Is Momofuku the "Most Important" Restaurant in the US?

Reaction to Restaurant Ranking I was reading Bon Appetit online this morning, and was surprised to find that BA seriously attempted to go through the top restaurants in the country and decide who was most important. A gargantuan task and one that I'm sure a lot of people will have complaints about, but exciting and intriguing nevertheless. I've included the list and my thoughts...


Honestly, I don't know if I can disagree. My only complaint is that the #1 spot isn't held by 1 restaurant, but rather a series of restaurants. I mean seriously, the Momofuku brand has locations in New York City in the form of Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Má Pêche, Momofuku Ko, Milk Bar, and Booker & Dax. Momofuku Seiōbo is located in Sydney, Australia, and Momofuku Noodle Bar, Nikai, Daishō and Shōtō opened in Toronto last year. Just the New York establishments alone and you have The Restaurant at Meadowood coming in as #2 behind 6 restaurants. That's cheating right?

The only Momofuku I've actually eaten at is Momofuku Noodle Bar, it is very good (although Ippudo in NYC is better in my opinion). What I get about putting Momofuku #1 is that the one theme all the restaurants have in common is that while they may not be the absolute "best" at what they offer (many I'm sure will disagree,) they have influenced every major metro in the US. What Momofuku offers that everyone is desperate to copy is food the caliber of fine dining in a much more casual atmosphere. You don't have to have chandeliers and pristine white tablecloths to be a prestigious restaurant.

Four on the list (#s 3, 5, 10 and 17) I had never even heard of before. I'm hoping to get to Alinea this June when I visit Chicago and this has put Avec back on my radar. Also, Melissa Kelly's Primo has a version out here in Orlando, I may have to give it a go.

What's not on the list - the restaurants Andrew Knowlton claims are on a higher plane, the restaurants that are institutions of the Hall of Fame, places including: Daniel, NYC; Jean-Georges, NYC; WD~50, NYC; The Spotted Pig, NYC; Zuni Café, SF; Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA; Frontera Grill, Chicago; The French Laundry, Yountville, CA; Canlis, Seattle; Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY; Craft, NYC; Spago, Los Angeles; and Babbo, NYC.

BA's "Most Important" Restaurants in America

 #1—MOMOFUKU - NYC AND BEYOND
 
#2—THE RESTAURANT AT MEADOWOOD - NAPA, CA
 
#3—HUSK - CHARLESTON, SC
 
 #4—ALINEA - CHICAGO

 
#5—MANRESA - LOS GATOS, CA
 
#6—ROBERTA'S - BROOKLYN
 
#7—ELEVEN MADISON PARK - NYC

#8—POK POK - PORTLAND, OR, AND BROOKLYN

 
#9—MISSION CHINESE FOOD - SF AND NYC


#10—UCHI/UCHIKO - AUSTIN


#11—ANIMAL - LOS ANGELES

 
#12—AVEC - CHICAGO
 

#13—LE BERNARDIN - NYC
 

#14—COCHON - NEW ORLEANS
 

#15—THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER - SEATTLE
 

 #16—SHAKE SHACK - NYC AND BEYOND

#17—FRANKLIN BARBECUE - AUSTIN


#18—BALTHAZAR - NYC


#19—PRIMO - ROCKLAND, ME

#20—SWAN OYSTER DEPOT -
SAN FRANCISCO


If you want to read the article yourself - follow this link...

http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/20-most-important-restaurants-2013

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