‘The Menu’ Is Being Blamed (And/Or Lauded) For The ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ Shutting Down

There are only 142 restaurants in the world with a coveted three-star rating from Michelin Guide. But even in that rarefied (and pricey) air, there’s one restaurant that stands out above the rest: Noma, which is regularly called the “world’s best restaurant.” If you haven’t been, or if you want to experience the ants-covered shrimp again, better make a reservation now: the Copenhagen, Denmark-based eatery is closing in 2024.

“The decision comes as Noma and many other elite restaurants are facing scrutiny of their treatment of the workers, many of them paid poorly or not at all, who produce and serve these exquisite dishes,” the New York Times reports. “The style of fine dining that Noma helped create and promote around the globe — wildly innovative, labor-intensive and vastly expensive — may be undergoing a sustainability crisis.” Noma chef and founder René Redzepi, who will turn the restaurant into a “full-time food laboratory,” told the Times, “We have to completely rethink the industry. This is simply too hard.”

“It’s unsustainable,” he said of the modern fine-dining model that he helped create. “Financially and emotionally, as an employer and as a human being, it just doesn’t work.”

The timing of Noma’s closure announcement comes less than two weeks after The Menu, a brilliantly-realized satire of the fine-dining industry, was added to HBO Max. This has not gone unnoticed.

You can pay thousands and thousands of dollars to eat at Noma, or you could eat a really good cheeseburger while watching The Menu at home for, like, 20 bucks. I’ll take the burger.

(Via the New York Times)