Five Michelin-starred restaurants on the F1 trail
Serious rubber-necking is hard work – so you’ll probably want to unwind in one of these world-class eateries the next time your travel plans center around a Grand Prix…
Les Amis, Singapore
If you’re looking for something that’s nothing like anything you’ve ever experienced before, Singapore’s night-time Grand Prix should probably be your motorsport weekender of choice. There’s no need for an actual circuit when three punishing miles have been mapped out on the city’s streets (the sweetest views are from the top of the scintillating Marina Bay Sands hotel), and if you can get a pre-race table at the three Michelin-starred Les Amis you’ll be as close to heaven as any person could reasonably expect to be. Les Amis has been around since 1994 – a veteran, then, in restaurant terms – and offers a range of French classics, some of which have been given a delicate local twist. The good people from the Michelin Guide state, with the confidence befitting such men in the know, that Les Amis boasts one of the best wine lists in the whole of Asia.
Restaurant 212, Amsterdam
Twenty miles from Holland’s Zandvoort circuit (named 8th best of all the tracks by upmarket British newspaper The Daily Telegraph), Restaurant 212 is a two Michelin-starred restaurant that is as much about the theatre behind the creation of the food as it is the eating. Chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot rule the roost at this modern establishment where guests shun tables in favor of sitting at a bar, eyes glued to the men and women turning hard-to-pronounce ingredients into sumptuous dishes using sharp knives and fire. Plump for the six-course tasting menu and choose the “exclusive” option for their wine pairing suggestions: you’ll have change from $350. Just.
Michelin stars have been falling into the lap of celebrity chef Martín Berasategui almost since he was out of short trousers, and the pick of his Barcelona restaurants (he has few) is not far from the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral and boasts three. If your pockets are sufficiently deep, book the eight-person private dining room in a loft overlooking the kitchen and – no harm in trying – why not ask if the man himself can talk you through his creations? Dishes run at around $70 each, but Berasategui’s $300 tasting menu is the one to go for. As for the race, few people rate the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as one of the world’s best, but it does come with some history, having first hosted a Grand Prix back in 1991.
Picchi, Sao Paulo
The sprawling Brazilian city of Sao Paulo might not be on every tourist’s bucket list, but if you’re drawn there for the Grand Prix – the legendary Interlagos circuit is a thrilling, twisty-turny track with two long straights – then a visit to Pier Paolo Picchi’s newly-one-starred eatery is a must. It is Italian-themed and a paean to the memories of the chef’s childhood; the Michelin Guide reviewers rave about Picchi’s Tuscan pasta with Calabrese sausage, white beans and peperoncino sauce. The ambience is modern and fresh, awash with laundered white tablecloths, and at around $40-$50 a head this restaurant is a steal. If you have space for seconds, head to Alex Atala’s D.O.M. a mere three minutes’ walk away – he’s Brazil’s best-known chef and his two Michelin-starred restaurant makes the most of his country’s very best produce.
Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris, Monaco
There are six Michelin-starred restaurants in the tiny Principality of Monaco, but only one has the full complement of them (that would be three): Alain Ducasse’s Le Louix XV at the Hôtel de Paris.
There is, perhaps, no finer address in the whole of mainland Europe: the hotel is on the Place du Casino, Monte Carlo’s world-famous alternative to the Vegas strip, and a place where local playboys arrive – seemingly by the minute – in Ferraris, Lamborghinis and an assortment of other six and seven-figure cars. The GP, of course, runs right through it.
Ducasse is a French institution and has restaurants all over the world, but it’s his palatial dining room in Monte-Carlo that leaves you in the least doubt that you’ve made it when a uniformed waiter takes your order.
If fine food and even finer wheels get your pulse racing, check out GR8’s new Classic Cars: Fly & Drive Experience.
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