The Business of Food: 18 Great Restaurants for Entertaining Clients Around the Worldbusiness / food / Restaurants / Travel
A lot of business gets done over lunch and dinner, so it’s important to pick the right restaurant for a business meal.
There are three keys to picking the right restaurant:
- Food. The most important aspect is, of course, the food. It’s a surefire way to make a good impression.
- Familiarity. Make sure you’ve eaten there at least once before making a reservation for an important client meeting. You need to know that the service staff can be speedy enough to accommodate a business lunch, or that the menu leaves room for all types of dietary preferences.
- Ambiance. “You want an intimate setting where your prospect can be completely honest with you, and you can be honest right back when negotiating terms,” entrepreneur Murray Newlands says. “When it’s loud, you may not be able to hear and fully listen to what your prospect is saying. If tables are too close together, your prospect might fear others are listening, and it doesn’t open the conversation to honesty.”
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 18 business-friendly restaurants in cities around to help you out in case you’re entertaining clients in an unfamiliar country.
If you’re in Dubai and in the mood for authentic Indian cuisine, the Armani Amal restaurant in the elegant Armani Hotel is extremely highly rated. You’ll dine, inside or out on the decked terrace, overlooking downtown with the fountain displays adding spectacle to the view.
The variety of food ranges from a tandoori mixed grill, to lamb and chicken makhani, to black cod and king prawn curry. You’ll be forgiven if you indulge in the desserts, which include a passion fruit sorbet in white chocolate.
This poolside restaurant is part of The Atlantis Palm resort, and one of 23 restaurants, bars and lounges available. The Edge is a casual restaurant serving pizzas, salads, burgers and grilled prawns and other seafood, perfect for a quick business lunch or relaxing dinner. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy plenty of good food and cold drinks in an oasis-like setting.
Head to Cara at the Ritz-Carlton for breakfast meetings, where you’ll find a wide selection in the buffet and the a la carte menu of egg dishes (made to order), crepes and waffles, plus sushi and the chef’s daily special. It’s open for lunch, too, with choices including Asian duck salad, grilled sea bass with potato fondue and asparagus, and Pad Thai. The restaurant can be booked for groups and private events, and holds a weekly “Culinary Journey through Asia” each Thursday evening.
If you want to impress your clients, why not treat them to lunch or dinner at one of the best restaurants in the world? Guy Savoy’s Paris restaurant is rated in the top 5 by La Liste, which compiles data from food guides and reviews.
Chef Savoy, who trained and is mentor to Gordon Ramsay, serves gourmet French food. The kitchen offers two set menus (one for seasonal produce and one for colours, textures and flavours).
His kitchen also offers the “Innovations and Inspirations” menu in a choice of 12 or 18 sequences. From the amuse bouche to the “nose to tail” sea bass and truffled mushroom brioche, la restaurant Guy Savoy is famous for good reason.
Within easy walking distance of the Bastille, Tondo receives praise from customers for its delicious food, great wine pairings and personal service. The fixed-price dinner menu changes often, and there are tasting menus as well as an option to dine a la carte.
The evening tasting menu includes amuses bouches, a starter, pasta, fish, meat and desserts. This is Chef Simone Tondo’s second venture, which he opened in June 2016. The Italian’s goal is to offer a menu that is “current and bold with a focus on products that are sustainable and honest.”
Spoil your guests (and yourself) with caviar and tasting discovery menus. Located on the Left Bank in the heart of the 6th Arrondissement, Boutary is a must-visit restaurant, both refined and cosy, for lunch or dinner. Besides offering numerous varieties of caviar (including caviar from the restaurant’s own breeding farm in Bulgaria), there are seasonal dishes such as wild cod with leeks and seaweed butter, riceless black risotto with squid, and tandoori filled chicken.
It’s not just pizza at Cecconi’s in central Berlin (and even if it is, how does the black truffle, potato and goat cheese pizza grab you?). Serving pasta made by hand, seafood dishes and dishes like beef tartare and quail egg, the restaurant is on the first floor of the Soho House, a private members club. With an ambiance balanced between fine and casual dining, you can opt for the set menu for a business lunch or enjoy a late night meal.
Although its location is a little out of the way down in Schöneberg, food enthusiasts make the trek to Bieberbau happily. The charm of the half-timbered cottage is part of the attraction: It was studio to sculptor Richard Bieber at the turn of the last century.
