GAYOT’s 1990 Annual Restaurant Awards
(Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.)
The Gayot Top 40 Places to Dine in the U.S.
"To be or not to be the best? That is the question, and also the raison d'être, of scores of young chefs around the country. The revolution that shook French ovens twenty years ago, when Gault Millau revealed the birth of nouvelle cuisine, has now spread to the entire world. Previously unsung talents have emerged. Gourmet eating is no longer a guarded privilege enjoyed by a pampered few. Naturally influenced in the beginning by its European roots, America has integrated the flavors of Asia and Latin America into the melting pot, and succeeded in creating at least half-a-dozen original, genuinely American cuisines: Californian; American nouvelle; Northwestern; Southwest; Cajun; Creole; Floridian; and guess what—even Alpine American.
No one will be surprised to find that the best restaurants are located in large, cosmopolitan areas: money draws; and the ready cash in urban areas seeds terrific restaurants. But there are creative talents all over the country that need to be encouraged. Accordingly, we have searched for the best in the rest of America as well. And this explains our far-reaching list of the best.
We've been busily honing our reviewing skills over the past thirty years in restaurants, auberges, inns, cabarets, posadas and weinstüben, and yes, our choices are subjective. Agree or disagree with our conclusions, it's up to you.
Vive la démocratie!"
Le Cirque (New York, New York)
Le Bernardin (New York, New York)
Restaurant Lafayette (Washington, D.C.)
The Quilted Giraffe (New York, New York)
Ambria (Denver, Colorado)
Aureole (New York, New York)
Le Bec Fin (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Chanterelle (Edmonds, Washington)
Chillingsworth (Brewster, Massachusetts)
Chez Panisse (Berkeley, California)
Chinois On Main (Santa Monica, California)
The Everest Room (Chicago, Illinois)
Fleur de Lys (San Francisco, California)
Inn at Little Washington (Wash, Virginia)
Le Marquis de Lafayette (Cape May, New York)
Montrachet (New York, New York)
Patina (Los Angeles, California)
San Domenico (New York, New York)
Valentino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Bayona (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Charlie Trotter's (Chicago, Illinois)
Lark Creek Inn (Walnut Creek, California)
Mark's Place (Kavai, Hawaii)
Masa's (New York, New York)
La Panetière (Rye, New York)
Atwaters (Atwater, California)
Café Annie (Houston, Texas)
The Grille Room
The Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas, Texas)
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead (Atlanta, Georgia)