Eleven Madison Park drops from No. 1 to 4 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

Gone are the days when a New Yorker could make a reservation in the Flatiron District to eat at the World’s Best Restaurant.

Eleven Madison Park has ceded its throne as the best restaurant in the world to Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, announcers revealed at the awards ceremony for the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Bilbao, Spain, on Tuesday.

The exclusive restaurant with a minimalist approach to food slid to No. 4 this year, after spending four months closed for an overhaul of its dining room, kitchen, serviceware and $295 tasting menu last year. That hiatus hurt its chances to top the list for a second year in a row, according to Eater: chef Daniel Humm, a co-owner with Will Guidara, and his staff gave judges, who are required to have dined at any eatery within the 18 month-period before they vote for it, fewer opportunities to visit the restaurant.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, Humm conceded that closing Eleven Madison Park shortly after being named the “World’s Best Restaurant” was “probably not the best idea … but we wouldn’t change a thing.

Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, shown Tuesday, was crowned the world's best dining destination in 2017.
Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, shown Tuesday, was crowned the world’s best dining destination in 2017. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

“I know we’re better than ever and we’ll be back,” the chef added.

In the meantime, foodies will have to book plane tickets to Menton, France, to sup at Mirazur (No. 3) or to Girona, Spain, to taste the menu at El Celler de Can Roca (No. 2).

The list, which launched in 2002 and is owned and operated by William Reed Business Media, wasn’t much kinder to the city’s other contenders: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Dan Barber’s restaurant in Pocantico Hills, slipped one spot to No. 12 in one year.

Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin in midtown snagged the No. 26 spot, down from 17th best last year.

Enrique Olvera’s Cosme, serving Mexican-inspired cuisine in the Flatiron District, jumped all the way up to No. 24, from No. 40 in 2017.

Critics have charged the influential but controversial rankings with failure to represent gender and geographic areas equally. Female chefs led only three out of last year’s top 50 restaurants and none of the winners were located in Africa, the Middle East or India.