2018 James Beard Awards: complete list of nominations

March 14, 2018

James Beard Awards

The 2018 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards will take place May 7 at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2018 James Beard Media Awards, which honor those in the media who cover the culinary industry, will take place April 27 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City. For the first time this year, the awards will be streamed live on Twitter.

UPDATE: Carla Hall will host the 2018 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards. Tamron Hall will host the 2018 James Beard Media Awards.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.

2018 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant (Presented by True Refrigeration®)
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

The Charter Oak
St. Helena, CA

Empellón Midtown
NYC

Felix Trattoria
Venice, CA

JuneBaby
Seattle

Kismet
Los Angeles

Outstanding Baker (Presented by Taylor Precision Products)
A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Dianna Daoheung
Black Seed Bagels
NYC

Zachary Golper
Bien Cuit
Brooklyn, NY

Maura Kilpatrick
Sofra Bakery and Café
Cambridge, MA

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas
B. Patisserie
San Francisco

Alison Pray
Standard Baking Co.
Portland, ME

Greg Wade
Publican Quality Bread
Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program (Presented by Woodford Reserve Bourbon)
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Anvil Bar & Refuge
Houston

Bar Agricole
San Francisco

Clyde Common
Portland, OR

Cure
New Orleans

Kimball House
Decatur, GA

Trick Dog
San Francisco

Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Ashley Christensen
Poole’s Diner
Raleigh, NC

Gabrielle Hamilton
Prune
NYC

David Kinch
Manresa
Los Gatos, CA

Christopher Kostow
The Restaurant at Meadowood
St. Helena, CA

Donald Link
Herbsaint
New Orleans

Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

Kelly Fields
Willa Jean
New Orleans

Meg Galus
Boka
Chicago

Margarita Manzke
République
Los Angeles

Dolester Miles
Highlands Bar & Grill
Birmingham, AL

Diane Yang
Spoon and Stable
Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Balthazar
NYC

Canlis
Seattle

Frasca Food and Wine
Boulder, CO

Highlands Bar & Grill
Birmingham, AL

Quince
San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz
Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, GT Fish & Oyster, Girl & the Goat, and others)
Chicago

JoAnn Clevenger
Upperline
New Orleans

Ken Oringer
Uni, Little Donkey, Toro, and others
Boston

Caroline Styne
The Lucques Group (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others)
Los Angeles

Ellen Yin
High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson, and others)
Philadelphia

Outstanding Service 
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.

Boka
Chicago

Saison
San Francisco

Zahav
Philadelphia

Zingerman’s Delicatessen
Ann Arbor, MI

Zuni Café
San Francisco

Outstanding Wine Program (Presented by Robert Mondavi Winery)
A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

a.o.c.
Los Angeles

Bacchanal
New Orleans

Benu
San Francisco

FIG
Charleston, SC

The Little Nell
Aspen, CO

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional 
A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Cathy Corison
Corison Winery
St. Helena, CA

Diane Flynt
Foggy Ridge Cider
Dugspur, VA

Miljenko Grgich
Grgich Hills Estate
Rutherford, CA

Steve Matthiasson
Matthiasson Wines
Napa, CA

Lance Winters
St. George Spirits
Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Camille Cogswell
Zahav
Philadelphia

Clare de Boer
King
NYC

Sarah Rinkavage
Marisol
Chicago

Miles Thompson
Michael’s
Santa Monica, CA

Kevin Tien
Himitsu
Washington, D.C.

Best Chefs in America
Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Andrew Brochu
Roister
Chicago

Abraham Conlon
Fat Rice
Chicago

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark
Parachute
Chicago

David Posey and Anna Posey
Elske
Chicago

Lee Wolen
Boka
Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Amy Brandwein
Centrolina
Washington, D.C.

Tom Cunanan
Bad Saint
Washington, D.C.

Rich Landau
Vedge
Philadelphia

Jeremiah Langhorne
The Dabney
Washington, D.C.

