America’s Top 50 Restaurants

ALINEA, a new restaurant in Chicago, has been designated America’s number one restaurant by Gourmet Magazine. Grant Achatz, born in Michigan in 1974, is Alinea’s Chef and owner. Grant grew up in the restaurant industry, with both his parents and grandparents being restaurateurs. After graduation from high school, he immediately enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. Excelling at the C.I.A., Achatz graduated and ascended the culinary ladder at several prestigious restaurants, including the acclaimed French Laundry in Napa Valley. Working closely with Thomas Keller, Achatz thrived in this highly creative and dedicated environment, and after two years he became sous chef to Keller. After four years at the French Laundry, Achatz chose to broaden his knowledge and worked as an assistant winemaker at La Jota Vineyards.

In 2001, he accepted the Executive Chef position at the “four-star” Trio (Evanston, IL). Achatz flourished at Trio, garnering accolades that included being named the “Rising Star Chef of the Year” by The James Beard Foundation (2003) and being cited as one of the ten “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine (2002). With Achatz at the helm, Trio received four stars from The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine and was awarded five stars from the celebrated Mobil Travel Guide in 2004. Known in culinary circles as a leader in the forward-thinking movement, Achatz realized a lifelong dream when he opened Alinea in May, 2005.

ALINEA: BEHIND THE SCENES

CHEF GRANT ACHATZ

Gourmet Magazine’s 2006 List of America’s Top 50 Restaurants

This list is proof that American food, as served in all 50 of the top restaurants has never been so exciting. Or so new: More than half of these restaurants are making their debut on the list. You’ll recognize them by the star.

Below is the top 50, in order:

THE TOP 50 LIST

1. Alinea – Chicago, IL*
2. Chez Panisse – Berkeley, CA
3. The French Laundry/Per Se – Yountville, CA; New York, NY
4. Spago – Beverly Hills, CA
5. Joël Robuchon at the Mansion – Las Vegas, NV*
6. La Rêve – San Antonio, TX
7. Masa – New York, NY*
8. Alan Wong’s Restaurant – Honolulu, HI
9. Daniel – New York, NY
10. Le Bernardin – New York, NY
11. Magnolia Grill – Durham, NC
12. Michel Richard Citronelle – Washington, D.C.
13. Charlie Trotter’s – Chicago, IL
14. Arrows – Ogunquit, ME
15. Cyrus – Healdsburg, CA*
16. Striped Bass – Philadelphia, PA*
17. Babbo – New York, NY
18. Locke-Ober – Boston, MA*
19. Canlis – Seattle, WA
20. L’Auberge Carmel – Carmel, CA*
21. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare – Las Vegas, NV*
22. Restaurant August – New Orleans, LA*
23. The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, VA
24. The Dining Room in the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead – Atlanta, GA*
25. Vetri – Philadelphia, PA*
26. Fore Street – Portland, ME
27. Jean Georges – New York, NY
28. Higgins – Portland, OR*
29. Da Marco – Houston, TX*
30. La Belle Vie – Minneapolis, MN*
31. Parker’s New American Bistro – Cleveland, OH
32. Michy’s – Miami, FL*
33. Frasca – Boulder, CO*
34. Gramercy Tavern – New York, NY
35. Providence – Los Angeles, CA*
36. Restaurant Guy Savoy – Las Vegas, NV*
37. Zuni Café – San Francisco, CA
38. Urasawa – Beverly Hills, CA*
39. Bacchanalia – Atlata, GA*
40. Sanford – Milwaukee, WI
41. York Street – Dallas, TX*
42. Manresa – Los Gatos, CA*
43. No. 9 Park – Boston, MA*
44. Trattoria Nostrani – Santa Fe, NM*
45. Cafe Juanita – Kirkland, WA*
46. Paley’s Place – Portland, OR*
47. Lantern Restaurant – Chapel Hill, NC*
48. L’Etoile – Madison, WI
49. Herbsaint – New Orleans, LA*
50. Nana – Dallas, TX*

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