Apr 29, 2010

The 2010 "Best Restaurant in the World"

The annual S. Pellegrino/Restaurant Magazine list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants was released earlier this week, de-throning El Bulli from its four-year reign at the #1 position.

The newly-decreed Best Restaurant in the World is Denmark’s Noma, whose 32-year-old Chef, René Redzepi, brings the idea of local sourcing to an entirely different level by serving only foods of the Arctic region (the name Noma stands for nordatlantiski mad, or North Atlantic food).

On the menu are axelberry shoots, cowsliip, Jack-by-the-hedge, cloudberrys and other items not found in your local grocery store. Specialties on the current menu include Langoustine and Seawater, Musk Ox and Seawater, Cooked Barley and Birch Soup, and, for dessert, Beetroot and Hip Rose with Dark Syrup and Dill.

 Many but not all wines are from the region; you can download a PDF of the entire 56-page wine (and other spirits) list, with entries from around the world. My admittedly hurried look at this list revealed many French imports but nothing, alas, from the U. S.

Redzepi’s background and techniques are unusual and fascinating, and I highly recommend reading a story about him in the UK’s Telegraph. It’s written by Jasper Gerard, who at one point notes that Redzepi “is as doctrinaire about gastronomy as 17th-century clerics were about theology [but] this still allows him enough space to be a nice guy.”

The Best Restaurants list is prepared after 800 worldwide culinary experts are polled to name the best dining establishments in which they have eaten during the past 18 months. Read the exact voting specifications.

The U. S. has eight restaurants in this year’s Top 50—the highest number of any other country (indicated in red in the official list, below):


  1. Noma: Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. El Bulli: Roses, Spain
  3. The Fat Duck: Bray, England
  4. El Celler de Can Roca: Girona, Spain
  5. Mugaritz: Errenteria, Spain
  6. Osteria Francescana: Modena, Italy
  7. Alinea: Chicago, Illinois
  8. Daniel: New York
  9. Arzak: San Sebastián, Spain
  10. Per Se: New York
  11. Le Chateaubriand: Paris, France
  12. La Colombe: Cape Town, South Africa
  13. Pierre Gagnaire: Paris, France
  14. L'Hotel de Ville-Philippe Rochat: Crissier, Switzerland
  15. Le Bernardin: New York
  16. L'Astrance: Paris, France
  17. Hof Van Cleve: Kruishoutem, Belgium
  18. D.O.M.: São Paolo, Brazil
  19. Oud Sluis: Sluis, Netherlands
  20. Le Calandre: Rubano, Italy
  21. Steirereck: Vienna, Austria
  22. Vendôme: Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
  23. Chef Dominique: Helsinki, Finland
  24. Les Créations de Narisawa: Tokyo, Japan
  25. Mathias Dahlgren: Stockholm, Sweden
  26. Momofuku Ssäm Bar: New York
  27. Quay Restaurant: Sydney, Australia
  28. Iggy's: Singapore
  29. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon: Paris, France
  30. Schloss Schauenstein: Fürstenau, Switzerland
  31. Le Quartier Français: Franschhoek, South Africa
  32. The French Laundry: Yountville, California
  33. Martin Berasategui: Lasarte-oria, Spain
  34. Aqua: Bath, England
  35. Combal Zero: Rivoli, Italy
  36. Dal Pescatore: Montava, Italy
  37. De Librije: Zwolle, Netherlands
  38. Tetsuya's: Sydney, Australia
  39. Jaan Par Andre: Singapore
  40. Il Canto: Siena, Italy
  41. Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athénée: Paris, France
  42. Oaxen Krog: Oaxen, Sweden
  43. St. John: London, England
  44. La Maison Troisgros: Roanne, France
  45. wd~50: New York
  46. Biko: Mexico City, Mexico
  47. Die Schwarzwaldstube: Baiersbronn, Germany
  48. Nihonryori RyuGin: Tokyo, Japan
  49. Hibiscus: London, England
  50. Eleven Madison Park: New York

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