Former chart-toppers fall from grace on second half of World's 50 Best Restaurants

When the buzz dies down, and you're no longer making headlines, it can be a long, hard fall from grace. In the last half of the World's 50 Best Restaurants ranking, which were released Tuesday, many of the bottom-half dwellers are former chart toppers in previous years.

Winners 51-100 include, for example, Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, which this year is ranked 74th.

That's a long way down from the No. 1 spot it held in 2005, and the No. 2 spot it held five times after that.

The story is similar for other world-renowned restaurants, which likewise enjoyed top billing on the same ranking: In 2003 and 2004, Thomas Keller's flagship restaurant The French Laundry was given the lofty title of world's best restaurant. Today, it's ranked 86th.

Other restaurants which regularly occupied the top 10 or top half of the ranking that have fallen out of favor from the arbiters of The World's 50 Best Restaurants include Tokyo's Florilège (now 59), Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare (69), Spain's Quique Dacosta (68) and DiverXO (96) and Amber in Hong Kong (56).

Meanwhile, Canada managed to land back on the World's 50 Best radar this year after a 15-year absence thanks to Toronto's Alo restaurant (No. 94), where chef Patrick Kriss serves gourmet French fare in a downtown heritage building.

Kriss worked under Daniel Boulud at Daniel in New York and in the kitchens of chef Régis Macron and La Maison Troisgros in France, all giants in French gastronomy.

The last time a Canadian restaurant got a mention was back in 2003 with Eigensinn Farm, about a two hour drive north of Toronto.

More than a definitive ranking of the best dining destinations in the world, pundits regard the ranking as a screengrab that captures the culinary zeitgeist of the moment.

At 51, the highest ranked restaurant on the second half of the list is De Librije in Zwolle, Netherlands.

Winners 1-50 will be announced at a gala event in Bilbao, June 19.

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