1. L’Orangerie, Paris
Last spring, the one Michelin-starred restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris reopened with a new vegetable and seafood-focused menu that’s as colourful as it is creative. Chef Alan Taudon describes his food as “balanced and feminine” with dishes such as dill ravioli with herb tartare and roasted mango lined with dehydrated olive, cocoa and black truffle exemplifying his pioneering approach to Parisian fine dining. There’s fish and cheese on the menu, but many dishes, like the rigatoni virtual garden with tomato water pasta, are vegan and a healthy mindset is apparent in all. Pair your meal with mocktails mixed with fresh-pressed juices and infused teas, and make sure you save space for the signature meringue flower dessert layered with raspberry and peppermint, which tastes like it could be ethereal fairy food. With just seven tables in a tiny conservatory overlooking the Four Seasons’ manicured courtyard, you’ll feel as though you’re dining under the stars.
2. 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
The dozens of different fish and undulating sea anemone performing in the coral reef surrounding the world’s largest underwater restaurant at the Hurawalhi Maldives are so captivating that it’s hard to focus on what’s on your plate. However, you’d be remiss to not savour each bite because chef Warren Moore’s new five-course vegan menu is outstanding. There’s still an omnivorous menu for those who crave local seafood or even steak, but the sweet pea tartare on caramelised quinoa garnished with sea asparagus is equally delectable, and the butternut squash risotto with smoked chanterelle mushrooms and freshly shaved truffle is impossibly creamy with a concentrated flavour undiluted by dairy. Most ingredients are imported as there’s not much agriculture in the Maldives, but Hurawalhi is launching a garden that will soon supply much of its produce and herbs to help minimise the restaurant’s carbon footprint.
3. Jean-Georges, New York
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the world’s most loved French American chefs, and best known for introducing Americans to a lighter, brighter interpretation of French cuisine at his flagship restaurant in New York, which is more than 30 years old. The two Michelin-starred fine-dining gem next to Central Park has always been happy to adapt menus for vegetarian and vegan diners. Then a few months ago, it introduced new four- and six-course vegetarian tasting menus for lunch and an extravagant 10-course vegetarian tasting at dinner. A warm mushroom salad with herbal pine nut dressing is light but filling and steamed silken tofu is a protein-rich foundation for pungent black truffle. Ask for one of the cloistered alcove booths so you can canoodle in private.
4. Dining on the Rocks, Koh Samui
As the premier global brand for sustainable wellness retreats, Six Senses approaches food with a thoughtful consideration for health in all of its restaurants, including growing many herbs and vegetables in its own organic gardens. Dining on the Rocks at Six Senses Samui is one of the most romantic and scenic locales of all, with 270-degree views of the Gulf of Thailand from the teak and bamboo deck. There are wholesome omnivorous and vegan tasting menus available, with the latter including an edible garden of celeriac mousse with dehydrated root vegetables and tomato sorbet. Pillowy sweet potato gnocchi melt in your mouth and the grand finale – beetroot sponge cake and yoghurt ice cream – is downright divine.
5. Auburn, Los Angeles
Diners at Los Angeles‘ Auburn choose their own adventure by making a selection from a concise menu of 12 dishes to construct a personalised tasting menu. It’s easy to choose lighter dishes and vegetarian options while dining companions can still enjoy local California abalone and black cod, or duck and beef. Begin with chilled cucumbers accented by sweet nectarines in verbena kombucha before a satisfying main course of hearth-charred eggplant with black garlic and crunchy puffed grains. The effortlessly elegant restaurant is designed with natural materials and an open kitchen to complement chef Eric Bost’s refined cuisine.
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