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Bon appetit! B'tayavon! Bon appetit! B'tayavon!

4 Israeli restaurants make France’s list of world’s top 1,000

The inaugural edition of ‘La Liste’ names Swiss Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville as world’s best

Lee Gancman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A set table at Tel Aviv's Herbert Samuel restaurant, one of four Israeli restaurants included in La Liste's 1000 best restaurants of 2015 (Facebook)
A set table at Tel Aviv's Herbert Samuel restaurant, one of four Israeli restaurants included in La Liste's 1000 best restaurants of 2015 (Facebook)

A new initiative backed by France’s Foreign Ministry and tourism board last week named the world’s top 1,000 restaurants – and four Israeli eateries made the list.

Three of the four, Mul Yam, Manta Ray, and Herbert Samuel, are located in the Tel Aviv-Yafo area, while Helena BaNamal is in Caesarea. None of the four restaurants are kosher.

Evidently those who ranked the restaurants were not aware that Mul Yam, in the Tel Aviv Port, burned down in July and announced in November that it would be closed for good.

The inaugural La Liste is reportedly meant to counter the UK-based “World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” announced annually since 2002.

A fire burns at the Tel Aviv port restaurant Mul Yam on July 23, 2015 (screen capture: Ynet)
A fire burns at the Tel Aviv port restaurant Mul Yam on July 23, 2015 (screen capture: Ynet)

At the top of this year’s list is three-Michelin-starred Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Switzerland.

The highest-ranked Israeli entry, Herbert Samuel, ranked at only 643.

According to an official press release from La Liste, it “is designed to be an aggregator, a ‘best of the best’ based on the ATP model for tennis, the Shanghai Ranking for universities and Rotten Tomatoes for film reviews. Its aim is not to rank gastronomic cultures or pass judgment on the quality of restaurants, but simply to compile the reviews from all existing guidebooks and online comments in order to provide a list of 1,000 exceptional restaurants around the world.”

For the compiling, an algorithm called “Ciacco” invented by Antoine Ribaut, a French-American computer systems architect, was used. Ribaut named the algorithm “Ciacco” after a gluttonous figure in Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”

The data for the list came from over 200 food guides in 92 countries including Michelin, Gault & Millau and Zagat, as well as crowd-sourced sites like TripAdvisor and OpenTable.

Of the 1,000 restaurants ranked, the country with the most entries was Japan, followed by France. Israel was tied on four entries with Bahrain, Estonia and New Zealand. Taking into account the closing of Mul Yam, three entries ties Israel with Thailand, Malaysia and Croatia.

The complete list can be found here.

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