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Moscow Restaurant White Rabbit Named One of World's Best

Russian restaurant White Rabbit is led by chef Vladimir Mukhin.

Moscow restaurant White Rabbit was named one of the world's top restaurants in new rankings that came out Monday. The eatery, led by chef Vladimir Mukhin, came in 23rd on the list and was also named the highest-ranked new entry on the list.

Judges noted the chef's innovative dishes that combine Russian tradition with global food trends and noted the restaurant's setting featuring 360-degree views of central Moscow.

Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca regained its title as the world's best restaurant on Monday, fending off previous winner Noma, with which it has alternated the top honor in recent years. The Copenhagen restaurant dropped two places to No. 3, knocking chef-owner Rene Redzepi off the top spot he had held last year and for three previous years at the annual fine dining ceremony held in London's Guildhall.

Italy's Osteria Francescana in Modena was the near winner this year, moving up one place to No. 2, while Central in Lima climbed 11 places to settle in at No. 4, pushing New York's Eleven Madison Park to fifth place.

The top 10 was rounded off by Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain, London's Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Narisawa in Tokyo, D.O.M in Sao Paulo and Gaggan in Bangkok.

European restaurants dominated the top 50, taking 18 of the remaining 25 places for popular locations in Spain and France.

Other notable winners include Helene Darroze at her eponymous Paris restaurant and at the Connaught in London, named the world's best female chef, and French chef Daniel Boulud, best known for the New York-based Daniel, who picked up this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards, now in their 14th edition, have become a coveted honor for high-end restaurants around the world, rivaling the longstanding Michelin guides.

But this year's ceremony arrived amid recent criticism over its voting process.

The list, organized by trade publication Restaurant magazine since 2002, is based on the personal experiences of more than 1,000 chefs, restaurateurs and food experts, rather than according to pre-determined criteria.

A French group called Occupy 50 Best launched a petition in protest, accusing organizers of sexism, bias and a lack of transparency in the judging system.

Ahead of the countdown, group editor William Drew said that organizers had brought in consultancy firm Deloitte this year as an independent adjudicator to oversee the voting process.

It was also announced that in 2016, the awards will be held in New York City, the first time it will be staged outside of Britain.

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