The Best Restaurant in the World – a title many strive for, yet few will ever attain. This past June, Mirazur claimed this coveted crown of the food world – and for good reason.
Curious to know what makes it so great?
Mauro Colagreco began his career working in the kitchens of some of the world’s greatest chefs: Alain Passard, Alain Ducasse, and Guy Martin, to name a few.
Then, in 2006 he opened Mirazur.
After just one year, Colagreco earned his first Michelin star. Six years later in 2012, he was awarded a second star. This year, Mirazur was awarded 3 Michelin stars, making Colagreco the first non-French born chef to be awarded 3 stars in the French edition of the Michelin Guide.
Joining restaurants such as Osteria Francescana in Italy, El Cellar de Can Roca in Spain, and Eleven Madison Park in the United States, Mirazur is the first restaurant in France to earn the prestigious title of Best Restaurant in the World.
Although France is known worldwide for its cuisine, no French restaurant has managed to earn the top spot. That is…until now.
With 3 Michelin stars and the title of World’s Best Restaurant, Chef Mauro Colagreco has achieved what most chefs only dream of.
Located on a cliff in the South of France, just west of the Italian border, Mirazur has what is arguably one of the best views on earth.
Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the view is nothing short of stunning.
Originally from Argentina, Chef Mauro Colagreco was drawn to Italy due to Italian heritage, but settled in neighboring Menton.
Given the beauty of the small French town, it’s easy to see what he saw. Once mainly known for its citrus, Menton now has a new claim to fame.
Two words that come to mind when thinking of the South of France: Beauty and elegance.
As if paying homage to its location, Mirazur fully embraces these ideas. It’s both beautiful and elegant – with that bit of je ne sais quoi that only the French can master.
Mirazur’s philosophy focuses on three main elements: Sea, Garden, and Mountain. These themes are apparent in both its’ location and cuisine.
The most beautiful ingredients are meticulously put together in elegant ways. Ingredients here are the stars. Sauces aren’t overly heavy and no part of a dish is without intention.
A meal at Mirazur is filling, yes, but more importantly, it’s satisfying. And it leaves you feeling more appreciative and connected to the earth we live on.
While each course stays true to Mirazur’s ethos, there are two that stand out the most: the oyster and the beetroot.
First, the oyster – In my opinion, oysters can easily be overdone. In an attempt to be creative, chefs end up masking the wonderful brine – the ocean taste that makes oysters great. At Mirazur, however, creativity only enhances the oyster.
A single de-shelled oyster is presented in an oblong white bowl reminiscent of an oyster shell. The dish comes decorated with little white pearls of tapioca and a cylinder piece of pear gelee.
Small bluish-purple flowers dot the dish adding a lovely pop of color. Because this is Mirazur, these flowers, of course, are more than just pretty. They’re borage flowers – known for their fresh, cucumber-like taste.
Each ingredient is meticulously placed, truly creating a work of art in the dish.
Once placed in front of you, the server pours a bit of pear juice into the bowl, creating the illusion of brine in the oyster-shaped bowl.
Together, the ingredients create a flavor profile that’s the most perfect combination of salty and sweet.
The salty oyster is complemented wonderfully by the sweet pear and refreshing borage flowers. The pearls of tapioca soak up the juice, adding a nice texture to the dish.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful oyster dish than the one at Mirazur. It truly is a work of art – both in flavor and in the presentation.
Colagreco uses Gillardeau oysters, a special French oyster that the chef fell in love with years ago. Having been one of the first local ingredients he was drawn to, he honors Gillardeau oysters by keeping the dish on the menu today. It has now been served at Mirazur for over 12 years.
Another example of a dish that’s almost too gorgeous to eat is the famous beetroot.
Thinly shaved ribbons of salted beetroot come elegantly draped in a small mound. The brightly colored vegetable is a vibrant pop of color against the white dish decorated with little elevated dots.
At the table, the server spoons a bit of caviar and cream over the beetroot. Not only does the caviar perfectly mimic the design of the plate, but it also embodies the theme of the sea.
The theme trifecta is completed with the earth being represented by the beetroot and the mountain by the cream – which, by the way, is fresh from the cows that graze on the nearby hillsides.
Together, the three ingredients create an extraordinary marriage of flavors and a dish that completely embodies the philosophy of Mirazur.
The beetroot dish was one of the highlights of the meal. In fact, it left such an impact that I consider it one of my favorite dishes of the year.
Now, to make incredible dishes, it’s no secret that you need incredible produce.
And the produce at Mirazur is one of the things that makes them stand out the most. A defining factor of the fresh dishes being served.
By growing much of their own produce, they ensure their ingredients are nothing short of spectacular.
As their gardens are a point of pride, you can request a tour led by their head gardener. You’ll wander the grounds and be immersed in the fruits, vegetables, and herbs while learning more about their practices.
For some, dining at Michelin level restaurants can be a bit intimidating. There’s such prestige around it that you may not know what to expect. And in the past, fine dining has really been quite pretentious, so those opinions may still linger.
While there is a formality to Mirazur, it is far from pretentious.
The staff is so welcoming and friendly, they instantly put you at ease. The experience is high-end, yes, but it’s not stuffy. It’s actually fairly relaxed.
From the maître d’ to the servers, everyone at Mirazur is personable, helpful, and in some cases, a little silly. In fact, the maître d’, Laurent, was graciously telling us hilarious stories before our meal even began.
Tucked into our corner table by the window, we almost forgot we were at the best restaurant in the world.
Nothing is left to chance at Mirazur. The restaurant features some of the most beautiful plates, cutlery, and glasses I’ve seen. So rest assured that not only will the food be elegant, what you use to enjoy it will be too.
Mirazur is the ultimate dining destination. Between the beauty of the location and of the food, it’s an all-around gorgeous experience. One worthy of its’ three Michelin stars and the title of Best Restaurant in the World.
Things to Know:
Mirazur is located on a cliff above the town of Menton. It is walkable if you’re in the right shoes. Otherwise, there is parking if you choose to drive. If you plan on drinking, opt for a taxi. We chose to take a taxi and it cost about €20 (about $22 USD) each way.
The set menus range from €160 – €260. This includes gratuity but does not include any beverages. Remember, adding additional gratuity is always appreciated if you received great service – although this is completely up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
They have an extensive wine list featuring unique wines from around the world which you can enjoy by the glass or bottle. In addition, they offer a wonderful wine pairing which I believe enhances the experience.
Reservations are required and should be made a few months in advance. They can be made online here or by calling their reservation line. If you can’t get a reservation, join the waitlist, as sometimes tables do become available.
We were in Menton for 24 hours with the sole purpose of dining at Mirazur. With that said, we stayed at the nearby Hôtel Napoleon and had a great stay in an ocean-view room.
When To Go
If the price is an issue, you should consider avoiding holidays, June, July, and August as the €160 menu is not offered at these times.
Menton doesn’t generally drop below 40℉, so it’s a pleasant place to visit year-round. Of course, summer will be the warmest.
Also, while the meal will be incredible at both lunch and dinner, I’d recommend booking for lunch so you get to enjoy the stellar views. Due to timing, we did dinner and thoroughly enjoyed it, but next time we would do lunch.
>> Have you been to Mirazur? Let us know your thoughts below!
Pleased to hear it was not pretencious, I feel Michellin star restaurants can be intimidating.. kind of ruins the experience.