How do you respond to a list of the best restaurants in the world that has a dearth of French names? If you’re France, you develop your own list to correct the oversight.
The offending list was Britain’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” in which only five French restaurants were named, with Mirazur in Menton the highest at 11th place.
That wouldn’t do, so the French foreign ministry’s tourism council set about to produce its own list. But this one would be different, they averred. It would be produced using a computer algorithm that would aggregate scores of more than 4000 restaurants listed in over 200 international guidebooks but also take into consideration newspaper rankings, food blogs and diner-review sites like TripAdvisor, because, you know, those are so trustworthy.
La Liste is the result, a ranking of the top 1000 restaurants in the world that not surprisingly puts more French chefs up front.
But before you go crying fixe, you should know that the top restaurant in the world according to La Liste is in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is operated by Benoit Violier, who was born in France, so there’s that.
And second? That’s Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York. It isn’t until you pass through Tokyo and third place Kyo Aji that you arrive at the first restaurant in France and Guy Savoy in Paris. Having dined at both Per Se and Guy Savoy, the latter just the past June, I would easily have switched the rankings for those two, but I have no way of knowing if the flog’s listings were included in La Liste.
Here are La Liste’s Top 10 Restaurants in the World
1. Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland
2. Per Se, New York
3. Kyo Aji, Tokyo
4. Guy Savoy, Paris
5. Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
6. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
7. Kyubey, Tokyo
8. La Maison Troisgros, Roanne, France
9. Auberge du Vieux Puits, Fontjoncouse, France
10. Joël Robuchon, Yebisu Garden Place, Japan
And here are La Liste’s Top 20 Restaurants in the United States
1. Per Se, New York
2. Le Bernardin, New York
3. Jean-Georges, New York
4. Eleven Madison Park, New York
5. Joël Robuchon (USA), Las Vegas
6. Saison, San Francisco
7. The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
8. Atera, New York
9. The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.
10. Daniel, New York
11. Grace, Chicago
12. Alinea, Chicago
13. 42 Grams, Chicago
14. Benu, San Francisco
15. Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.
16. Melisse, Santa Monica, Calif.
17. Ichimura, New York
18. Blanca, New York
19. Momofuku Ko, New York
20. Masa, New York
How many have you been to, and which one tops your liste?