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: Joe Costanzo Jr., former owner of The Primadonna Restaurant, plans to open casual bistro Cafe Costanzo sometime in June 2007, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports. The paper also cites brewery expansion plans of the Church Brew Works (www.churchbrew.com), with two additional tanks to launch two Belgian-style beers, as well as the upcoming launch of sushi bar-Asian fusion restaurant Tamari on Butler Street sometime in the next few months. pittsburgh.bizjournals.com ... The Post-Gazette's Elizabeth Downer awards three stars to North Side's Acanthus, 604 W. North Ave. And the column Munch stops by Kelly's Riverside Saloon, 1458 Riverside Drive, Bridgewater. www.post-gazette.com ... Pittsburgh City Paper's Angelique Bamber and Jason Roth each give two and a half stars to the Taqueria Cuzamil, 2019 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws. ... The blog eatitandloveit.com takes Steve Sheetz and his sandwich shop Sheetz to task for the "HUGE mistake by getting rid of your veggie subz." ... The blog pittsburghdish.typepad.com drools all over the cupcakes from Food Glorious Food, 5906 Bryant St, Highland Park. ...