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Alinea Drops to No. 21 on 2017’s World’s 50 Best List

Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’ powerhouse flagship is once again the list’s only Chicago representative

A muted, carpeted dining room.
Matthew Gilson

Alinea’s roller coaster ride on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list continued early Wednesday morning. Chicago’s only representative dropped six spots to No. 21 when officials in Melbourne, Australia announced the list on the other side of the world. The full list (read it here) was divulged at 5 a.m. CDT Wednesday, as Eleven Madison Park in New York earned the top billing.

“Progressive, provocative, pulsating, ‘p-amazing,’ it’s Grant Achatz and the team—who you just saw there—ensure Alinea is always evolving, always surprising, always engaging; basically it’s absolutely fab,” said award show host Mark Durden-Smith after divulging Alinea’s spot on the list.

Last year Alinea rebounded to No. 15 after chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas remade their Lincoln Park powerhouse, building a new dining room while going as far as tearing down a staircase. Back in 2015, the restaurant fell to No. 26. Alinea’s high-water mark came in 2012 when it ranked seventh.

Achatz and Kokonas continue their work to open a New York outlet of Aviary, their acclaimed cocktail bar, now with morning beverage service exclusive to the Big Apple. Kokonas also continues to court fine-dining restaurants via Tock, his online reservation portal.

Eater National also has the restaurants ranked No. 51 through 100. Alas, no Chicago restaurants were deemed worthy for that ranking either.

World’s Best 50 Restaurants (screenshot)


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