Every year, San Pellegrino water sponsors a contest and names the world’s best restaurants. It’s pretty prestigious.
This year, for the second year in a row, top honors go to an eatery few outside Europe have heard of. No, it’s not in a renowned foodie destination such as Paris or the rest of France, or Italy or Spain.
It’s Noma, an eatery in Denmark, where you can feast on “New Nordic” cuisine featuring the freshest North Atlantic fish, local berries, vegetables and other produce prepared in creative ways under the supervision of chef Rene Redzepi. Think razor clams with horseradish and buttermilk, with fresh clam juice poured on. Be prepared to spend $300 or more for dinner for two (I peeked in when I visited Copenhagen, appreciated the minimalist-chic decor, but couldn’t afford the tab). The restaurant also has two Michelin stars. Redzepi, of Danish/Albanian descent, is just 33 and worked for a bit at trend-setting El Bulli restaurant in Spain.
Six U.S. restaurants also made the S. Pellegrino “World’s 50 Best Restaurants Guide” for 2011, overseen by Restaurants magazine.
They are Alinea in Chicago (No. 6), Manhattan’s Per Se (10), Daniel (11), Le Bernardin (18), Eleven Madison Park (24) and the interestingly named Momofuku Ssam Bar (40). Momofuku, by the way, supposedly means “lucky peach” in Japanese.
All these, save for upscale noodle bar Momofuku, are out of reach of the average diner, and I would think some Vegas and West Coast restaurants would make the cut.