A few years ago, music executive turned food blogger Steve Plotnicki set out to devise an all-new rating system for restaurants. He envisioned it as a more accessible alternative to the aloof views of the anonymous professional reviewers at Michelin Guide, but also better informed than the common gripes of the average joes on Yelp. And so he developed a considerable community of “highly literate connoisseurs of the culinary arts who travel the world to experience the art of food” — that is, by and large, rich guys — and now compiles their opinions into a yearly survey on his website, Opinionated About Dining.
Now in its fourth year, Plotnicki’s annual rankings of America’s best restaurants just went live. And which illustrious dining room wowed the vast majority of Plotnicki’s well-heeled critics in 2015? The same one they raved about in 2014, it turns out. For the second year running, San Francisco’s Saison snagged top honors, with Washington state’s Willows Inn and Urasawa in Beverly Hills coming in at numbers two and three, respectively — all ultra-fancy, extravagantly priced indulgences. And the rest of the top 20 is just as highbrow.
Here is Plotnicki’s list of the top 20 U.S. restaurants for 2015. For the complete top 200, visit the website.
- Saison, San Francisco, CA
- Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA
- Urasawa, Beverly Hills, CA
- Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
- é by josé andrés, Las Vegas, NV
- minibar, Washington, D.C.
- Alinea, Chicago, IL
- Masa, New York, NY
- French Laundry, Yountville, CA
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY
- Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, CA
- Per Se, New York, NY
- Restaurant Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
- Aubergine, Carmel, CA
- McCrady’s, Charleston, SC
- Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Brooklyn, NY
- Schwa, Chicago, IL
- Kuruma Zushi, New York, NY
- Sushi Yasuda, New York, NY
- Providence, Los Angeles, CA