BIG and Studio David Thulstrup’s reinvention of this world-renowned Copenhagen classic triumphs as Best New Restaurant, as voted by our acclaimed jury. View the entire Judges’ Awards preview here.

Noma
Copenhagen, Denmark

The most influential restaurant of the century so far moved into a purpose-built new home this March, an eleven-piece ‘village’ designed by Bjarke Ingels Group around a Second World War-era arsenal overlooking the hippie enclave of Christiania. Glass walkways with Scandinavian terrazzo flooring join the buildings, each formed of a different material (among them concrete, brick, oak and tombac).

Studio David Thulstrup’s interiors strike a perfect balance between the refined and the relaxed, with bespoke designs including oak-clad kitchen islands by Maes Inox, tables and seating by Brdr Krüger, and pendant lights in limestone and dried seaweed by Jonas Edvard.

Depending on the time of the year, the conceptual menu focuses exclusively on seafood, vegetables or the bounty of the forest, served on a seasonal rotation of ceramics commissioned by stylist Christine Rudolph. There are artworks by the likes of Olafur Eliasson and Tomás Saraceno, though greater visual pleasure can be found beyond the restaurant’s generous windows, which let in views of the Piet Oudolf-designed edible meadow.

Location: Refshalevej 96
Chef: René Redzepi
Architecture: Bjarke Ingels Group
Interiors: Studio David Thulstrup

BEST RESTAURANT SHORTLIST

Ristorante Cracco
Milan, Italy

ristorante cracco in milan

Located in Milan’s ornate Giuseppe Mengoni-designed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Ristorante Cracco is a boon, both for its sumptuous interiors by Studio Peregalli and its Milanese menu conceived by the titular Carlo Cracco. Spread over three floors, the venue comprises a café, a restaurant, a wine cellar holding more than 10,000 bottles and 2,000 labels, and a private events space with its own entrance. In preserving and accenting the arched doorways, elaborately carved friezes and ornate wooden panel work, the designers have cleaved close to the aesthetics and spirit of the galleria, while lightly inserting modern touches such as rust-red carpets sporting whirls and circles, mosaic floors, tiles inspired by a Gio Ponti design, and bright wallpaper patterned with colourful daisies. Headlining the menu are dishes such as black squid ink ravioli, roasted sweetbreads scented with liquorice, cocoa-encrusted turbot, and grilled blue lobster with cinnamon butter.

Location: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Chef: Carlo Cracco
Architecture: Studio Peregalli

Leo’s at The Arts Club
London, UK

Leo’s at the Arts Club in London

The Arts Club’s latest offering – and biggest transformation since the Mayfair private members’ club’s renovation in 2011 – is Leo’s, a restaurant, live music venue and nightclub designed by Dimore Studio. The Milan-based outfit has orchestrated a subterranean lair – apparently inspired by the French Riviera clubs of the 1950s and 1960s – swathed in pink velvets and oral prints, and finished with brass, brushed steel and Guatemalan marble. The space is set off by a shimmering curtain of bamboo beads, hand-painted with white and pink lotus flowers; black-lacquered Saarinen ‘Tulip’ armchairs; and, curling sinuously along the wall, a set of capacious brass-trimmed booths lit by lantern lamps. Meanwhile, chef Jean-Luc Mongodin sends out Italian-influenced plates, alongside the obligatory rounds of oysters and caviar.

Location: 40 Dover Street
Chef: Jean-Luc Mongodin
Architecture: Dimore Studio

Inua
Tokyo, Japan

Inua restuarant tokyo, japan

The solo project of rising star chef Thomas Frebel – René Redzepi’s right-hand man at Copenhagen’s Noma for nearly a decade – Inua is located in Tokyo’s Iidabashi neighbourhood. Having spent two years foraging land and sea across Japan, Frebel has pulled together a menu of exquisitely plated Nordic-influenced dishes concocted from local ingredients, such as kihada berries from Nagano and scarlet pitanga fruits grown in Okinawa. To match the food, Copenhagen’s OEO Studio has lined the interiors with a mix of smooth timber by Dinesen, dyed concrete, bricks from local manufacturer Kunishiro and wall coverings from Kyoto textile maker Hosoo. This has been dressed with a medley of furnishings – from chairs and sofas by Finn Juhl to bar stools by OEO Studio for Danish brand Brdr Krüger – while overhead, ‘Nuage’ lamps by French designer Céline Wright put the pretty plates under the spotlight.

Location: 2-13-12 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku
Chef: Thomas Frebel
Architecture: OEO Studio

The Lobster Club
New York, US

The Lobster restaurant by peter marino

The final component of Aby Rosen’s revitalisation of the Seagram Building, The Lobster Club – which sits in the space that formerly housed the iconic all-day brasserie – has been transformed by architect Peter Marino into a glamorous, art-filled setting with both midcentury-inspired details and contemporary touches, such as pre-cast concrete flooring and a monolithic onyx and polished bronze bar. Custom-designed sofas in chartreuse upholstery and salmon-hued armchairs infuse the main dining room with a relaxed, lounge-like feel, while specially commissioned drip-painted tiles by artist Laura Bergman, and suspended banquettes with blackened bronze dividers that emulate the Seagram’s façade, reference the building’s design legacy. Meanwhile, chef Tasuku Murakami, formerly at the Michelin-starred Sushi Azabu, serves a comprehensive Japanese menu of sushi, teppanyaki and fusion dishes.

Location: 98 East 53rd Street
Chef: Tasuku Murakami
Architecture: Peter Marino. §