Cindy Wolf
Charleston
Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Karen Bell
Bavette La Boucherie
Milwaukee

Steven Brown
Tilia
Minneapolis

Justin Carlisle
Ardent
Milwaukee

Gavin Kaysen
Spoon and Stable
Minneapolis

Ann Kim
Young Joni
Minneapolis

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Amanda Cohen
Dirt Candy

Ignacio Mattos
Estela

Missy Robbins
Lilia
Brooklyn, NY

Alex Stupak
Empellón Midtown

Jody Williams
Buvette Gastrothèque

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)
Karen Akunowicz
Myers + Chang
Boston

Tiffani Faison
Tiger Mama
Boston

Tony Messina
Uni
Boston

Cassie Piuma
Sarma
Somerville, MA

Benjamin Sukle
Oberlin
Providence

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Edouardo Jordan
Salare
Seattle

Katy Millard
Coquine
Portland, OR

Bonnie Morales
Kachka
Portland, OR

Justin Woodward
Castagna
Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi
Joule
Seattle

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
Vishwesh Bhatt
Snackbar
Oxford, MS

Nina Compton
Compère Lapin
New Orleans

Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique
San Juan, PR

Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus
Coquette
New Orleans

Brad Kilgore
Alter
Miami

Slade Rushing
Brennan’s
New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Mashama Bailey
The Grey
Savannah, GA

Katie Button
Nightbell
Asheville, NC

Cassidee Dabney
The Barn at Blackberry Farm
Walland, TN

Rodney Scott
Rodney Scott’s BBQ
Charleston, SC

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
Memphis

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)
Michael Fojtasek
Olamaie
Austin

Bryce Gilmore
Barley Swine
Austin

Steve McHugh
Cured
San Antonio

Martín Rios
Restaurant Martín
Santa Fe

Alex Seidel
Mercantile Dining & Provision
Denver

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Michael Cimarusti
Providence
Los Angeles

Dominique Crenn
Atelier Crenn
San Francisco

Jeremy Fox
Rustic Canyon
Santa Monica, CA

Jessica Koslow
Sqirl
Los Angeles

Travis Lett
Gjelina
Venice, CA

2018 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees

These recipients will accept their awards at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 7 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Jody Adams
Chef/Owner, TRADE, Porto, and Saloniki
Boston

Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin
Co-Proprietors, Commander’s Palace
New Orleans

Allison Hooper
Co-Founder, Vermont Creamery
Websterville, VT

Daniel Johnnes
Wine Director, The Dinex Group
New York City, NY

The following honorees will accept their awards at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 7 at Lyric Opera of Chicago

2018 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics (Presented by TABASCO® Sauce)

Sun Wah
Chicago, IL
Owners: Kelly Cheng, Laura Cheng, and Michael Cheng

Galleria Umberto
Boston, MA
Owners: Paul Deuterio and Ralph Deuterio

Los Hernandez
Union Gap, WA
Owner: Felipe Hernandez

El Guero Canelo
Tucson, AZ
Owner: Daniel Contreras

Dong Phuong Bakery
New Orleans, LA
Owner: Linh Tran Garza

2018 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year

José Andrés
Multiple James Beard Award–Winning Chef; Owner, ThinkFoodGroup; Founder, World Central Kitchen

2018 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Paula Wolfert
Multiple James Beard Award–Winning Author

Mario Batali scandal: Celebrity chef steps down from his business and ‘The Chew’ after admitting to sexual harassment

December 11, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

Mario Batali
Mario Batali (Photo courtesy of Intersport)

Mario Batali has become yet another famous and powerful person accused of sexual harassment, resulting in serious damage to his career. Unlike most of the accused, celebrity chef/restaurateur Batali has admitted to the allegations made against him by colleagues and co-workers, some of whom detailed their stories to Eater, a website that covers the restaurant industry. In the wake of these revelations that Eater published on December 11, 2017, Batali has stepped down from his businesses and has left his co-hosting position at ABC’s food-oriented talk show “The Chew.”

