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Alinea Drops To 15th On List Of World's Best Restaurants

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 30, 2013 3:00PM

2013_4_30_SanPell.jpg Even while writing that headline, we realized that being the 15th best restaurant in the world is kind of like being the billionaire who only has slightly over a billion dollars: you're still doing pretty damn good. It's true — Alinea has slipped a little bit on San Pellegrino's annual list of the world's best restaurants. Cancel your reservations now.

In all seriousness, these things go up and down every year. Alinea broke into the top 10 in 2009 and became the highest ranked American restaurant in 2010. It kept that title in 2011, peaking at #6 in the world, before dropping below Per Se in 2012. This year, they're the third-best restaurant in America. Eleven Madison Park, which switched places with Alinea a few months back, rocketed to number 5 to become America's highest-ranking restaurant on the list, according to some guys who make sparkling water in Europe.

Grant Achatz also took home the "Chefs Choice" award. Partner Nick Kokonas tweeted about it yesterday.

If these awards annoy you, check out this essay from blogger Bonjwing Lee.

At best, these are the fifty trendiest (or most-publicized) restaurants in the world, as determined by a rather insular group of voters that includes chefs and restaurateurs (many of whom work in restaurants that appear on the list), food journalists, and bloggers (some of whom are not shy about announcing their position as a “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” voter to chefs and restaurateurs upon their arrival). And let’s not forget the sponsor of this list is San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, a company that has much to gain on the tables and in the tumblers of the high-end restaurants that this list seems to favor.

(h/t to Helen Rosner for pointing out the essay)