Saison, chef Joshua Skenes three-Michelin-starred restaurant, has retained a spot on the World’s 50 Best list for the second year in a row— but after joining the list last year at #27, it has shifted to #37 this year. It’s the only Bay Area restaurant represented on the list (1-50), though Benu and Atelier Crenn joined the 51-100 ranking for the first time this year. Meanwhile, New York’s Eleven Madison Park jumped to #1 this year (it was #3 last year), as the first American restaurant at the top since The French Laundry (now #68) in 2004.
As for other SF contenders, Crenn’s restaurant has debuted at #83 on the list, while Corey Lee’s Benu joined for the first time at #67. The Restaurant at Meadowood (which has three Michelin stars) is #84, while Thomas Keller’s flagship The French Laundry has slipped back up to 68 from 85 in 2016. Manresa, also possessing three Michelin stars, is hanging tight at #90, demonstrating the inscrutable lack of correlation between these vaguely arbitrary rankings.
The announcements were made in Melbourne, Australia at 3 a.m. PST by the The World's 50 Best Restaurants organization. The list is a controversial (but still very influential) restaurant ranking organization, with a network of judges across the globe. Once known as "San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants," the list is a who's-who of mostly high-end restaurants. Unlike Michelin inspectors who cannot accept freebies in order to prevent bias, World’s 50 Best judges are not required to pay for their meals, though they are technically required to remain anonymous). The rankings have also come under fire for skewing towards prohibitively expensive tasting menus, and a lack of recognition for female chefs (except for the B.S. Best Female Chef category; there is no “Best Male Chef” version of this).
Head over to Eater National for the full list of this year’s winners, and more crucial commentary.
- World’s 50 Best [Official Site]