by Margot Peppers Daily Mail
Shake Shack has been listed among some of America’s finest dining establishments in a new ranking of the country’s best restaurants.
The fast food chain makes for a surprise appearance at number 11 alongside high-profile restaurants such as Le Bernadin in New York (number three) and New Orleans’ Cochon.
The list was topped by The French Laundry in California, with Gramercy Tavern in New York taking second place.
Indeed, restaurants in the Empire State dominated The Daily Meal list, with David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar and Mario Batali’s Babbo making an appearance in the top ten.
Notable exceptions included Girl & the Goat (number nine) and Alinea (number 14), both in Chicago.
The list seems to point to Americans’ growing preference for unique dining experiences.
Manhattan’s WD-50, for example – which comes in at number 32 – is a ‘molecular’ restaurant where they serve up experimental culinary mash-ups such as pho gras, a blend of Vietnemese pho and foie gras.
The imaginative menu here also includes a scientific spin on eggs Benedict, consisting of egg yolk cylinders with a side of crispy cubes of hollandaise sauce.
In fourteenth place is Alinea, an eclectic spot in Chicago where award-winning chef Grant Achatz serves squab that is mysteriously ‘inspired by Miró.’
At Alinea, presentation is just as important as the food itself. The restaurant’s specialty is its dessert art, an impressionist painting of chocolate and fruit that the waiter serves atop a rubber tablecloth.
Xi’An Famous Foods in Queens, New York, serves up genuine Chinese dishes that may scare off unadventurous diners, including its famous ‘spicy and tingly lamb face salad.’
And a large number of the nation’s best restaurants change their menus daily, an indication that Americans enjoy the surprise factor these spots have to offer.
The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California, is number one on the list.