This seems to be the week for lists. Not only did the James Beard Foundation release the first round of nominations for its restaurant awards Tuesday, but longtime GQ restaurant critic Alan Richman announced his choices for the 12 best restaurants of the year. Not to be outdone, today the website Daily Meal, which seems to produce provocative lists on an almost weekly basis, unveiled its choices for the 101 best eateries.
I never take these lists too awfully seriously – to me, the best restaurant is the last one where I had a great meal … or maybe if I’m in an optimistic mood, the next one. But they are fun to debate. It’s always rewarding to see your good taste seconded and invigorating to work up a good head of hate when the choices are misguided.
Richman’s list seems slanted toward newer spots than landmarks that have stood the taste of time. Top honor went to a Thai restaurant in Washington, D.C., called Little Serow. The only Los Angeles restaurant that made the cut is Josef Centeno’s Bäco Mercat.
The Daily Meal list was compiled with the help of nearly 200 voters from around the country, led by editorial director Colman Andrews. The big three? Not really much to argue with: Yountville’s French Laundry, and New York’s Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin.
The rest of the list is open to debate. The only locals recognized are Animal (No. 20), Osteria Mozza (No. 22), Jose Andres’ The Bazaar (No. 43), Spago (No. 49), Lucques (No. 72), and Providence (No. 99).
Interestingly, there isn't one shared choice between the lists.