Sunday, April 29, 2007

James Beard Awards Await

Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. The talented Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola is among the five nominees for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Go to for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:

-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hill, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.

Playboy magazine's May issue includes its list of America's 10 Best Steakhouses. (Hey, now you can say you really DO read the articles!) Those deemed bunny worthy include:

Bone's in Atlanta.
Keefer's in Chicago
Cresecent City Steaks in New Orleans
Cut in Los Angeles
Bern's in Tampa
Craftsteak in Las Vegas
Grill 23 & Bar in Boston
El Raigon in San Francisco
Red in Cleveland
Sparks in New York City


Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. ( Here are the U.S. entries:

The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca. (No. 4)
Per Se, New York City (No. 9)
Jean Georges, New York City (No. 18)
Le Bernardin, New York City (No. 26)
Charlie Trotter's, Chicago (No. 30)
Daniel, New York City (No. 32)
Alinea, Chicago (No. 36)
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Ca. (No. 40)
Masa, New York City (No. 56)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, New York City (No. 64)
Peter Lugar, Brooklyn, NY (No. 69)
Nobu New York, New York City (No. 89)
Gramercy Tavern, New York City (No. 90)
WD-50, New York City (No. 91)
Zuni Café, San Francisco (No. 98)
Alex at Wynn, Las Vegas (No. 100)

IN THE NEWS: The Plain Dealer's Bill Lubinger reports that popular Cleveland Heights Mexican eatery Que Tal has just finished its first major remodeling since its opening a decade ago. Also, Tannour Mediterranean Cuisine in Peppar Pike has temporarily closed to retool its menu and address service issues. It's due to reopen the end of April, Lubinger reports ... Lubinger also recently detailed the latest change in ownership of Le Oui Oui Cafe, which is to become a French bistro as well as a creperie, and the closing of Mighal Fine Indian Restaurant in Parma Heights. And he reports that any day now the old TGI Friday's/Riverwalk Cafe space in the Powerhouse reopens as the American Contemporary restaurant Cyrus. Read more at ... Cleveland Scene critic Elaine T. Cicora reviews ML the Restaurant, 6725 Chillicothe Road, Bainbridge Township. ( ... Getting the blog treatment at Harvey’s at the Hamptons, 27040 Cedar Road in Beachwood; Nick’s Gyro’s #1, 8764 Mentor Ave., Mentor; and Winking Lizard, 9570 Mentor Ave. Mentor.

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