According to the stories published by Eater, Batali (who is 57) has a history of harassing women for at least 25 years. The harassment includes unwanted groping of breasts, buttocks and other parts of the body, as well as crude sexual comments in the workplace.  Batali is married with two adult children.

Along with Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich, Batali is a partner in Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, which owns the New York City restaurants Del Posto and Babbo, which each has one Michelin star.  Batali is also a minority shareholder in Eataly USA,  a chain of food halls specializing in Italian cuisine.

Batali had been co-hosting “The Chew” since the show’s premiere in 2011. He also starred in the Food Network show “Molto Mario,” which aired from 1996 to 2004. Batali was previously a sous chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore and a sous chef for the Four Seasons Clift Hotel San Francisco. His education includes studying at Fordham University and Le Cordon Bleu.

Batali released this statement to Eater: “I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.

“I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.

“I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”

Several journalists working on sexual-harassment stories involving the rich and famous have reported that the restaurant industry is one of the worst when it comes to sexual misconduct and degradation, with women usually being the target of the abuse. Batali surely will not be the last celebrity in the industry who will be exposed as a sexual harasser and have a fall from grace because of it.

 

OpenTable names the best U.S. restaurants of 2017

December 6, 2017

OpenTable

The following is a press release from OpenTable:

From impeccable service to one-of-a-kind dining experiences, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), today reveals its 100 Best Restaurants in America list for 2017. The list of the 100 Best Restaurants in America reflects the combined opinions of more than 12 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 26,000 restaurants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

From restaurants with world-renowned chefs to breakthrough newcomers, the complete list showcases a diverse group of restaurants in 24 states and Washington, D.C. California and New York are tied at the top of the list, each boasting 19 winning restaurants, followed by Illinois and Pennsylvania with eight, Washington D.C. with seven and Texas with five. Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, and South Carolina all boast three winners while Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia each have two. Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Washington are also represented.

While American, French, and Italian cuisine proved to be the most popular, there is a growing presence of globally inspired cuisines on the list, including Mediterranean, Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern. The range of cuisines highlighted points to diners’ growing appetites for more exotic flavors and destination-driven offerings.

“While the winning restaurants this year are each distinctive, they all consistently deliver exceptional dishes, impeccable hospitality, and a meal to remember,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “This year’s honorees have risen to the challenge of providing outstanding experiences time and again to a nation of discerning guests.”

The list is generated solely from diner reviews collected between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “overall” category.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2017 according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at https://www.opentable.com/m/best-restaurants-in-america-for-2017/.

