Opinionated About Dining – Top 25 Mediterranean

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#4 - ALDEA

After working for chefs David Bouley, Alain Ducasse and Kurt Gutenbrunner, followed by a three-and-a half-year stint with Marco Morerira as the executive chef at Tocqueville, George Mendes decided he wanted his own restaurant. Now you can find him at Aldea, serving a cuisine based on his Portuguese heritage, with dishes like shrimp with garlic, coriander, pimenton and pressed shrimp jus; Hampshire pork loin and shoulder with onion soubise; honey-crisp apples and Savoy cabbage; and what he calls arroz con pato – paella-style rice laced with chunks of duck confit and chorizo. Mendes is routinely labeled “a chef to watch,” one who executes “brilliant Iberian cooking served in a lovely setting, at an even lovelier price point.”