This Is What A Meal At The World’s Best Restaurant Looks Like

September 26, 2016 | 29 Comments » | Topics: Food

Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, was recently named the world’s best restaurant for 2016.

After ranking third in 2013 and second in 2014, Osteria Francescana received the most prestigious award in global gastronomy, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The winners are determined by almost 1,000 food writers and critics, chefs, and restaurateurs from 27 regions around the world.

Here are a few photos that reveal what it’s like to dine at the best culinary institution in the world.

Homemade sourdough with Tuscan olive oil


The bread came hot because, of course, it had just been baked. It was as perfect as you could imagine a sourdough loaf to be – pull it apart and the crust cracks and the flesh tears in chunks. It’s chewy, thick and rich.

An olive oil producer once explained to me Italian olive oil, if shotted, will make you cough and splutter. The olives are pressed early and pre-ripe so the oil is peppery and intense. This oil was text-book.


Tempura with carpione


Osteria Francescana’s fish and chips. Carpione is Italian for carp and it’s also a fish preserving technique using spiced vinegar. The dollop on top was a savoury ‘carpione’ flavoured gelato. Underneath is a perfectly crisp tempura canister containing fillets of aula, an anchovy like freshwater fish. It’s cold, hot, crispy, chewy and creamy – like eating the periodic table but much tastier.


Grissini, ciabatta rolls and multigrain croissants


Exactly what it looks like.

Multigrain croissants are an excellent idea. They’ve got the fluffy interior and flaky skin of their normy cousins but they’re more savoury multi purposed. If I learnt how to make them I’d be very constipated.


Bread, butter and anchovies


“Crack it open. It is best eaten all together.”

The bread crust turret cracks with a heavy spoon swipe. The walls fall into a buttery cream while the anchovy froth ceiling drools into a bed of fresh fish and herbs. Like butter and anchovies on toast but easier to eat and more complex to taste.


Livorese red mullet


The sheet on top has the texture of fried dried cheese – it snaps when you bite it. It’s covered in mixed olive and tomato dust. The fish underneath, outrageously tender and rich, bathes in a bouillabaisse tomato soup. The dust is very powerful in flavour so every bite combines all of the ingredients in a perfectly balanced cocktail.


Eel swimming up the Po


One of the restaurant’s most famous dishes and one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. Tastiest. The eel, soft and fatty, is sous vide then grilled and vanished with Saba, a balsamic like grape juice syrup. On top there’s flakes of vanilla ash and underneath is a powder of burnt onion. The green jelly to the left is an intense green apple reduction, tart and sweet, and to the right is creamed polenta. The story is simply an eel swimming up a river. All the ingredients the eel would find on river’s edge are on the plate.


Caesar salad in Emilia


Simply a piece of lettuce intricately stuffed with 26 different ingredients. Looks ordinary and tastes like the best Caesar salad you’ll ever had.


Five ages of Parmesan Reggiano, in different textures and temperatures


10 months, 20 months, 30 months, 40 months and 50 months. A cream, a sponge, a mouse, a foam and a crisp. All served at different temperatures. Parmesan from Reggiano is fucking good and so was this. I would like to know what the producer of the Parmesan thought of this dish.


Frog in a pond


Pond side: Roasted frog legs covered in herbed bread crumbs
Pond tender: Giant sheet of slithery pasta with aromatic flowers in top
Pond water: Black truffle and coffee sauce
Pond debris: toasted pine nuts, hazelnuts and mushrooms
The weirdest thing we ate. I could imagine some people disliking this because it’s actually quite pond like – the pasta is goupy and the sauce is boggy. It’s a slimy mess to feel and it tastes crazy. I was not one of those people.


Cotechino 365 days a year


Apparently when Italians come to Osteria Francescana they only order the traditional dishes. Italian food is the best in the world they say. Why would you want to eat weird shit? I just want a really fucking good ravioli. Inside is cotechino, a pork sausage traditionally eaten only at christmas, steamed over sparking red wine – this way the fat drains out and leaves a really flavoursome but lean sausage. The pork bits are packed in with lentils in a rich meaty soup. I imagine old Italian men, sun wrinkled and cigarette hoarse seeing their whole lives and weeping after eating this.


Half roast chicken


A tender slice of chicken breast next to a wing of whitlof sheltering a mash of truffle foie gras. Probably the most underwhelming thing I ate. It feels weird saying that about a meal I loved eating but it’s all relative. Some hugs are worse than others – none of them are bad though.