2017 100 Best Restaurants in America

1770 HouseEast Hampton, New York
Arethusa al TavoloBantam, Connecticut
Atera New York, New York
Barclay PrimePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Barrique VeniceVenice, California
Bavette’s Chicago, Illinois
Benu San Francisco, California
Bida Manda Restaurant and BarRaleigh, North Carolina
BonesAtlanta, Georgia
BONDSTNew York, New York
BuccanPalm Beach, Florida
Café MonarchScottsdale, Arizona
Cafe ProvencePrairie Village, Kansas
CharlestonBaltimore, Maryland
Charleston GrillCharleston, South Carolina
Chez Billy SudWashington, D.C.
chi SPACCALos Angeles, California
Coppa Boston, Massachusetts
CRUSTMiami, Florida
DanielNew York, New York
Del PostoNew York, New York
Double KnotPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Fishing With DynamiteManhattan Beach, California
FrancesSan Francisco, California
Gabriel KreutherNew York, New York
GeronimoSanta Fe, New Mexico
Girl & the GoatChicago, Illinois
Giulia RestaurantCambridge, Massachusetts
Gramercy TavernNew York, New York
The Grill – The Ritz-Carlton, NaplesNaples, Florida
Halls ChophouseCharleston, South Carolina
Harold BlackWashington, D.C.
Heirloom CafeSan Francisco, California
Hersh’sBaltimore, Maryland
Highlands Bar & GrillBirmingham, Alabama
The Inn at Little WashingtonWashington, Virginia
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Multiple Locations
JUNGSIKNew York, New York
KinshipWashington, D.C.
KoiWest Hollywood, California
Kokkari EstiatorioSan Francisco, California
L’Auberge Chez FrancoisGreat Falls, Virginia
La GrottaAtlanta, Georgia
Lahaina GrillLahaina, Hawaii
L’ArtusiNew York, New York
Le Bilboquet – DallasDallas, Texas
Le CoucouNew York, New York
Le DiplomateWashington, D.C.
Le VallaurisPalm Springs, California
LinwoodsOwings Mills, Maryland
Mama’s Fish HousePaia, Hawaii
Marc ForgioneNew York, New York
Marcel’s by Robert WiedmaierWashington, D.C.
MareaNew York, New York
Market Restaurant and BarDel Mar, California
Mistral – Sherman OaksSherman Oaks, California
The Modern – Bar Room and Dining RoomNew York, New York
Momofuku KoNew York, New York
Neighborhood Services on Lovers LaneDallas, Texas
Orchids at Palm CourtCincinnati, Ohio
Oriole Chicago, Illinois
Parc Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Per SeNew York, New York
The Polo Bar New York, New York
Polo Lounge @ The Beverly Hills HotelBeverly Hills, California
PRESSSt. Helena, California
QuinceSan Francisco, California
Raoul’s New York, New York
RasikaWashington, D.C.
Restaurant LCincinnati, Ohio
Riccardo EnotecaChicago, Illinois
Rich TableSan Francisco, California
RL RestaurantChicago, Illinois
RPM Restaurants –   Locations
Rudy & Paco Restaurant & BarGalveston, Texas
Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Baton RougeBaton Rouge, Louisiana
The Saddle River InnSaddle River, New Jersey
Saint Jacques French CuisineRaleigh, North Carolina
Shinsei RestaurantDallas, Texas
SHU – Sushi House Unico – Bel AirBel Air, California
SottoCincinnati, Ohio
Spinasse Seattle, Washington
St. Francis Winery & VineyardsSanta Rosa, California
Steve & Cookie’s By the BayMargate, New Jersey
Stonehouse at San Ysidro RanchSanta Barbara, California
Sushi Nakazawa – Sushi BarNew York, New York
The Table at Season To TasteCambridge, Massachusetts
Talula’s GardenPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
The Metro Wine Bar & BistroOklahoma City, Oklahoma
ToscanaLos Angeles, California
TownsendPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
True Food Kitchen – ChicagoChicago, Illinois
Uchi – DallasDallas, Texas
UMIAtlanta, Georgia
UplandNew York, New York
Vernick Food & DrinkPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Vetri CucinaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Yvonne’sBoston, Massachusetts
ZahavPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Zero Restaurant + BarCharleston, South Carolina

About OpenTable Restaurant Reviews
Originally launched in November 2008, the OpenTable Reviews program helps diners find restaurants that best fit their dining occasions. Only diners who recently honored an OpenTable reservation are invited to submit restaurant reviews. Visitors to OpenTable can access reviews for thousands of OpenTable restaurant partners across the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK.  The OpenTable Reviews program has generated more than 50 million restaurant reviews by verified diners, establishing OpenTable as one of the largest and most trusted sources for restaurant reviews.

About OpenTable:
OpenTable, part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 24 million diners per month via online reservations across more than 43,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company’s website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated over 1.4 billion diners around the world via online reservations. OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco and has bookable restaurants in more than 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. Restaurants are  available for reservations in Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish languages.

OpenTable, OpenTable.com, OpenTable logos, and other service names are the trademarks of OpenTable, Inc. and/or its affiliates

Orlando attractions and hotels that are scheduled to open in 2018

December 4, 2017

The following is a press release from Visit Orlando:

A big year awaits travelers to Orlando, Theme Park Capital of the World®. Thrilling new attractions will launch guests further and faster than ever, new resorts will feature additions like future-forward “smart rooms” and rooftop lounges for firework-watching, and unique new dining experiences will arrive, ranging from a Master Sommelier’s wine bar to a 100 percent all-vegan deli.

