Bountiful seafood in a beautiful setting at The Boathouse Inn
Mul Yam – Tel Aviv, Israel
The seafood here is the freshest and most exotic in Israel, jetted in from all over the world, expertly prepared, and served in a comfortable setting.
The Boathouse Inn – Phuket, Thailand
Phuket has the most amazing seafood including giant lobsters and shrimps that look like lobsters. So legendary is the Thai and Western cuisine at the Boathouse, that the inn where it resides offers popular holiday packages for visitors who wish to come and take lessons from its chef. A large bar and separate dining area sport nautical touches and through huge picture windows diners can watch the sun set over the watery horizon. Cuisine combines the best of East and West and chefs use only the finest ingredients. If you're in the mood for the works, the Phuket lobster is one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, but is worth every baht. The Boathouse also has an excellent selection of international wines --750 labels (of a stock of 6,500 bottles) and has received the only Wine Spectator BEST OF Award of Excellence in Thailand since 2006. And if that doesn't tickle your taste buds, there are now five Mom Tri restaurants in Phuket which serve similar fine cuisine.
Chef Mavro – O’ahu, Hawaii
George Mavrothalassitis, who took two hotel restaurants to the top of the ranks before founding this James Beard Award-winning dinner house, admits he's "crazy." Crazy because of the care he takes to draw out the truest and most concentrated flavors, to track down the freshest fish, to create one-of-a-kind wine pairings that might strike others as mad. But for this passionate Provençal transplant, there's no other way. The menu changes quarterly, every dish (including dessert) matched with a select wine. Fresh flowers, wood floors and contemporary island art decorate the serene interior. Reservations are essential.
Succulent scallops at C
Satyricon – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Some of the best seafood in Rio can be found at this eclectic Italian seafood restaurant, which has impressed the likes of Madonna and Sting. The pargo (fish baked in a thick layer of rock salt) is a specialty, and the sushi and sashimi are well loved.
C – Vancouver, Canada
At C (yes, "C" is the name of the restaurant), the creativity of the chef, the quality of the ingredients, and the freshness of the fish all combine to make this contemporary restaurant overlooking False Creek the best place in Vancouver for innovative seafood.
Quinzi & Gabrieli – Rome, Italy
In the heart of ancient Rome, Quinzi & Gabrieli serves the city's finest and freshest seafood from a restored and elegant building dating from the 1400s. The fish is simply cooked and presented, and it's heavenly. Expect everything from deep-sea shrimp to sea urchins and octopus.
Le Grand Véfour – Paris, France
Amid the arcades of the Palais Royal, this has been a dining spot since the reign of Louis XV, attracting such notables as Colette, Victor Hugo, and the forever-loyal Jean Cocteau. Jean Taittinger, of the champagne family, runs it today, and his kitchen brings originality to French classics -- everything from pigeon in the style of Rainier of Monaco to French-roasted sole and sea scallops in velvety pumpkin sauce. Bon appétit!
Luxurious decor at Le Grand Véfour
Vox at the Hilton Nordica – Reykjavik, Iceland
Vox specializes in recreating comforting Icelandic flavors with 21st-century preparations -- a piece of foie gras covered in celery foam, for instance, ends up seriously reminiscent of traditional Icelandic lamb-and-vegetable soup. Fried tempura vegetables and a soy-based sauce provide a gentle counterpoint to a salmon filet, and arctic char is surrounded by a mild foam that makes the fish look a little like a life raft adrift on Icelandic seas.
Ryotei Kagetsu – Osaka, Japan
Although expensive, a kaiseki feast, consisting of dish after dish of artfully displayed delectables, may well be the most beautiful and memorable meal you'll ever have. Splurge at least once on the most expensive kaiseki meal you can afford, and you'll feel like royalty. Kaiseki is the epitome of delicately and exquisitely arranged food, the ultimate in aesthetic appeal. It's also among the most expensive meals you'll ever find. A kaiseki dinner can cost ¥25,000 ($238) or more per person; some restaurants, however, do offer more affordable mini-kaiseki courses. In addition, the better ryokan (Japanese inns) serve kaiseki, a reason for their high cost. Kaiseki, which is not a specific dish but rather a complete meal, is expensive because much time and skill are involved in preparing each of the many dishes, with the ingredients cooked to preserve natural flavors. Even the plates are chosen with great care to enhance the color, texture, and shape of each piece of food. Kaiseki cuisine, both in selection of food and presentation, is based on the four seasons. The kaiseki gourmet can tell what time of year it is just by looking at a meal. A kaiseki meal is usually a lengthy affair, with various dishes appearing in set order. First come the appetizer, clear broth, and one uncooked dish. These are followed by boiled, broiled, fried, steamed, heated, and vinegared dishes, which are finally followed by another soup, rice, pickled vegetables, and fruit. Although meals vary greatly depending on what's fresh; common dishes include some type of sashimi, tempura, cooked seasonal fish, and an array of bite-size pieces of vegetables.
e'cco bistro – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Simple food, elegantly done, has won this small but elegant bistro a stack of awards, and you'll see why when dining here. Not least among its titles is Australia's top restaurant award, the Remy Martin Cognac/Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year. Booking ahead is essential.