2. Nerua

Location: Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

You won't eat dinner at Nerua; you will have a gastronomic experience. It earned a coveted Michelin Star in its first year, which is not surprising considering that chef Josean Alija earned spurs at the now-defunct El Bulli, once considered by some to be the best restaurant in the world. Familiar and unusual ingredients alike are represented and perfected: start with Iberian pig's tail with green coffee essence, move on to T-bone steak and potatoes, and finish with black olive ashes for dessert. Each dish is plated with utmost care in stunning modernist compositions, while the plates themselves match the irregular and organic forms of the Guggenheim's Frank Gehry building.

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