Mobil, Michelin — there's a reason many of the original restaurant rating organizations were sponsored by automobile-related companies. They were originally designed to highlight pockets of excellence in small towns and throughout the countryside, creating destinations people would travel to experience.
So while New York City and other world capitols have plenty of starred restaurants, the Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil) list of five great restaurants that are "off the beaten path" is getting back to what its really all about.
There are a couple choices with rather well-trod paths, like The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which sits closer to Manhattan in Hudson Valley than many daily commuters. But the list also gives a nod to The Inn at Dos Brisas, the five-star restaurant, hotel and ranch located east of Austin in rural Washington, Texas.
If the "intimate" 10-table restaurant (where executive chef Raj Dixit serves seasonal specialties often sourced from the property's organic farm), a cozy fireplace dating back to 18th century France and plenty of luxurious peace and quiet don't lure you in, consider the 7,000-bottle wine collection.
Dos Brisas is also joined on the list by Virginia's Inn at Little Washington and The Fearrington House Restaurant in North Carolina.
What's your favorite restaurant that is worth a drive?