Best Restaurant in the U.S

alinea-restaurant-chicago

On Monday, April 26, 2010, the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants were announced.  While a U.S. restaurant didn’t top out at number 1, I am happy to announce that the best restaurant in the U.S is…Alinea, in my lovely home, Chicago! Alinea moved moved up the ladder 3 spaces this year and has been voted best restaurant in the U.S., at number 7.  Not too shabby.  The photo I’ve used in this post is apparently a picture of course 14 at Alinea.

I’ve never been to this restaurant, so I definitely can’t comment on the food or atmosphere.  I did look at a tasting menu and not only is it $150, but I can barely understand the format. Very modern, indeed.  Here’s an example of how one item on the tasting menu is listed:

HOT POTATO cold potato, black truffle, butter

The items on the left-hand side are definitely the food items, but that right-hand side is kind of baffling.  I am assuming its a list of ingredients that comprise the dish?  But what about this one?

DISTILLATION     of thai flavors

Huh? If you prefer to take the menu tour, then you better be ready for fork over $225.

It’s pretty overwhelming to imagine how anyone can begin to pick only 50 restaurants in the entire world!  So how in the heck were these 50 restaurants chosen?  There was a panel of about 800 members assembled all over the world, chosen for their ability to judge cuisine.  They were charged with the impossibly difficult task of judging the world’s best food over an 18 month period. Here are the criteria for the judges as listed by The World’s 50 Best.

  • Panelists may vote for up to 3 restaurants within their region
  • At least 2 votes must be for restaurants located outside of their region
  • They must have eaten in the restaurants they nominate in the last 18 months
  • They are not permitted to vote for restaurants they own or have an interest in
  • Nominations must be made for the restaurant, not for the restaurateur or the chef
  • All nominations are confidential and will not be disclosed without consent
  • Panelists submit their 5 choices in order of preference (this information is used to decide on positions in the unlikely event of a tie)

So after 18 months of eating some of the world’s best cuisine, the judges locked in their votes and placed an array of countries on this lucky map.

Here’s the full list, if you’re interested.

Have you ever been to any of these top-rated restaurants.  I’ve never been to a gourmet restaurant, but I am definitely planning on it if I get to eat 14 courses!

Even though you might now want to spend the money for a gourmet meal, here’s awesome ideas for gourmet gifts that won’t break the bank!

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  • Guillermo

    I don’t know where these panelists come from, but they certainly need to visit Latin America.
    I mean, a Danish restaurant number #1 ?? a british restaurant # 3 ?? US restaurants ?? ( please all they eat here is burgers and “italian”.)
    JUst take a flight to Lima, Peru please, any neighborhood restaurant would beat the heck of probably 99% of the restaurants in the S Pellegirno list , let alone the top 10 in Lima.
    You can hire those chefs to give lessons to the Danish resataurant and the Bulli and the Fat Duck and your Alinea I am afraid…
    I have seen brits and americans eat food in Peru that I would consider just average and go : woooow !!! this is amaaaaazing !!!

  • http://jqlee.wordpress.com/ Jessica Lee

    I haven’t been to Alinea either but I am making it a “to-do” this summer.

  • http://www.recipe4living.com AllisonEvans

    That will fun! Post another comment after you go, and let us know how it turns out!

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