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Jun 28, 2011

2011's "Best Restaurant in the World"

Chef René Redzepi of Noma
The annual S. Pellegrino/Restaurant Magazine list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants was released earlier this week. There are many "best of" lists around, but this particular list is one that the culinary "cognoscenti" pay attention to. That's probably because over 800 big names in the restaurant world weigh in on these choices (read more about how selections are made).

Topping the list in the #1 spot for the second year in a row is Denmark’s Noma, where 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). S. Pellegrino's official statement about Noma:
Noma is best known for its fanatical approach to foraging but there is much more to this ground-breaking restaurant than the mere picking of Mother Nature's pocket. It's the entire package, from its ingredient ingenuity to flawless execution, that makes it a beacon of excellence and which leads to an emotive, intense, liberating way of eating, unlike any other. Many have copied chef Rene Redzepi's approach, most have failed. For the best in class, Noma really is the number one place to go.
If you'd lke to know more, you can watch a video about Noma at the end of this post.

The U.S. has 6 restaurants in the top 50, and all but one are in New York City. In order they are: Alinea (#6, Chicago), Per Se (#10, NYC), Daniel (#11, NYC), Le Bernardin (#18, NYC), Eleven Madison Park (#24, NYC), and Momofuku Ssam Bar (#40, NYC). In 2010, eight U.S. restaurants made it into the top 50.

Thomas Keller's Napa Valley (Yountville) restaurant, The French Laundry, was #1 on the list in 2003 and 2004, but has fallen over the years to the position it holds this year, #56. However, this year's #10 position, Per Se, is also a Thomas Keller restaurant.

2011 World's Top 50 Restaurants
  1. Noma, Denmark
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
  3. Mugaritz, Spain
  4. Osteria Francescana, Italy
  5. The Fat Duck
  6. Alinea, USA
  7. D.O.M, Brazil
  8. Arzak, Spain
  9. Le Chateaubriand, France
  10. Per Se, USA
  11. Daniel, USA
  12. Les Creations de Narisawa
  13. L’Astrance, France, (3) +33 (0)1 40 50 84 40
  14. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, France
  15. Hof van Cleve, Belgium
  16. Pierre Gagnaire, France
  17. Oud Sluis, Netherlands
  18. Le Bernardin, USA
  19. L’Arpège, France
  20. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan
  21. Vendôme, Germany
  22. Steirereck, Austria
  23. Schloss Schauenstein Switzerland
  24. Eleven Madison Park, USA
  25. Aqua, Germany
  26. Quay, Australia
  27. Iggy’s Singapore
  28. Combal Zero, Italy
  29. Martín Berasategui, Spain
  30. Bras, France
  31. Biko, Mexico
  32. Le Calandre, Italy
  33. Cracco, Italy
  34. The Ledbury, UK
  35. Chez Dominique, Finland
  36. Le Quartier Français, South Africa
  37. Amber, China
  38. Dal Pescatore, Italy
  39. Il Canto, Italy
  40. Momofuku Ssäm Bar, USA
  41. St John, UK
  42. Astrid Y Gastón, Peru
  43. Hibiscus, UK
  44. Maison Troisgros, France
  45. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, France
  46. De Librije, Netherlands
  47. Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, Switzerland
  48. Varvary, Russia
  49. Pujol, Mexico
  50. Asador Etxebarri, Spain
 Photo courtesy of William Reed Business Media 2011.

Video: René Redzepi and the story of Noma (7 minutes)

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