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Alinea Is Only Chicago Restaurant On World's 50 Best Restaurants List

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 5, 2017 3:26PM

A dish at Alinea. Photo via Facebook.

If you're a big fan of incredibly expensive restaurants with many courses, wine cellars for days and prominent chefs, today was a very big day, as the World's 50 Best Restaurants, 2017 Edition, came out. How did Chicago fare? Ok, I guess.

Surprise, surprise, Alinea made the list. Last year, Alinea was the #15 restaurant in the whole world. This year, it dipped a tiny bit to #21. They were the only Chicago entry. To compare with other U.S. cities, New York got 4, L.A. got none, and San Francisco got 1. And oh, the entire nation of Germany only got 1, so maybe we shouldn't complain so much. The "Best Restaurant in the World" is Eleven Madison Park in New York.

Eater did a good piece last year on how this particular ranking system isn't really all that useful. It only gives the nod to incredibly expensive prestige restaurants, only a tiny fraction of the ranked restaurants are owned by women, and it is generally majority-European, which means that the "best restaurants" are judged on a very particular Euro-centric standard, the rest of the world be damned. For example, a total of six of the "best restaurants in the world" are in all of Asia, which last time I checked had a pretty large number of people.

In any case, it's definitely a feather in Chicago's cap to continue to make the list, and good news for Alinea to still make the list after their recent massive renovation.