Foie gras ice cream bar with traditional balsamic vingar from modena


The foie gras filling hides a puddle of 50 year aged balsamic vinegar. When you bite the foie gras slides open on your teeth and the vinegar seeps out like tree sap. There is no ice cream. The foie fras is sour, savoury and fucking intense and the vinegar is almost entirely caramelised. The coating is roast almonds and hazelnuts.


White, green and red


Milk gelato, green pea mouse and strawberry sorbet with mint and clovers. The closest you can get to making a garden taste like a dessert. I loved this. The leaves are bitter and the cloves particularly are chewy and stringy – alone they would probably taste like ass but with the desserts they make everything taste fresher – part of making the dish a story.


Oops! I dropped the lemon tart


A lemon and limoncello mascarpone zabaione with lemongrass sorbet under biscuit and surrounded by dots of candied lemon, bergamot jelly, spiced apple, chilli oil, lemon oil and honey capers. The tart itself is zingy, sweet and creamy in different parts. The little bits and drops on the side would be difficult to combine with the tart but they’re all incredibly intense in flavour. Each one adds a different layer onto the tart – sour, salty, spicy, bitter or sweet. It’s a fun idea and it’s magnificently tasty.


Chocolates/petit fours/unnamed delicious things


Raspberry jelly, coconut amaretti macaroon, chocolate and coffee truffle, brownie, hazelnut and coffee gianduia.


– Nicholas Jordan

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  • Pauly Incorrect

    What is this? A restaurant for ants?

    • Al_Bundy

      The smaller the portions, the higher the cost. If you see a single spoon of something in the middle of a huge plate, better grab your wallet. You’ll leave there broke and hungry.

      • Jaime

        It’s a bitch not to be rich. My home cooking suits me just fine

      • Skipdallas

        Not exactly an “All you can eat” type of place.

  • the man from amsterdam

    this barely qualifies as a list of apetizers. tiny fucking dishes. seriously fucking pretentious. and if you eat foie gras, you are a fucking savage. i get that we eat shit. but we dont have to torture the shit we eat first.

    • Eat_Eateator

      I assume it is all served in procession, all of that would be very filling. And the vast majority of meat production is barbaric, this fatty goose may have been pasture raised and curvy by nature, you don’t even know.

      • the man from amsterdam

        yeah, but do you really think thats the case with that goose ? be real here.

        • nabashalam

          all this because someone cooked your goose… 🙁

          • the man from amsterdam

            isnt “goosing” someone pulling a womans top down ? like “pantsing” ?

            • nabashalam

              no goosing it seeking up behind someone and poking their lul with your finger or something in your hand like a cucumber! LOL!

              • the man from amsterdam

                to me thats pretty funny because lul is the literally translated dutch word for dick. it means the exact same thing.

                • nabashalam

                  Google translate says it means asshole also! LOL! What I meant was poke someone in the kont gat! 😉

                  • the man from amsterdam

                    google translate is having a bit of a stretch there lol. when we call someone an asshole we can say many things. we dont have something that translates into it perfectly. literally or non literally there isnt a perfect translation for it. we use “klootzak” alot. literally translates as nutsack/ballsack. literally translating stuff makes it sounds silly or stupid-funny haha. you guys dont swear that badly. we use diseases in swearing too. the use of some diseases are considered really bad, like cancer for instance.

                    there is something i dont get about america, i’ll use an example, but it can be universally applied. in the game fallout 4, you literally have heads exploding and pieces of skull, skin, eyes and jaws with teeth fly across your screen in slow motion glory right ? and you are allowed to make that violence worse by adding more blood, gore and even post death spasms. but you arent allowed to add a nude body mod. skulls exploding in slo-mo is ok, rampant drug use is also ok in fallout. but boobs and vaginas arent. even if you consider nudity bad, what is really worse ?

                    my point is, nudity bad, extreme violence good. sounds stupid doesnt it.
                    can any americans give their 5 cents on it ?

                    • nabashalam

                      Oh I agree with you 100%! Violence is A OK but nudity? It’s ridiculous how prudish the USA is. Like on you tube you can show a real decapitation but if you show a womans nipple your banned! Unbelievable… No wonder we have so many sex crimes over hear unlike you guys over there. I lived in Hameln for 4 years and used to frequent Amsterdam as many times as I could just to go to the coffee shops. I went to the Red Light district a few times but preferred the coffee shops and the great expresso and space cake… 😉 BTW I have been all over the world and their is no better beer then Dutch Bier. Not the crap they export but the real fresh stuff you get in country… 🙂 Love it!!!!

                    • the man from amsterdam

                      confession: i dont really like beer. or most alcoholic drinks. my body physically recoils from it. its weird. i wanna drink, but maybe i’m allergic.
                      thnx for the beer comments though. it always brings me pride if something dutch gets international success/recognition. i dont smoke weed either lol. never have. i simply dont feel like it. i dont want to, not because of some weird religion or something lol. merry christmas dude. later.

