France publishes list of top 1000 restaurants

restaurant interior

You can find plenty of lists of "best restaurants" across the globe, but perhaps none are as comprehensive as a new guide put out by the French Foreign Ministry. Dubbed "La Liste", it's billed as a ranking of the "1,000 best tables of exception" in the world. The listing is compiled from data in 200 other guides and rankings (rather like Jane's upcoming "Best of the best" cookbook list) including Michelin, Zagat, and Open Table.

The creators of the list used an "an algorithm named Ciacco, the nickname of Dante's gluttonous friend in "The Inferno," and invented by Antoine Ribaut, a French-American computer systems architect." A committee of experts defined the criteria, which included food quality, ambience, wine and spirits, and service.

So who landed the number one spot? "The best restaurant in the world, according to La Liste, is in Switzerland: the chef Benoît Violier's Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville, in a suburb of Lausanne." Second place is Thomas Keller's Per Se in New York, and third place goes to Kenichiro Nishi's Kyo Aji in Tokyo.

There is speculation that La Liste, which was sponsored by several French food corporations, was created in response to London-based World's 50 Best Restaurants list, which "has not been kind to restaurants in France in recent years." No French restaurant made the top 10 on that list this year, and only four made it into the top 50.

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