“Every Orlando vacation is unique, with so many attractions and activities for visitors to mix and match, but 2018 will be an exceptional year for experiences that really stand out,” said George Aguel, President and CEO for Visit Orlando. “A great vacation lets you escape from the everyday and experience something new, and there is no shortage of that this coming year, ranging from being immersed in a high-speed car chase with the Fast & Furious to plunging down the world’s tallest river rapid drop.”

Visitors can get continuous updates on new attractions as well as planning tips, tickets and discounts at VisitOrlando.com, the official visitor information source for the destination.

NEW THRILLS

Toy Story Land (Rendering courtesy of Disney)
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open Toy Story Land in summer 2018, featuring two new themed attractions, the “Slinky Dog Dash” roller coaster and “Alien Swirling Saucers.”
Fast & Furious – Supercharged (Rendering courtesy of Universal Orlando)
    • Fast & Furious – Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida will take guests on a high-octane adventure into the world of underground racing, right alongside stars from the Fast & Furious films.
    • A new nighttime show is coming to Universal Studios Florida, replacing Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular-100 Years of Movie Memories. This new lagoon show will feature animated characters, a new storyline, lighting and special effects.
Infinity Falls (Rending courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)
    • Infinity Falls, a new rainforest river rapids ride, is coming to SeaWorld Orlando in summer 2018, featuring the world’s tallest river rapid drop.
Ray Rush at Aquatica (Rendering courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)
    • Ray Rush will provide three new ways to slide, splash and soar at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark. With wild water jets, a colossal water sphere and swoops into giant manta wings, the raft ride is scheduled to debut in spring 2018.
The Great LEGO Race (Rendering courtest of LEGOLAND Florida Resort)
    • The Great Lego Race VR Coaster will debut as the first virtual reality roller coaster designed for children. It will open in place of the Project X roller coaster at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, re-imagined with a new story plus special effects.
LEGO NINJAGO: Master of the 4th Dimension (Image courtesy of LEGOLAND)
    • LEGO NINJAGO – Master of the 4th Dimension will debut Jan. 12, 2018, at the LEGO Showplace Theater at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The new short film combines 3D computer animation with 4D real-world effects, for an amazing new ninja adventure.
Nona Adventure Park
  • Nona Adventure Park will be a new water-sports park featuring an inflatable, floating obstacle course, wakeboarders pulled along by cables and a 60-foot climbing tower with a ropes course. The park is scheduled to open in summer 2018 in the Lake Nona area of Orlando.

NEW HOTELS

Universal’s Aventura Hotel (Rendering courtesy of Universal’s Aventura Hotel)
    • The Delaney Hotel, a 54-room boutique hotel in the Sodo district of downtown Orlando, will offer unique high-tech conveniences for guests such as remote check-in, digital tablet-based concierge services in every room, smart phone room keys and smart TVs. It is expected to open in March 2018.
    • Universal’s Aventura Hotel, a new value property and the sixth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, will feature a 16-story gleaming glass tower with 600 guest rooms, including 13 kids’ suites, and the first-ever rooftop bar and grill on Universal property. It is expected to open in August 2018.
Margaritaville Resort Orlando
    • Margaritaville Resort Orlando, a new waterfront destination resort, will feature 175 rooms, 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes and 300 timeshare units. A new dining and entertainment district is also planned, along with a 12-acre water park, a wellness center, and more. It is expected to open in 2018.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the largest of the six convention hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, is expanding in 2018 with a new 15-story tower of 500 additional rooms, a new rooftop restaurant and lounge atop the tower with panoramic views of nighttime fireworks and new meeting space.

