Beard Best New Restaurant Lotto
Here's the official explanation of the James Beard Best New Restaurant Award:
"A restaurant opened in 2006 that already displays excellence in food, beverage and service, and is likely to make a significant impact in years to come."
And the nominees are:
A Voce: Chef: Andrew Carmellini, Owner: Marlon Abela, 41 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 212-545-8555. A Voce is a very good restaurant combining Andrew Carmellini's classical training with Daniel Boulud (and others) and his Italian-American roots. I don't know how much of an impact A Voce is going to make in years to come.
Cochon: Chefs/Owners Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski New Orleans, LA. I loved Donald Link's cooking at Herbsaint, and Cochon features a wood-burning oven and pig in many forms. Sounds yummy, doesn't it?
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon: Although Beard Awards are often won by God-like French chefs, I'm hoping that what is essentially the third branch of Atelier (the others are in Paris and Las Vegas) won't win.
Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas: Another superstar French chef opening a high-end restaurant in Las Vegas. Pardon me while I stifle a yawn.
Cut: Wolfgang Puck's Los Angeles steakhouse has gotten generally favorable reviews, but I hope the voters don't reward a great chef for jumping on the steakhouse bandwagon.
Ssam Bar: David Chang's Korean burrito bar turns into what I think will be a restaurant that will turn out to influence a whole generation of chefs seamlessly mixing their roots and classical training to turn out the soulful, future-oriented food of tomorrow.
Who Should Win: David Chang
Who Will Win: David Chang, though look out for Robuchon and Puck.