LA PERGOLA: As Good As Ever? Or Not?
Ok, here we go again... I'm probably making something out of nothing, but I can't help it.
I happened to look into these San Pellegrino "World's Top Restaurants" lists, and first of all, I admit to having no clue why I should care what they say or think. Nonetheless, they fancy making lists, and I noticed that La Pergola was ranked #54 in the world on their 2007 list, #65 on their 2008 list, and is completely absent on their 2009 list.
I would be less concerned, I suppose, had La Pergola been on NONE of these lists. Unfortunately, there is pattern of "decline". The debut with this particular group of voters at #54, a relatively minor slip in '08, then the colossal plummet right off the list in '09...
Many other restaurants on these lists have held steady in their position, or risen higher, over the years. No such fate for La Pergola. Since this is destined to be the most expensive meal, thus far, in my life...I guess I'm just wondering why.
Bah, I already feel like an idiot for posting this...
Especially since there are currently only 72 Michelin 3-star restaurants in the world, and La Pergola is one of them. It also bears mentioning that I've seen some average reviews, even by food critics, of El Bulli (which has been #1 on the San Pellegrino list for several years).
Here is the way the voting works, supposedly. Id never even heard of this list before.
Since it is based on meals in the last 18 months and Rome is not really a culinary destination within Italy and La Pergola has been highly regarded for a long time., Id say the voting would be canted in favor of the most recently anointed Italian darlings. Even La Calandre fell way, way down.
Ps there has to be a lot of politics here - its a panel of people in the business the new Cracco restaurant in Milan is well up the list, there is a Cracco in the Academy...
So I wouldnt sweat it - hope you enjoy your dinner and report back!.
If you've done your research and decided that La Pergola is right for you, go with it. You answered that with your reply to your own post. There are so many lists of "best" and who knows what the criteria, who's voting, etc. These lists make good conversation and that is about it. And as jen kalb pointed out, the politics. I took at look at the list through the link and am scratching me head.
Heinz Beck is still the chef, therefore, the decline is only illusionary. My only dinner there few years ago was excellent and the service was impeccable.
I'll add my voice to the chorus. What do you care about the San Pellegrino list? It's a great restaurant. Just go and enjoy your dinner.