DINING OPTIONS

    • Disney Springs will add even more new dining experiences in 2018 including:
The Edison (Rendering courtesy of Disney)
      • The Edison, themed around a 1920s-era electric company with live entertainment, classic American food and craft cocktails
      • Jaleo, a Spanish Tapas concept by world-renowned Chef Jose Andres
Wine Bar George (Rendering courtesy of Disney)
      • Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, serving Prohibition-era cocktails along with a menu of Roman dishes, all inspired by the true Florida history of rum-running
    • JINYA Ramen Bar, a modern Japanese restaurant featuring authentic ramen along with a variety of tapas dishes, is expected to open in 2018 in the Thornton Park neighborhood of downtown Orlando.
  • Heirloom Deli will open as an all-vegan restaurant in spring of 2018, where everything from drinks to bakery items will be 100 percent plant-based.

The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States and, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area’s leading industry. Visit Orlando is responsible for branding, selling and marketing the Orlando destination worldwide, and serves as the official visitor information source.

Jordan Andino explores after-hours restaurants in ‘Late-Night Eats’

September 12, 2017

Jordan Andino
Jordan Andino (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Cooking Channel:

This fall, Cooking Channel and Chef Jordan Andino take a multi-city road trip to find the best dishes available after-dark in the new thirteen-episode series Late Nite Eats,premiering Thursday, September 28 at 10pm ET/7pm PT.

In each episode, Jordan visits a brand-new city and three exceptional local restaurants that reign supreme in the late-night food scene. Each spot is cooking up something truly spectacular and revolutionizing what it means to eat out long after dark. Jordan meets the passionate chefs behind each location in their kitchen to cook up their signature dishes, mingle with late-night diners and taste their most popular after-hours dishes.

The series kicks off with a visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Jordan hits the streets when the sun sets on Steeltown to uncover the city’s unexpected late night delights. First, he heads to The Yard in Shadyside where they are grilling up more than 29 different kinds of grilled cheese and Jordan tries a breakfast grilled cheese that’s sure to leave egg on his face.  Next, he slays his hunger with their Buffy the Mac Slayer, a sandwich filled with Buffalo chicken and gooey mac ‘n cheese. Then, Jordan heads downtown to Pirata, where he gets a taste of their Caribbean-themed late night menu and the pirate life where Jamaican beef patties and skirt steak tacos make for a flavorful part of the evening’s adventure.   Lastly, it’s a trip to Lawrenceville for some Japanese-style street food at Umami.  Jordan samples mouth-watering Japanese-style fried chicken and caps the night off with a sweet treat – Umami’s bestselling deep-fried mochi ice cream. In subsequent episodes, Jordan visits Montreal, Quebec; Providence, Rhode Island; Vancouver, British Columbia; Portland, Maine; St. Louis, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Tucson, Arizona; Sacramento, California; Oakland, California and Toronto, Ontario.

Chef Jordan Andino gained experience working at restaurants including The French Laundry and Jean Georges.  At 2nd City, Jordan’s Filipino Taqueria in NYC’s West Village, he pulls inspiration from his grandmother’s traditional recipes to introduce New Yorkers to his contemporary take on Filipino cuisine. Jordan was included in Zagat’s “30 Hottest Chef’s Under 30” in 2016.

Viewers can visit CookingChannelTV.com/LateNiteEats for more information and a gallery of behind-the-scenes shots.  Join the conversation on social media using hashtag #LateNiteEats.

Nobu Toronto will include hotel, restaurant, world’s first Nobu Residences

May 31, 2017

Nobu Toronto includes Nobu Residences
Nobu Toronto living room (Rendering courtesy of Nobu Hospitality)

The following is a press release from Nobu Hospitality:

Nobu Hospitality principals renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Academy Award winner Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, principals of Nobu Hospitality, along with principal developer Madison Group unveiled plans for Nobu Residences Toronto at a press conference inside the soon to be open Nobu Residences Toronto Presentation Centre.

Pre-construction sales of the residential units will begin in mid-June, it was announced.

