Think Italian cuisine is trending? Osteria Francescana — whose quirky dishes like “five stages of Parmigiano Reggiano,” “eel swimming up the Po river,” and “tribute to Thelonius Monk” have made chef Massimo Bottura’s tiny venue in Modena one of Italy’s toughest tables — has for the first time earned the top spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The annual rankings, which have been criticized for their lack of female-run restaurants, their tendency to favor expensive European-style tasting menus, and their lenient attitude toward judges accepting free meals, were announced at a ceremony in New York this evening.
El Celler de Can Roca, an avant-garde tasting menu restaurant in Girona, Spain, dropped to the No. 2 spot. Eleven Madison Park, which has transformed from an approachable a la carte establishment under Danny Meyer into an expensive and celebrated tasting menu venue under Will Guidara and Daniel Humm, ascended to No. 3 — the best finish for a U.S. restaurant in years. René Redzepi’s Noma, whose micro-seasonal, hyper-local, and forever foraging ways helped turn Copenhagen into a global culinary destination, and which will serve its last meal later this year before relocating to a new site, fell to No. 5.
Among the restaurants that fell out of the top 10 were Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which plummeted from No. 7 to No. 45, and Gaggan, an Indian restaurant in Bangkok that fell from No. 10 to No. 23. (Blumenthal is also chef at the Fat Duck, the den of avant-garde wizardry that once occupied the top spot on the list.)
The number of restaurants in the top 50 run by female chefs (or more precisely, co-run) fell from three to two this year: Central in Lima, which chef Pia Leon oversees with her husband Virgilio Martinez, came in at No.4, while Elena Arzak’s eponymous restaurant in San Sebastian, which the chef heads up with her father Juan Mari, dropped to No. 21.
The awards are independently adjudicated by the global consulting firm Deloitte. The 1,500 or so judges come from a pool equally made up of food writers, chefs and restaurateurs, and well-traveled gastronomes. Each judge casts seven votes, three of which must apply toward restaurants outside of her home region. Voters must have dined at a restaurant within the past 18 months. And while the voters are required to remain anonymous, they face no requirement to actually pay for their meals. This stands in contrast to the professional conduct of most critics, including Michelin inspectors, who are not permitted to accept freebies in an effort to remain independent.
Below is the cost of dinner tasting menus (i.e. five or more courses) of restaurants on the 50 Best list. Many of the prices below are inclusive of service and tax, but some of the offerings, particularly in the U.S., do not account for those added costs.
Here’s the full list:
#1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
Chef: Massimo Bottura
Last year’s rank: 2
Average cost: Cost: €180-€200 (USD $234-$260).
2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
Chef: Joan Roca
Last year’s rank: 1
Average cost: €165-€195 (USD $184-$218)* 2015 pricing.
3. Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Chef: Daniel Humm
Last year’s rank: 5
Cost: $295, service-included.
4. Central, Lima
Chef: Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon
Last year’s rank: 4
Average cost: s/319-s/398 (USD: $95-$119).
5. Noma, Copenhagen
Chef: René Redzepi
Last year’s rank: 2
Cost: 1900 DKK (USD: $289).
6. Mirazur, Menton, France
Chef: Mauro Colagreco
Last year’s rank: 11
Average cost: €85-€210 (USD: $110-$273)
7. Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain
Chef: Andoni Luis Aduriz
Last year’s rank: 6
Cost: €185 (USD: $240)
8. Narisawa, Tokyo
Chef: Yoshihiro Narisawa
Last year’s rank: 8
Cost: ¥25000 (USD: $233).
9. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
Last year’s rank: 15
Average cost: €132-€142 ($171-$184)
10. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
Last year’s rank: 13
Cost: €135 (USD $175)
11. D.O.M., Sao Paolo. Cost: 305-560 BRL (USD $88-$161)
12. Quintonil, Mexico City. Cost: 1300 pesos ($65).
13. Maido, Lima, Peru. Cost: n/a, a la carte raw fish.
14. The Ledbury, London. Cost: £105-£115 (USD $151-$166).
15. Alinea, Chicago. Cost: $175-$345.
16. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain. Cost: €145-€175 (USD $174-$210).
17. Piazza Duomo, Alba Italy. Cost: €200- €240 (USD $260-$312).
18. White Rabbit, Moscow. Cost: 8000 RUB. (USD $122).
19. L’arpege, Paris. Cost: €320-€380 (USD $415-$493).
20. Amber, Hong Kong. Cost: $1788-$2068 HKD (USD $230-$266)
21. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain. Cost: €199 (USD $258).
22. Test Kitchen, Cape Town South Africa. Cost: 525r-1200r (USD $79).
23. Gaggan, Bankgok, Thailand. Cost: 3500 THB (USD $99)
24. Le Bernardin, New York City. Cost: $180-$215.
25. Pujol, Mexico City. Cost: 1725 pesos (USD $93).
26. The Clove Club, London. Cost: £65-£95 (USD: $94-$137).
27. Saison, San Francisco. Cost: $398.
28. Geranium, Copenhagen. Cost: 2000 DKK (USD: $304).
29. Tickets, Barcelona. Cost: a la carte tapas.
30. Astrid y Gaston, Lima, Peru. Cost: s/240-s/385 (USD $72-$116).
31. RyuGin, Tokyo. Cost: ¥27000 (USD $252).
32. Restaurant Andre, Singapore. Cost: S$350
33. Attica, Melbourne, Australia. Cost: $195 AUD ($154).
34. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin. Cost: €148-€198 (USD: $195-$257)
35. Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. Cost: €190- €265 (USD $247-$344).
36. Borago, Santiago, Chile. Cost: 45,000-62,000 CLP (USD $66-$91)
37. Nahm, Bangkok. Cost: ฿2500 (USD $51).
38. De Librije, Zwolle, the Netherlands. Cost: €175.50-€195.50 (USD $228-$254)
39. Le Calandre, Italy. Cost: €200-€225. (USD $223-$251).
40. Relae, Copenhagen. Cost: 475-895 DKK (USD $75-$136)
41. Faviken, Sweden. Cost: 2200 SEK (USD $365).
42. Ultraviolet, Shanghai. Cost: ¥4,000 (USD $609, inclusive of pairings).
43. Biko, Mexico City. Cost: 1100 pesos (USD $65).
44. Estela, New York. Cost: a la carte
45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London. Cost: £225 chef’s table (or a la carte)
46. Combal.Zero, Rivoli, Italy. Cost: €200 (USD $260).
47. Schloss Schauenstein, Austria. Cost: 235-259 SFr. (USD: $204-$267).
48. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocatino Hills, New York. Cost: $238.
49. QuiQue Dacosta, Denia, Spain. Cost: €190 (USD: $247).
50. Septime, Paris. Cost: €65 (USD: $84).
Veuve Clicquot Best Female Chef: Dominique Crenn
Diner’s Club Lifetime Achievement Award: Alain Passard