Many couples marry because they see eye to eye on the important issues in their lives. Child care, personal values, money, etc.. We got married in part because of our desire to systematically eat our way through the San Pellegrino rankings of the best restaurants in the world. A tall task, no doubt. But we think we’re up to the challenge. Below you will find the updated rankings for the current year with links to the restaurants we’ve been to, as well as two arbitrary and for the most part informationally valueless rankings (one for Liz and one for Carlo). These rankings will reflect our experience at the restaurant, all things considered – food, ambience, service, enjoyment, value, etc… and will be ranked relative to the other ones we’ve been to on the list.
Beginning with the 2009 list, restaurants that drop off will be moved to the section below the rankings. Wish us luck!
Liz’s Rankings Carlo’s Rankings
1. L’Astrance St. John
2. Alinea L’Astrance
3. Fat Duck Alinea
4. La Calandre La Calandre
5. Oud Sluis Fat Duck
6. Hof Van Cleve Oud Sluis
7. Per Se Hof Van Cleve
8. French Laundry Per Se
9. St John French Laundry
10. Momofuku Ssam Momofuku Ssam
11. Dal Pescatore Dal Pescatore
San Pellegrino Rankings
1. El Bulli
2. Fat Duck, February 2008.
Food magic show with flavors that usually, but not always, were just as impressive. Liquid nitrogen, parsnip cereal, whiskey gummy bears, ipods playing the sounds of the ocean…cool stuff.
3. Noma, COMING FALL 2010
5. El Celler de Can Roca
6. Per Se, July 2009
High on quality of ingredients and execution, not so high on creativity or fun. For the high price, they should deliver a bit more on that end. The amuse bouches have been the same for quite a while and are the same at French Laundry (cheese puff and cornett of smoked salmon). I understand people like them, but come on.
9. Pierre Gargnaire
10. Alinea, September 2008
Food magic meets consistent great flavors. For 24 courses. Fun staff makes this a great experience.
11. L’Astrance, July 2008
The most unique flavor combinations of any restaurant we’ve been to, all of which worked. Then add Paris.
12. French Laundry, May 2009
Virtually the same experience as Per Se. The Napa setting would tip the scales in its favor, but the atmosphere was a bit stuffier.
13. Osteria Francescana, COMING SUMMER 2010
14. St. John, February 2008 and August 2009
You might be thinking, “What’s wrong with Liz? Why did she rank St John so low? She wouldn’t know good cow’s tongue if it licked her cheek!” St John is an omnivore’s paradise. There is nothing on this menu I wouldn’t want to eat every day.
15. Le Bernardin, COMING WINTER 2009
16. l’Hotel de Ville – Philippe Rochat
18. L’atelier de Joel Robuchon
19. Jean George’s, COMING WINTER 2009
20. Les Creations de Nerisawa
21. Chez Dominique
22. Ristorante Cracco
23. Die Schwarzwaldstube
26. Hof Van Cleve, July 2009
Whale penis knives, best cheese plate of all time, endless food.
28. Gambero Rosso
29. Oud Sluis, August 2009
Edges out its Belgian counterpart with a hipper, more relaxed environment, and a more playful approach with the food.
31. Momofuku Ssam, February, June, July 2009
Far and away the best value on this list. With St. John, the only two casual restaurants but it sacrifices nothing in terms of taste.
32. Oaxen Skargardskrog
33. Martin Berasategui
34. Nobu London
37. Le Quartier Francais, COMING SUMMER 2010
38. La Colombe, COMING SUMMER 2010
39. Asador Etxebarri
40. Le Chateaubriand
43. Le Louis XV
47. Les Ambassadeurs
48. Dal Pescatore, August 2007
It’s a shame that this has to occupy our bottom ranking. It’s like comparing a really good apple, with better apples. Probably the best venue (villa deep in the Italian countryside), and great food, but it just wasn’t that interesting.
49. La Calandre, August 2007
We love La Calandre. For sentimental reasons. Our first foray together into extravagant (binge) eating and drinking, and boy did we make it count. Capping the night off with a literal train of dessert and nursing on a baby bottle of warm rosemary tea made this an unforgettable event. Though this is certainly the restaurant with the worst location (a strip mall outside of Padova).
50. Mathias Dalgren