Well, it's out again: the list of the world's top fifty restaurants as judged by Restaurant Magazine in the U.K. Always a lightning rod for criticism from all sources, myself included, the list provides a point of view based largely on the editorial of the magazine and polling of chefs around the world.
The biggest beef I have with the list is its (lack of) representation of Asian restaurants. I've not eaten at Tetsuya, but I have eaten at Nobu, and I guarantee you those aren't the best Japanese restaurants in the world. Nothing from Singapore? Nothing from Shanghai? And while Felix may have improved since I was there, I have a hard time believing it's the best in Hong Kong (even though it has a damn fine view).
In any case, here's the rundown of awards and links to the restaurants' web sites if you care to plan a visit or just be an armchair gourmand. If you're interested, here's last year's list.
Best Restaurant in the World: The Fat Duck - Bray, Berks, England.
Chef's Choice: El Bulli - Montjoi, Spain.
Best Restaurant in Europe: The Fat Duck - Bray, Berks, England.
Best in The Americas: The French Laundry - Yountville, California, USA.
Best in Australia: Tetsuya's - Sydney, Australia.
Best in Middle East & Africa: Le Quartier Francais - Franschhoek, South Africa
Best in Asia: Felix, Hong Kong
Highest New Entry: Per Se - New York, USA.
Highest Climber: Chez Panisse - Berkeley, California, USA.
Outstanding Value: Cal Pep - Barcelona, Spain.
Editor's Choice: Enoteca Pinchiorri - Florence, Italy.
American Express Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Bocuse
THE 50 BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD:
1. The Fat Duck " Best in Europe - Bray, Berks, England.
2. El Bulli - Chef's Choice - Montjoi, Spain.
3. The French Laundry - Best in Americas - Yountville, California, USA.
4. Tetsuya's - Best in Australasia - Sydney, Australia.
5. Gordon Ramsay - London, England.
6. Pierre Gagnaire - Paris, France.
7. Per Se - Highest New Entry - New York, USA.
8. Tom Aikens - London, England.
9. Jean Georges - New York, USA.
10. St John - London, England.
11. Michel Bras - Laguiole, France.
12. Le Louis XV - Monte Carlo, Monaco.
13. Chez Panisse - Highest Climber - Berkeley, California, USA.
14. Charlie Trotter - Chicago, USA.
15. Gramercy Tavern - New York, USA.
16. Guy Savoy - Paris, France.
17. Restaurant Alain Ducasse - Paris, France.
18. The Gallery at Sketch - London, England.
19. The Waterside Inn - Bray, Berks, England.
20. Nobu - London, England.
21. Restaurante Arzak - San Sebastian, Spain.
22. El Raco de Can Fabes - San Celoni, Spain.
23. Checchino dal 1887 - Rome, Italy.
24. Le Meurice - Paris, France.
25. L'Hotel de Ville - Crissier, Switzerland.
26. L'Arpege - Paris, France.
27. Angela Hartnett at The Connaught - London, England.
28. Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons - Oxon, England.
29. Le Cinq - Paris, France.
30. Hakkasan - London, England.
31. Cal Pep - Outstanding Value - Barcelona, Spain.
32. Masa - New York, USA.
33. Flower Drum - Melbourne, Australia.
34. WD50 - New York, USA.
35. Le Quartier Francais " Best in Middle East & Africa - Franschhoek, South Africa
36. Spice Market - New York, USA.
37. Auberge de l'Ill - Illhaeusern-Alsace, France.
38. Manresa - California, USA
39. Restaurant Dieter Muller - Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
40. La Maison Troisgros - Roanne, France.
41. The Wolseley - London, England.
42. Rockpool - Sydney, Australia.
43. Yauatcha - London, England.
44. The Ivy - London, England.
45. Gambero Rosso - San Vincenzo, Italy.
46. The Cliff - St James, Barbados.
47. Le Gavroche - London, England.
48. Enoteca Pinchiorri - Editor's Choice - Florence, Italy.
49. Felix - Best in Asia - Hong Kong.
50. La Tupina - Bordeaux, France.
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