Which local spot made OpenTable’s ‘100 Best Restaurants for Foodies’ list?

The dining room at Boca's La Nouvelle Maison is adorned by a Mark Kostabi mural. (Contributed by La Nouvelle Maison)
A Mark Kostabi mural adorns the dining room at La Nouvelle Maison. (Courtesy: La Nouvelle Maison)

Here’s an unexpected nod of “foodie” approval: Verified subscribers of the OpenTable.com reservation site have selected just one Palm Beach County establishment in a newly released, top-restaurant list.

The list of “100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America for 2016” names Boca Raton’s La Nouvelle Maison, passing over better known “foodie” spots across the county.

The restaurant, which opened two years ago, was inspired by the locally beloved La Vieille Maison, which closed in 2006. And like La Vieille Maison, La Nouvelle Maison aims to be a temple of fine French cuisine.

“We work hard on the food, the service. Nothing goes by us. We put our hearts and soul here every day,” said a surprised Guido Barisone, La Nouvelle Maison’s general manager/partner when we told him about the honor.

The restaurant’s menu reflects the classic inspiration in the form of Burgundy-style escargots, foie gras on brioche, a trio of caviars, steak frites, rack of lamb in thyme-scented jus, dessert crepes and many other dishes.

Apart from La Nouvelle Maison, two other Florida restaurants made the list: Naples’ bha! bha! Persian Bistro and Maison Blanche in Longboat Key. They share the larger list with highly acclaimed restaurants such as New Orleans’ Shaya and Chicago’s Michelin-starred Boka.

New Orleans' acclaimed Shaya restaurant also earned a spot on the list. (Credit: Stephen Young)
New Orleans’ acclaimed Shaya restaurant also earned a spot on the list. (Credit: Stephen Young)

OpenTable arrived at its “Best Restaurants for Foodies” list after “analyzing more than five million reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the country,” all submitted by verified member diners, according to the website.

“These standout restaurants are delicious destinations for the most passionate eaters — those for whom dining out is practically sport,” Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer, said via news release.  “Using ingredients both humble and exotic and drawing culinary inspiration from around the globe, this year’s honorees consistently offer thrilling experiences sure to please even the most discerning diners.”

The site introduced its newest list by defining the judges like this: “Foodies. Gourmands. Epicureans. These are the people seeking adventure on a plate.”

The honored restaurants, says OpenTable, serve “delicious dishes from rustic to refined, meant to be shared with both forks and phones.”

For the full list, visit OpenTable.com.

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