                    • nabashalam

                      It is awesome that you prefer being in complete control of your senses and don’t want/need your mind to be altered… 🙂 Altered states aren’t all that they are built up to be… Reality is freaky enough! 😉 Happy Holidays my friend! (don’t you know that saying Merry Christmas is no longer PC? BS! ) 🙂

                    • the man from amsterdam

                      no longer pc ? fuck that. just fuck it. i say merry christmas wherever, and whenever the fuck i want.

                    • nabashalam

                      Oh I hear ya! It’s so much bullshit over here! We are told that we can’t wear the American flag or fly it some places because we will “offend” someone! FUCK THAT!!! I am a US Military Veteran! I fought for that fucking flag and I;ll wear it, fly it wherever the fuck I want! And if Merry Christmas offends some Muslim motherfucker then tough camel shit!

                    • the man from amsterdam

                      you went a little racial at the end there lol. makes me a little uncomfortable, but if you, as a vet, cant wear the flag ? nevermind the vet part, its america. why the fuck cant you fly your own god damn flag ?
                      here in holland we can fly our flag wherever and whenever we want.
                      we usually dont (except on some holidays) because we are less outwardly vocal about our patriotism. if were patriotic at all that is lol.

                      i don’t understand all the patriotism over there man. with the way your country runs things, i dont get it. the way the sick firefighters from 9/11 are treated (hint: they arent treated anymore if funding runs out. how the fuck can funding run out on something like that ?). even veterans are treated like shit. maybe not by citizens, but by your government. papers getting lost etc. i see that stuff come by sometimes on the interwebz. if i’m wrong on some of my ranting, pls accept my apology.

                    • nabashalam

                      No my friend I wasn’t getting racists but it’s the Government getting over protective of certain races and religions that is fucking everything up! IMHO I think the NWO is trying to get everyone afraid and angry (one creates the other and visa versa) of everyone else so as to allow them to get us to give up our freedoms for security. They are trying to bring about a one world government. Total Globalization and probably ultimately a one world religion to where they can have total control over the whole world… Mark my words!

                    • the man from amsterdam

                      i do think it is slightly worrying that i read some rumours that said putin was funding right wing political parties in the european union. right wing parties that often don’t want to be in a union. which would make us more vulnerable to annexation. as dictatorships go, russia isnt as medieval as it used to be, but i dont want to be ruled over by putin. he is unpleasant. no matter how funny putin themed memes are.

                    • nabashalam

                      The one world Government would be ruled by some freakin CEO! and he would be controlled by the richest families in the world like the Rothschild’s and the Rockefeller’s…

                    • the man from amsterdam

                      i forgot to explain why some of us arent patriotic. because the government, at the moment at least, are run by morons. cutting funding on important shit. shit that affects me directly btw. funding on healthcare and help for autistic ppl like me. the increasing islamophobia, and how the government acts are just some of the reasons why i think my country aint the best.

                      if you ever hear about a dutch politician named “geert wilders” please don’t think he speaks on behalf of all dutch people. he is a stinky, irritating cunt who has a clear look of arrogance and disdain on his face and he spreads hatred. prick. sorry lol. had to get that out haha.

  • Supernu

    Foie gras is disgusting. Where is the rest of the food?

  • Arthur Machado

    The article leaves alot out:

    1). How much did this meal cost

    2). how long did it take for the full service

    3). What was the restaurant like on the inside

    4). Was there music

    5). Was it worth the money to you

    6). How long is the waiting list to get in for a meal. That kind of info would be helpful.

  • Al_Bundy

    “Multigrain croissants are an excellent idea… If I learnt how to make them I’d be very constipated.” And silly me thought eating whole grains would make you just the opposite of constipated.

    “The eel, soft and fatty, is sous vide then grilled and vanished with Saba” And poof, it was gone, Vanished!

  • Oddman

    Why is it necessary to use the adjective fucking several times in a food review? This word is used in so many ways that it has different meanings for different people. A less lazy reviewer could look for more descripive adjectives to describe the dishes of this unique eating experience.

  • @##wE$RtT

    If that is the offerings of the worlds best restaurant -then maybe I am not so bad off eating fast food. At least I’ll starve from empty calories and not an empty stomach…

  • JFEB

    Sorry but it both looks and sounds like crap. I am obviously an everyday slob. I’ll take a thin crust pizza over the food in the story any day.

    The story’s food looks like it is intended for people who think they are so good their poop doesn’t smell, the elite with “finer” tastes.