping preferences and dietary restrictions in mind. Wine pairings by Sommelier Vincent Debergé are exceptional, coming from a cellar of more than 40,000 bottles. Highlights of past visits include zucchini blossoms stuffed with mushrooms and topped with a Parmesan foam and a soufflé of langoustines from Guilvinec with farmed caviar.
Domaine de Chateauvieux
Two-Michelin-starred Domaine de Chateauvieux, set in the vineyard-strewn countryside outside of Geneva, offers a far more innovative menu than its sixteenth-century facade would imply. Chefs Philippe Chevrier and Damien Coche serve masterfully-prepared twists on the French classics, including a rack of lamb baked in a sealed casserole with hay, and a spiny cardoon in a mille-feuille with mushrooms. The six-seat chef’s table set in the kitchen is the most exclusive seat in the house, offering a surprise menu designed by the chefs.
If fine dining is one of your passions in life then a seat at a chef’s table is a culinary experience worth flying for. Allow our team to organize your private jet hire to Europe’s most exclusive destinations for dining.
GET THERE IN STYLE
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