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. Go to www.jamesbeard.org 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.

Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. (http://www.theworlds50best.com/2007_list.html) 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: Baltimore Sun critic Elizabeth Large gives three stars to Middle Eastern/Mediterranean spot Lebanese Taverna (www.lebanesetaverna.com). Large also reports on the opening of Big Kahuna Cantina in Light Street Pavilion in the former Paolo's space, the reopening of Snyder's Deli in Owings Mills, and the expected late-summer Annapolis openings of Lemongrass Thai restaurant and sister fusion eatery Tsunami in the Tack Factory retail complex. ... Large's top 10 seafood joints: The Black Olive in Fells Point, Mama's on the Half Shell in Canton, O'Leary's in Eastport, Mr Bill's Terrace Inn in Essex, Blue Sea Grill, Schultz's in Essex, Robert Oliver Seafood in Mount Vernon, Kali's Court in Fells Point, the uspcale chain Oceanaire Seafood Room in Inner Harbor East, and Pisces in the downtown Hyatt. www.baltimoresun.com ... Pazza Luna Trattoria Italiana is reviewed by the City Paper's Richard Gorelick. www.citypaper.com .. Baltimore magazine (www.baltimoremagazine.net)'s Hannah Feldman reviews Dominicano Internacional Restaurant, the city's only Dominican restaurant. The mag also reports on the expanded Miss Shirley's restaurant on Cold Spring Lane and the addition of S'ghetti Eddie's in its former site down the street, the opening of Glen Burnie eatery MJ Wagner’s Via Mia at 8 N. Crain Highway as well as the February closing of Parkside Restaurant, 2901 E. Baltimore St. ... The Hungover Gourmet (hungovergourmet.blogspot.com) chews on Zack's Hot Dogs.