And is it as easy as simply consulting the World's 50 Best Restaurants list?
For those interested, the Top 10 looks like this:
1. Noma, Denmark
2. El Celler De Can Roca, Spain
3. Mugaritz, Spain
4. Osteria Francescana, Italy
5. The Fat Duck, UK
6. Alinea, USA
7. D.O.M., Barzil
8. Arzak, Spain
9. Le Chateaubriand, France
10. Per Se, USA
The San Pelligrino World's 50 Best Restaurants was started in 2002 by Restaurant Magazine as a publicity stunt, but is now a bona fide player in the world of restaurant rankings. (It helps that no one else is doing such a tidy world ranking, though there are a host of lists for the best restaurants in cities and countries around the world.)
A number of articles comparing the list to the stalwart Michelin says the World's 50 Best Restaurants favours contemporary places, whereas Michelin tends to favour French restaurants perhaps too much. And, indeed, the French Laundry, which started out on the top of the list, is all the way down to number 32 on the most recent list (booted out by El Bulli). Critics of the list say it isn't as "thorough" as Michelin, simply polling 800+ chefs, food writers and culinary professionals.
Jonathan Gold, the only Pulitzer-prize winning food writer, reviewed Noma and Alinea for the Wall Street Journal this summer. He concluded that Noma was tops, and the World's 50 Best Restaurants list did name them number one last year, bumping El Bulli from the top spot after four years.
So perhaps it's the list should be gospel to gourmands. If so, we'll leave you with numbers 11-20 as well, just in case.
11. Daniel, USA
12. Les Creations de Narisawa, Japan
13. L'Astrance, France
14. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France
15. Hof van Cleve, Belguum
16. Pierre Gagnaire, France
17. Oud Sluis, Netherlands
18. Le Bernardin, USA
19. L'Arpege, France
20. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan