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

4. Mugaritz

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.

7. Bras

8. Arzak

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

17. Tetsuya’s

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

24. D.O.M.

25. Vendome

26. Hof Van Cleve, July 2009

Whale penis knives, best cheese plate of all time, endless food.

27. Masa

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.

30. Steirereck

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

35. Mirazur

36. Hakkasan

37. Le Quartier Francais, COMING SUMMER 2010

38. La Colombe, COMING SUMMER 2010

39. Asador Etxebarri

40. Le Chateaubriand

41. Daniel

42. Combal.Zero

43. Le Louis XV

44. Tantris

45. Iggy’s

46. Quay

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

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