Having trained under Rick Stein, Tony Tapia now leads the culinary charge at Dakota Deluxe Glasgow
The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall
This Rick Stein spot overlooking The Camel Estuary is something special. Head chef Stephane Delourme creates simple dishes with memorable flavours using Rick’s vast repertoire of recipes and his intelligence, passion and vision really shine through. As you’d expect, the fish and shellfish are spectacular, and so are the local potatoes and greens – I’d go so far as to say they’re the best I’ve eaten. No matter what you try, you won’t be disappointed. Opt for simply cooked turbot on the bone, lobster thermidor or any of the amazing fish curries.
Favourite dish: The Singapore-style brown crab is particularly unforgettable.
Harry’s Bar, Venice
What I like so much about this place is the sheer volume of history hidden behind its doors. Despite the name, it’s more of a restaurant and was opened by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1931. It is located right on the St. Mark’s bay waterfront, and is a legendary spot with a rich history. Known as much for its carpaccio as it is for its celebrity clientele, the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs has declared the venue a national landmark. Indeed, no visit to magical Venice is complete without dropping into Harry’s.
Favourite dish: The Venetian-style liver and onions is fantastic.
J Sheekey, London
We’re so spoilt for exceedingly good restaurants in London, and this place is up there with the best of them. Whenever I’m visiting my parents, we always take a trip to this historic restaurant in the heart of Convent Garden. My wife and I sit outside devouring oysters, while my son enjoys delicious goujons after an obligatory trip to Hamleys. Executive chef Tim Hughes is a real hero of mine – he’s one of the most knowledgeable and inspiring chefs you’re ever likely to encounter – and the service is consistently slick and subtle.
Favourite dish: Try the Fine de Claire oysters.
L’Assiette Champenoise, Reims
Located just outside Reims in northeastern France’s Grand Est locale, the ground floor of this pretty French château is home to one of the region’s best restaurants where every dish hides a story. The Tasting Menu, paired of course with the seasonal sparkling drinks that the region is famed for, is something particularly special. I recall devastatingly moreish bread and butter, and a simple but truly incredible dish of sea bass with ginger – a meal that’s sure to stay with me forever.
Favourite dish: The set menus are modified year round, but are always spot on.