The draw might also be the unexpected freshness of herbs picked from the restaurant’s own gardens, and must certainly be attributed to the overall excellence of the food recently awarded a Michelin star. Choose from a changing menu, offering up to five courses per meal.
This award-winning restaurant (Wine Spectator, The World’s 50 Best, Trip Expert) received two Michelin stars within 18 months of opening. Restaurant Tim Raue offers Asian-German fusion cuisine with four-, six- and eight-course menus, including a vegetarian option.
Its signature dishes include wasabi langoustine and an interpretation of Peking duck. The setting is modern casual, with an open floor plan, so diners can view the kitchen, and it has lunch and dinner seatings.
There are several Roka locations where you can enjoy robatayaki cuisine (robatayaki means “fireside cooking” in Japanese), including in Canary Wharf, Mayfair, Aldwych and in London’s media district on Charlotte Street. Both sushi and grilled fish are served, and diners able to watch many of the Japanese dishes as they’re prepared on the central robata grill. Great for group meets, or you can sit at a table away from the main action.
Social Eating House
In Soho, the Social Eating House, with its Blind Pig bar, is a comfortable restaurant that offers simple, contemporary dishes. These include shared jars of smoked hummus and spiced aubergine with mains as varied as cod, venison loin and sea bass. The service is attentive, and the setting vintage eclectic, with exposed brick, copper ceilings and leather banquette seats.
With a menu influenced by the culinary traditions of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, you may need a little help deciphering the menu at The Barbary. Dishes include octopus mashawsha, pata negra neck, and msabacha chickpeas. Marina O’Loughlin, restaurant critic for The Guardian Weekend, says the food “more than lives up to the intrigue of the language,” and also notes that while there is music, it isn’t obtrusive.
How better to butter up business associates than with fine dining in a palace? The Tvrandot restaurant on Tverskoy Boulevard is housed in the completely renovated mansion of Catherine the Great’s favorite, Rimsky-Korsakov. Its opulence of decor is matched by the excellence of the menu, with a blend of pan-Asian and European cuisine, including dim sum, borscht, venison (Mongolian-style), and roast duck with caviar and blini.
Sophisticated food meets elegant surroundings at Cafe Pushkin, a recreation of an aristocratic mansion. Menu choices are said to include historic fare of the Russian nobility such as consomme with dumplings and stuffed pike, smoked fish, and beetroot salad. The restaurant is divided into various spaces: The Pharmacy Hall, The Fireplace Hall, The Library and The Summer Terrace.
Bison Steak House
When you’ve got a hungry team of meat-eaters to feed and impress, try Moscow’s Bison Steak House. This steakhouse offers a selection of cuts that include Marucho, Argentina, steaks, asados uruguayos, and black angus ribeyes, to name a few.
Burgers are served here, too, but nothing like you’ve ever had before. The patties are made from black angus beef, Kamchatka crab meat, prosciutto and stracciatella cheese, and topped with black truffle sauce.
Centrally located on Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv, Kanapa is housed in a 19th Century wooden building and is great for visitors looking for traditional food and atmosphere. Owner Dima Borisov has a family of nine distinct restaurants, and at Kanapa its pre-revolutionary recipes are given a modern interpretation, with dishes including chestnut soup accompanied by stinging nettle beer. The paintings in the salon, which hosts chamber music and readings, are for sale; The soups are served in hollowed out cabbages; and the candles, made from lard, are edible.
Opened in 1998, Tsarske Selo is a restaurant in the heart of Kyiv serving traditional national cuisine in the setting of a typical 17th Century Ukrainian village house. The menu includes dishes such cheese bread baked in a stone oven, chicken Kyiv, cherry dumplings and honey cake, to name just a few.
You can reserve certain areas in which to eat: Bilya Voliv (By the Ox) is a zone “fit for warm and relaxed conversation,” while The Bright Room and The Wine Cellar can accommodate larger groups.
When locals recommend a restaurant for its authentic, affordable Ukrainian dishes, you know it’s the real deal. Pervak is housed in an early 20th Century merchant’s building with decor that reflects that era. You’ll be served by staff in traditional costumes in one of seven distinct dining rooms. There’s a separate menu for business lunches, with the main menu offering catfish fillet, halibut steak and grilled perch with couscous and oyster sauce.
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