In the final edition of the Diners Club 50 Best Discovery Series, which has taken us around the world with a selection of the finest dining destinations, we head to mid-USA and Canada.
These six restaurants all received votes from our esteemed Academy members and could be contenders for The World's 50 Best Restaurants list in future years. Discover the 2017 list on Wednesday 5th April!
1. Fogo Island Inn – Newfoundland, Canada
210 Main Rd, Joe Batt's Arm, NL A0G 2X0
+1 709 658 3444
Bone marrow custard, raspberries, apricot, yarrow and oats (image: Nicole Wolf)
In a nutshell: Part of an architecturally stunning building on the windswept island of Fogo, this beautiful restaurant makes the most of its wild surrounds with stunning views and a terroir-driven menu.
The food: Wild game, just-landed seafood, foraged berries and even salt from the surrounding Atlantic characterise the constantly evolving menu. There's also plenty of invention in bone marrow custard with raspberries, apricot, yarrow and oats or a combination of Greenland halibut, chickweed and onion fritter.
Discover more about Fogo Island Inn
2. Bauhaus – Vancouver, Canada
1 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2
+1 604 974 1147
Smoked mackerel with green apple, horseradish and pumpernickel (image: Sofia Kuan Photography)
In a nutshell: Maverick film-maker Uwe Boll set up this grand restaurant in tribute to his native Germany. But don't expect heavy sauces and fatty sausages. Bauhaus offers a thoroughly modern take on German cuisine with fresh flavours and delicately constructed dishes.
On the menu: The à la carte features reinterpreted German classics, such as wiener schnitzel or smoked mackerel served with apple sauce and horseradish foam. There's a modern European slant to the six-course tasting menu with dishes such as duck confit with risotto, foie gras and hazelnut.
Discover more about Bauhaus
3. Spoon and Stable – Minneapolis, USA
211 N 1st St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
+1 612 224 9850
Venison (image: Bonjwing Lee)
Why visit? Gavin Kaysen has worked for some of the world's best chefs, but returned home to Minneapolis in 2014 to set up this very personal project. Housed in a former stable, the restaurant explores the seasons of the Mid-West in dishes that also tell the story of Kaysen's life experiences.
What to order: Dorothy’s pot roast (named after Kaysen's grandmother) takes the homely dish to new levels with a special shoulder cut of beef plus chanterelle mushrooms, pommes purée and sautéed parsley root. Other standouts include bison tartare with harissa aïoli and socca chips, and a scallop crudo given added zing with apple, shiso and chillies.
Discover more about Spoon and Stable
4. Alo – Toronto, Canada
163 Spadina Ave. 3rd Floor, Toronto Ontario M5V 2L6
+ 1 416 260 2222
Hokkaido Sea Urchin, Fennel, Yuzu, Wasabi
The lowdown: No stripped back brickwork and exposed lightbulbs here. Alo is an unabashed champion of fine dining, combining classical technique, global ingredients and a chic dining room with views of the city.
On the menu: Precise, technically accomplished dishes are the hallmark of the globetrotting tasting menu. Standout dishes include a scoop of Venetian caviar accompanied by cauliflower bavarois and Hokkaido sea urchin with fennel, yuzu and wasabi.
Discover more about Alo
5. Momotaro – Chicago, USA
820 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
+1 312 733 4818
Nigiri (image: Galdones)
In a nutshell: ‘Expect the unexpected’ is the fitting strapline to this big and boisterous Japanese restaurant, which can seat up to 250 people across three floors. Zen calm it is not.
What to order: The menu is huge, spanning sushi, sashimi, small plates, noodles and curries. Momotaro tartare, which looks like tuna, is actually made with sweet Japanese tomatoes, while mentaiko spaghetti is a triumph of gooey egg, noodles and spiced fish roe. The robata grill gets the best from wagyu and Alaskan king crab.
Discover more about Momotaro
6. The Catbird Seat Restaurant – Nashville, USA
1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203
Fermented celery root (image: Jeff Kuack)
Why go? This intimate counter restaurant helmed by Ryan Poli is American with global influences including Japanese and Italian. The chef trained under Rene Redzepi in Denmark and worked on Noma's pop-up in Japan, with spells at The French Laundry and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in the US and El Celler de Can Roca and La Broche in Spain.
What to expect: The tiny restaurant is centred around a U-shaped dining counter where the chefs take centre stage, serving a globally influenced tasting menu that is rooted in American produce. Think sake-marinated cauliflower with cashew purée, turnips and aged beef fat or fermented celery root arancini piled with slivers of black truffles.
Discover more about The Catbird Seat Restaurant