The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011
Ranked 2: El Celler de Can Roca
Ranked 3: Mugaritz
Ranked 8: Arzak
Ranked 29: Martín Berasategui
Ranked 50: Asador Etxebarri
The Top 50 list:
I'm not offended at all, it's just that the 2011 list is sort of old news since it came out last April, nine months ago (not to offend JuanDoe).
And I don't take the list too seriously ... I've dined at five of the "Top 24" on the list recently (the ones in the US) and while, based on the meal (or two meals in a couple of cases) we had there I think three of those are worthy of their rankings, two of them wouldn't rate in the top dozen meals we've had the past couple of years. No way are they in the top 25 in the world.
I think for one thing it's partly a popularity contest (the two chefs whose restaurants I would rank lower are very outgoing, popular guys among their peers, great hosts and on TV all the time over here), and for a 2nd thing it seems the Pelligrino judges like to stick it to Michelin whenever possible (how many Michelin stars does Noma have? and Can Roca was a Michelin 2* until a couple years ago, and EMP ... # 24 ... was a Michelin one star until this year, when it jumped to three).
Anyway, I was mainly curious about 2012 because I wanted to see how Alinea did (a restaurant that I agree with the list about).
I also found some 'strange' selections - BUT in most cases those restaurants plummet in the next year or two as more people try them.
Indeed most of the top 50 do repeat for several years - look back a couple of years and see which places are rising consistently (and falling!).
Of course, all our tastes are different so disagreements are expected. If there is a possible failing it's that 'hot new places' get checked out by more judges, so you may get a sudden meteoric rise followed by a flame-out.
Noting your preferences, you might want to track how the French Laundry rating has changed!
But agree Alinea has finally settled in after several years of inconsistency. Finally better than his previous restaurant (where I was a regular).