Nobu Toronto, a dynamic project featuring the world’s very first Nobu branded high-rise residences as well as Canada’s first Nobu Hotel and Nobu Restaurant will be located in the heart of the entertainment district, transforming Mercer Street with its landmark design. Nobu Residences Toronto will rise 45 stories above the historic Pilkington Glass Factory with two dramatic residential towers, featuring 660 units with enviable views of Toronto.

“I am very proud to have my name on this building,” said Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. “It will be very special, and we are happy to be in Toronto. We want people to be happy.”

Toronto is a great city,” said Robert De Niro. “I’ve filmed here, I’ve been here for the Film Festival, which is excellent, and I’m looking forward to spending more time here once Nobu Toronto opens.”

Acclaimed Toronto-based Teeple Architects and Studio Munge have created the incomparable residences to feature distinctive amenities that span two floors of the podium level at Nobu Residences Toronto. The outdoor terrace and Nobu Athletic Club are connected by a two-storey glass atrium and anchored by an oculus that cuts through the podium, culminating in an artistic reflecting pond centering the Nobu Athletic Club. The Nobu Athletic Club amenities include a private massage room, yoga studio, spin studio, wet steam, dry sauna, hot tub and cold plunge in addition to state of the art fitness equipment.

In keeping with the Nobu lifestyle, which integrates energized public spaces that offer both excitement and escapism, Nobu Residences Toronto will feature Nobu Villas. The villas are highly designed private entertaining spaces available exclusively to its residents. Nobu Villas include billiards, fireplaces, a private dining area with chef’s table, the chic Nobu outdoor terrace and four barbeque prep decks.

Nobu Residences Toronto will also feature a private theatrical screening room, conference room, dedicated bicycle elevator with direct access to bicycle storage and a dog spa located in both the east and west residential lobbies.

Nobu is one of the world`s most celebrated luxury hospitality brands renowned for its award-winning “new style” Japanese fusion cuisine and exceptional hotel offerings in the world’s most desirable locales.  Founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, the growing Nobu Hospitality portfolio caters to vibrant international customers, celebrities, tastemakers and powerbrokers.

The exclusive Nobu Hotel Toronto will offer a collection of exceptionally appointed guest suites located atop the west tower, with stunning panoramic views and featuring the best of everything, from distinctive service to energized public spaces.

A cornerstone of the Nobu Hotel and Nobu Residences Toronto is Nobu Restaurant with its approximately 15,000 square foot, two-level restaurant, signature bar lounge, outdoor seating and chic private dining rooms.

“Chef Nobu, Robert De Niro, Meir Teper and everyone at Nobu Hospitality have shown an unwavering commitment and passion for this project,” said Josh Zagdanski, Vice President – High-Rise, Madison Group. “We are so thrilled to bring the Nobu lifestyle to Toronto.”

Those interested in learning more about Nobu Residences Toronto are encouraged to register at NobuResidences.ca and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2017 James Beard Awards: complete list of winners

May 1, 2017

James Beard Awards

The 2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards took place May 1 at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (of “Modern Family” fame) hosted the show. Andrew Zimmern hosted the 2017 James Beard Media Awards, which honor those in the media who cover the culinary industry, took place April 25 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.

*=winner

2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant (Presented by True Refrigeration®)
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

In Situ
San Francisco

Le Coucou*
New York, NY

Olmsted
Brooklyn, NY

Pineapple and Pearls
Washington, D.C.

Tartine Manufactory
San Francisco

Outstanding Baker
A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a baker or pastry chef for at least for five years.

Ken Forkish
Ken’s Artisan Bakery
Portland, OR

Mark Furstenberg*
Bread Furst
Washington, D.C.

