Spain is home to Europe's best restaurant, according to OAD survey

Eneko Atxa (fourth from left), posing with other Spanish chefs at the opening of the Basque Culinary Center in 2011.

Azurmendi, located in Spain's Basque Country and already crowned with a three-star Michelin rating, has just been named best restaurant in Europe according to Opinionated About Dining's annual survey.

Perched on an overlook in the green countryside just outside of Bilbao, Azurmendi is a gourmet hotspot where chef Eneko Atxa is pushing the boundaries of modern cuisine, pioneering new techniques to yield ever more spectacular results, all while celebrating the traditions of the his native Basque region.

The chef's signature dishes include ashes of foie gras and an "inside out" egg, in which part of the yolk is replaced by hot truffle stock.

After claiming the 26th spot in San Pellegrino's list of the 50 Best Restaurants worldwide, Azurmendi has just picked up another title: that of best restaurant in Europe according to the latest OAD Top 100 ranking, which is based on the website's survey of discerning and passionate diners.

While a Spanish restaurant may have taken the top spot, France emerges as a clear winner among countries, accounting for 33 of the survey's top 100 restaurants.

Troisgros in Roanne, France is in second place, as in 2014, while Alain Passard's Parisian restaurant Arpège is in third. The list spotlights several different styles of Gallic gastronomy, from the refined dishes of Pierre Gagnaire (25th) to the "cuisine nouvelle" of Alexandre Gautier's Grenouillère (29th) and the hip Parisian fare at Septime (84th). Reflecting recent trends, the ranking also includes a spot for David Toutain (92nd), one of the most talked-about chefs in France in 2014.

With around 15 restaurants in the ranking, Italy is also well represented, starting with Le Calandre in Rubano, Venetia (8th). Naturally, noted chef Nadia Santini is not far behind with Dal Pescatore in Mantua, Lombardy (15th).

Belgium, which topped last year's ranking with In de Wulf (in fourth this year) has four entries this year, while Denmark has five, including René Redzepi's Noma in Copenhagen (9). One trend to keep an eye on is the rise of eateries focusing on Asian or Asian-inspired cuisine: the 2015 Top 100 list includes five restaurants in this category.

The Top 100 European Restaurants according to OAD:

1 Azurmendi Larrabetzu, Spain
2 Troisgros Roanne, France
3 L'Arpège Paris, France
4 In de Wulf Dranouter, Belgium
5 Restaurant Quique Dacosta Dénia, Spain
6 Alain Ducasse- Louis XV Monte-Carlo, Monaco
7 Diverxo Madrid, Spain
8 Le Calandre Rubano, Italy
9 Noma Copenhague, Denmark
10 Etxebarri Axpe, Spain
11 Faviken Järpen, Sweden
12 Vendôme Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany
13 Astrance Paris, France
14 La Marine Noirmoutier, France
15 Dal Pescatore Canneto sull'Oglio, Italy
16 Bras Laguiole, France
17 Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
18 De Librije Zwolle, Netherlands
19 Régis et Jacques Marcon Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France
20 Sant Pau Sant Pol-de-Mar, Spain
21 Hertog Jan Bruges, Belgium
22 La Vie Osnabrück, Germany
23 Sa.Qua.Na Honfleur, France
24 El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain
25 Pierre Gagnaire Paris, France
26 L'Air du Temps Liernu, Belgium
27 Schwarzwaldstube Baiersbronn, Germany
28 Restaurant Frantzén Stockholm, Sweden
29 Michel Guérard Eugénie-les-Bains, France
30 Schloss Berg Perl-Nennig, Germany
31 Guy Savoy, Restaurant Paris, France
32 Maaemo Oslo, Norway
33 Arzak San Sebastian, Spain
34 Piazza Duomo Alba, Italy
35 L'Ambroisie Paris, France
36 Geranium Copenhague, Denmark
37 Pic Valence, France
38 Tickets Barcelone, Spain
39 Flocons de Sel Megève, France
40 Tim Raue Berlin, Germany
41 Pure C Cadzand, Netherlands
42 Elkano Getaria, Spain
43 Relae Copenhague, Denmark
44 Hof van Cleve Kruishoutem, Belgium
45 Daniel Berlin Skåne Tranås, Sweden
46 Mugaritz Errenteria, Spain
47 Uliassi Senigallia, Italy
48 Passage 53 Paris, France
49 La Grenouillere Montreuil-sur-Mer, France
50 Aqua Wolfsburg, Germany
51 La Pergola Rome, Italy
52 Mirazur Menton, France
53 Da Vittorio Brusaporto, Italy
54 Martín Berasategui Lasarte, Spain
55 Jean-Francois Piège Paris, France
56 Oaxen Stockholm, Sweden
57 Mathias Dahlgren Stockholm, Sweden
58 Le Petit Nice Marseille, France
59 Don Alfonso 1890 Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi, Italy
60 Hedone London, UK
61 Taillevent Paris, France
62 Andreas Caminada Fürstenau, Suisse
63 Rivoli, Italy
64 Jin Paris, France
65 Ledbury, The London, UK
66 Kadeau Copenhagen, Denmark
67 Torre del Saracino Vico Equense, Italy
68 Reale Casadonna, Italy
69 Château de la Chèvre d'Or Eze, France
70 Le Bristol Paris, France
71 Madonnina del Pescatore Marzocca di Senigallia, Italy
72 Restaurant Heinz Winkler Aschau im Chiemgau, Germany
73 Yam Tcha Paris, France
74 L'Assiette Champenoise Reims, France
75 HKK London, UK
76 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay London, UK
77 Benoit Violier Crissier, Switzerland
78 Villa Crespi Orta San Giulio, Italy
79 Ibai San Sebastian, Spain
80 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester London, UK
81 The Sportsman Seasalter, UK
82 Koy Shunka Barcelona, Spain
83 Søllerød Kro Holte, Denmark
84 Septime Paris, France
85 Steirereck Vienne, Autriche
86 Restaurant Bareiss Baiersbronn, Germany
87 Auberge de l'Ill Illhaeusern, France
88 Ekstedt Stockholm, Sweden
89 Saturne Paris, France
90 Sushi Tetsu London, UK
91 Restaurant Jean Sulpice Val Thorens, France
92 David Toutain Paris, France
93 Château les Crayères Reims, France
94 Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons Great Milton, UK
95 Antica Corona Reale-da Renzo Cervere, Italy
96 A.T. Paris, France
97 Gaestehaus Klaus Erfort Saarbrücken, Germany
98 Überfahrt Rottach-Egern, Germany
99 Frenchie Paris, France
100 Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs London, UK

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