Alinea # 2 in USA in 2012 Pelligrino's Top 100
Yeah I know, the 'judging' process is obscure and the results are always subject to debate, but the 2012 Pelligrino rankings are out.
Alinea, which had been ranked # 1 in the USA the past few years, is rated # 7 world-wide (was # 6 last year). Per Se (NYC) is ranked #6 world-wide (up from #10 last year) so now becomes the highest rated restaurant in the US, per this ranking. As I'm sure almost all of you know Per Se is owned by Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz worked for him at the French Laundry for several years before moving to Chicago.
I've been fortunate to dine twice at Alinea and once at Per Se (and have also dined at 7 other restaurants in the top 70 of the Pelligrino list) and I always thought these were the top two restaurants in the US that we've visited, but I would put Alinea on top just for the sheer creativity of Grant's cooking. No mistakes at Per Se but fewer chances taken.
Anyway, here's the official release: http://www.theworlds50best.com/
Will be in Spain later this year, dining at El Cellar Can Roca (# 2) and Sant Pau (# 65) north of Barcelona. If El Cellar is actually better than Alinea and Per Se then I'll be a very happy diner.
It took me 113 redials at 1am Australia time (10am Chicago time) yesterday but I managed to snag myself a booking at Alinea in August. I did Per Se last year and was thinking of visiting it again when I go to NYC after Chicago so I might be able to do a pretty close side-by-side comparison.