20 December 2017


As we reach the end of 2017 it’s time to look back and let the light shine on the hottest openings of the year. The list is a combination of the most viewed addresses on petitepassport.com and my personal opinion; spots I think you really have to visit because the creative people behind it didn’t stick with the old, but came up with an entire new and innovative perspective of what a restaurant should be like.


1.Bairro do Avillez in Lisbon 



Affordable food by a top chef


In addition to his Michelin star restaurant, nowadays a top chef also has a more accessible concept. Sergio Herman, for example, has a beach club and a Frites Atelier. Alain Ducasse has a restaurant in Paris where he sells the best soufflés. And Jose Avillez opened Bairro do Avillez. A restaurant that imitates a whole Portuguese neighborhood in the interior. In the Taberna you eat small dishes for an affordable price. I still dream of the pastel de nata I ate there, but also the savory dishes are delicious. Read my review here.


2.Cecconi’s in Barcelona 



Burgundy red


The last couple of years we saw many minimalist interiors with hardly any color accent, but in 2017 almost every spot had a nice, daring color palette (see also number 6). My favorite color was Burgundy as seen at Restaurant Cecconi’s in Barcelona for example, but also at By Jarmusch in Rotterdam. I think, and hope, to see more of this color in the new year. Read my review here.


3.Carbon in Paris 



Cocktails on tap


In no time your table is full of delicious dishes to share at Carbon in Paris. Swedish chef David Kjellstenius makes the dishes as an ode to nature. The restaurant looks nice, the food is delicious, the service top, the organic wines are good. And really striking is that they serve cocktails on tap. An idea of bartender Sebastien Gans, who worked at Candelaria before and now has its cocktail bar in the basement of Carbon. Read my review here.


4.108 in Copenhagen



Follow the former noma-chefs


Real Danish food lovers already know. noma is going to re-open as an urban farm in 2018. That’s already a thing to look forward to (especially since Studio David Thulstrup is doing the interior, look at their latest project here) but you can also make a city trip to Copenhagen and visit more restaurants in the noma-spirit. 108 is part of the ‘noma-empire’ and is worth going to – they also have a coffee bar and Danish pastries shop next door. But there’s more. Go to Barr, Snohetta, Amass, Bror in Copenhagen. Or visit Tulum again where chef Jose Luis Hinostroza plans to open a new restaurant. Read my review of 108 here.


5.Hello Kristof in Lisbon 



Combine good independent magazines with coffee


The most popular coffee bar on my website this year was Hello Kristof in Lisbon. Of course the coffee is great and the interior pretty, but what I really liked is their selection of super good magazines. If you’re traveling alone it’s nice to find a place to rest where you can read beautifully made independent magazines instead of scrolling through your phone. Read my review here.


6.Clerkenwell Grind in London



Bring in the velvet and the color


2017 was the year where spots dared to use colors in the interior and velvet on the chairs and couches. Especially blue, pink and green. You need examples? Pink velvet chairs in the bar of Parc Broekhuizen, pink wall at Groos in Rotterdam, pink/blue color combination on the wall at Moby in Melbourne, blue on the wall at Nordic Think in Barcelona, green on the wall at 108 in Copenhagen, velvet chairs at lobby of Leman Locke in London, green on the wall in my room of The Ned in London, green velvet chairs at Henrietta Hotel in London, blue/pink color combi at Alfredo’s Taqueria in Rotterdam, green on the walls at Le COQ in Paris, pink on the wall at Arck Sint-Niklaas, blue velvet couch at Hotel National in Paris. And of course the beautiful blue/pink color combination on both walls as on the velvet chairs at Clerkenwell Grind in London. Read my review here.


7.NewWerktheater in Amsterdam



New way of working


There’s a lot to say about inspiring work spaces for independent entrepreneurs (look at this female only social club in New York!). NewWerktheater does it a little bit different. Above all it’s a cafe in the foyer of what used to be a theatre and creative agency, and owner of the whole building, …,staat, works on amazing campaigns in the former theatre itself. The cafe however is a great place to meet people, work on your mails while drinking a good cup of Bonanza coffee or end the day with a Noam beer and an independent magazine. Read my review here.


8. The Never Ending Summer in Bangkok 



Architect’s dream


What if you’re an architect and you can buy a piece of land in Bangkok? Then you’re rebuilding it into your dream. And that’s two restaurants, a book store, coffee store, a design shop and of course the office of Duangrit Bunnag. It’s called the Jam Factory. Restaurant The Never Ending Summer is one of the most popular posts of this year. Not only because the interior is industrial, but also because the modern Thai dishes are superb. Read my review here.


9. Odette in Singapore 



Top chefs: take a look and learn


Odette is one of the world’s best restaurants, number 9 on the list of best restaurants in Asia and has two Michelinstars. The French chef is young and thought of the whole concept instead of only the food. That’s why he worked together with Universal Design Studio from Singapore, but based in London. They’ve created a super nice atmosphere that also gets the younger generation enthusiastic about trying out a top restaurant. Softness and simplicity come together in a beautiful space inside the National Gallery of Singapore. Read my review here.


10.De Maria in New York



Female chefs


We’ve talked about it last year when I’ve wrote about Panama in Berlin by female-chef Sophie Rudolph. De Maria in New York is an all-female restaurant. Camille Becerra is the chef, Grace Lee is behind the whole concept and the design and branding team is also all-female. In a time where feminism is on top of the agenda – it’s even chosen as word of the year by Merrian-Webster. Let’s go on an all-female city trip next time! Read my review here.