Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur, a well-regarded restaurant in southern France that has largely flown under the international radar — at least by comparison with the likes of Noma, Eleven Madison Park, the French Laundry, and the Fat Duck — is improbably the “Best Restaurant in the World” for 2019, according to the World’s 50 Best, a dubious list crafted by 1,000 or so judges who don’t have to pay for their meals. It is the first French restaurant to sit atop the listicle since it debuted in 2002.
Is Mirazur hugely influential? Not really, but now that it’s the World’s Best Restaurant, your friends will likely ask you about it, and this explainer will clear things up.
Who is Mauro Colagreco and where else has he worked? He’s an Italian-Argentine chef who’s been plying his trade in France for nearly 20 years. He’s worked with both Alain Passard at L’Arpege and Alain Ducasse at Le Plaza Athenee. He opened Mirazur in Menton, near the border with Italy, in 2006. In addition to Mirazur, he also runs Grill 58 in Macao, the Carne burger chain in Argentina, and Florie in Palm Beach, Florida.
What are Mirazur’s signature dishes? According to the World’s 50 Best website: anchovies with fried skeletons and lemons; oysters with tapioca, shallot cream, and pear; and salt-crusted beetroot with caviar cream. All are inspired by the three themes that apparently guide the restaurant: “sea,” “garden,” and “mountain.”
What does Michelin think of this place? It upgraded the spot to the guide’s highest ranking of three stars in 2019; the restaurant had held two stars since 2012. It’s one of just four restaurants on the French-Mediterranean Coast with three stars — the other three are Le Louis XV in Monaco, Le Petit Nice in Marseille, and Le Vague d’Or in Saint-Tropez.
How much does it cost? The longer, “Mirazur Universe” lunch and dinner menu is €260 per person (or $285); that meal for two will run about $750 USD per person or more after wine. The lunch-only “Eveil des Sens” menu (translation: “Awakening of the senses”) sets diners back €160 per person (or $182), and is not available during the busier summer months or during holidays.
Can I still get in? As of publication, there are only reservations available for the end of August and for scattered dates throughout September.
How do I get there? Fly into the Cote D’Azur international airport (there are direct flights from New York, Paris, and numerous other cities), or take the TGV high-speed train from Paris. Then hop on a commuter train (about 30 mins) to Menton.
Should I buy the Mirazur cookbook? No! The heavy tome is a sleepy photo essay that almost seems designed for 50 Best voters. There’s nothing revelatory in the book about the fascinating and complex cuisines of Southern France or Italy. (It is pretty nice to look at, though.)