2012 James Beard Foundation Award Restaurant + Chef Nominees Announced

Congratulations to Chef Mike Anthony of Gramercy Tavern on his James Beard Award nomination!

After nearly a month of hand-wringing, the folks at the James Beard Foundation have released their list of nominees for  the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards, otherwise known as the “Oscars” of the food world. Best wishes to all the nominees who work so hard to wow both diners and their peers every day of the year. Winners will be announced on May 7, 2012. Use the links below to determine your own set of winners. And, remember, you — Yes, you! — can dine at the James Beard House. Learn more, here!

Outstanding Restaurant
Blue Hill, New York, New York
Boulevard, San Francisco, California
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
Vetri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Best New Restaurant
Fiola, Washington, D.C.

Best Chefs: Great Lakes
Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat, Chicago, Illinois
Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago, Illinois
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago, Illinois

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Midwest
Gerard Craft, Niche, St. Louis, Missouri
Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri
Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, Wisconsin
Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, Minnesota

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On Our Plate: Denver Restaurant Week; Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Restaurant Week; Best Service Restaurants in the U.S.; What Matters Most When Dining Out

Executive Chef and owner Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park and his staff have won a 2012 Diners' Choice Award for Best Service.

News in and around OpenTable…

* We’re celebrating the release of the 2012 Diners’ Choice Awards for Top 100 Best Service Restaurants. Winners include Cyrus, Eleven Madison Park, Menton, TRU, and Vetri, among others. Read the full list to find out if your fave made the cut!

The James Beard Foundation has released its list of semi-finalists for nominations in the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards. Final nominees will be announced on March 19, 2012.

* Restaurant Weeks in Buckhead, BurlingtonDenver, Las VegasMinneapolisOrange County, and Sonoma County are on like Donkey Kong. Don’t miss your chance to dine out for less in your city.

* Reservations are now open for additional Winter Restaurant Weeks, such as Atlantic CityCalgaryChicago ChefHudson Valley, and Portsmouth.

* We’re wondering what matters most when you dine out. Chime in on our poll.

And, we’re still hiring! We’re staffing up and looking for talented people to join our team. Check out openings in customer supportengineering, field operations, finance, IT and technical servicesoperations, and sales.

100 Restaurants with the Best Service in the U.S.: 2012 Diners’ Choice Awards

Downton Abbey's footmen wore gloves, but we don't know of many contemporary wait professionals who do.

In recognition of how vital service is to the dining experience, we are pleased to announce the 2012 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the 100 restaurants in the United States providing the best service.  These awards reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Regionally, the honorees span 29 states and Washington, D.C. The South reinforces the notion of southern hospitality, with 22 restaurants in the region being singled out for best service. The Northeast boasts 15 winning restaurants, including 10 in New York alone. The Pacific region accounts for 14 winners, 10 of which are in California, as does the Mid-Atlantic, with six restaurants in Virginia claiming spots. Eleven winners come from the Great Lakes Region, four of which are in the Twin Cities area. The Pacific Northwest and the Southwest follow with seven honorees apiece. The Rocky Mountain States count five winners, while the Central Plains has four, three of which are in Missouri. One restaurant in Hawaii also earned a nod.

Superior service can be found across a number of cuisines. Restaurants serving American food, however, account for 40 winners. French restaurants earned 25 places on the list. Steakhouses followed with 17 spots. Seven Italian restaurants are among the winners. Other cuisines include continental, global international, Japanese, seafood, and sushi.

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the top 100 restaurants providing the best service, which include Bluestem in Kansas City, Daniel in New York, and Uchiko in Austin, are generated from nearly 5 million reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between February 2011 and January 2012.  All restaurants with a minimum number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration.  Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the highest average rating in the service category.

Is your favorite restaurant among the winners? Weigh in here or over on Facebook.