The best restaurant in the world is in New York but for many, a meal there costs a mint — and not the after-dinner kind.
Eleven Madison Park snagged the No. 1 spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list Wednesday, and reservations are already fully booked through May.
The glitzy experience comes with a steep price tag — $295 per person plus tax for eleven courses. To pair wine with the menu, be prepared to cough up an additional $175 each.
It’s a first time in more than a decade that a U.S. restaurant was chosen for what some consider to be the Oscar of food trophies.
But the international organization behind the award, a guide also called The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, has gotten into hot water in the past for snubbing dozens of high-end female-run restaurants. It has also been accused of mostly showcasing pricy tasting menus in Europe.
Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in California, was the last American award winner in 2004.
But Eleven Madison Park’s chef, Daniel Humm and co-owner Will Guidara snagged the culinary crown Wednesday, from Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Italy, which placed second after receiving the top honor last year.
A famed restaurant in Spain, El Celler de Can Roca, came in third.
New York’s new top dog, an elegant and extraordinary, yet vastly expensive dining destination, overlooks Madison Square Park in Flatiron and was first opened in 1998 by Shake Shack mogul Danny Meyer.
Humm and Guidara took over in 2011 and soon the institution earned its coveted three star Michelin rating.
The sprawling art deco dining room, featuring sky-high ceilings and white table clothes transfixes eaters with its contemporary, “modern French cuisine with a New York Twist.”
Diners say it’s worth the big bucks, because the steep price-tag buys elaborately prepared plates such as black caviar with hollandaise sauce with dices of ham and asparagus; sea urchin custard with baby squid; avocado and crab roulade; and a decadent slab of chocolate peanut butter with caramel popcorn and popcorn ice cream.
Each delicacy is geometrically composed on the plate like art.
In a 2008 review, the Daily News dubbed Humm’s foie gras terrine “brilliantly complex;” described his Bordelaise sauce as “intoxicating;” and dubbed the tasting menu “worth every penny.”
The awards started in 2002 to promote U.K.-based Restaurant magazine. The list quickly gained acclaim. Copenhagen restaurant Noma won in 2010 for the first time and 100,000 people reportedly tried to book a reservation the following day.