Zachary Golper
Bien Cuit
Brooklyn, NY

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas
B. Patisserie
San Francisco

Greg Wade
Publican Quality Bread
Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar*
New Orleans

Bar Agricole
San Francisco

Clyde Common
Portland, OR

Cure
New Orleans

The Dead Rabbit
New York, NY

Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Gabrielle Hamilton
Prune
New York, NY

David Kinch
Manresa
Los Gatos, CA

Christopher Kostow
The Restaurant at Meadowood
St. Helena, CA

Donald Link
Herbsaint
New Orleans

Michael Solomonov*
Zahav
Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence.  Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

Kelly Fields
Willa Jean
New Orleans

Maura Kilpatrick
Oleana
Cambridge, MA

Margarita Manzke
République
Los Angeles

Dolester Miles
Highlands Bar & Grill
Birmingham, AL

Ghaya Oliveira*
Daniel
New York, NY

Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard-bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Must have been in operation ten or more consecutive years.

Frasca Food and Wine
Boulder, CO

Highlands Bar and Grill
Birmingham, AL

Momofuku Noodle Bar
New York, NY

Quince
San Francisco

The Spotted Pig
New York, NY

Topolobampo*
Chicago

Outstanding Restaurateur
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Must have been in the restaurant business for at least ten years. Must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz
Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and others)
Chicago

JoAnn Clevenger
Upperline
New Orleans

Ken Oringer
Uni, Toro, Coppa, and others
Boston

Stephen Starr*
Starr Restaurants (Le Coucou, Serpico, Upland, and others)
Philadelphia

Caroline Styne
The Lucques Group (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others)
Los Angeles

Outstanding Service
A restaurant in operation for five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns*
Pocantico Hills, NY

Galatoire’s Restaurant
New Orleans

Marea
New York, NY

Terra
St. Helena, CA

Zahav
Philadelphia

Outstanding Wine Program (Presented by Robert Mondavi Winery)
A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard-bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

Benu
San Francisco

Canlis*
Seattle

Emeril’s New Orleans

Fig
Charleston, SC

Miller Union
Atlanta

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Sam Calagione*
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton, DE

Diane Flynt
Foggy Ridge Cider
Dugspur, VA

Miljenko Grgich
Grgich Hills Estate
Rutherford, CA

Aldo Sohm
Zalto Glass
New York, NY

Rob Tod
Allagash Brewing Company
Portland, ME

Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Camille Cogswell
Zahav
Philadelphia

Zachary Engel*
Shaya
New Orleans

Matt Rudofker
Momofuku Ssäm Bar
New York, NY

Jenner Tomaska
Next
Chicago

Brady Williams
Canlis
Seattle

Best Chefs in America
Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Abraham Conlon
Fat Rice
Chicago

Sarah Grueneberg*
Monteverde
Chicago

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark
Parachute
Chicago

Lee Wolen
Boka
Chicago

Erling Wu-Bower
Nico Osteria
Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Amy Brandwein
Centrolina
Washington, D.C.

Tom Cunanan
Bad Saint
Washington, D.C.

Rich Landau
Vedge
Philadelphia

Greg Vernick*
Vernick Food & Drink
Philadelphia

Cindy Wolf
Charleston
Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Steven Brown
Tilia
Minneapolis

Justin Carlisle
Ardent
Milwaukee

Jorge Guzman
Brewer’s Table at Surly Brewing Co.
Minneapolis

Kevin Nashan*
Sidney Street Cafe
St. Louis

Kevin Willmann
Farmhaus
St. Louis

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Marco Canora*
Hearth

Anita Lo
Annisa

Ignacio Mattos
Estela

Missy Robbins
Lilia
Brooklyn, NY

Jody Williams
Buvette Gastrothèque

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)
Karen Akunowicz
Myers + Chang
Boston

Cassie Piuma
Sarma
Somerville, MA

Susan Regis
Shepard
Cambridge, MA

Benjamin Sukle
Birch
Providence, RI

Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley
Eventide Oyster Co.
Portland, ME

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton*
Ox
Portland, OR

Edouardo Jordan
Salare
Seattle

Katy Millard
Coquine
Portland, OR

Justin Woodward
Castagna
Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi
Joule
Seattle

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)
Vishwesh Bhatt
Snackbar
Oxford, MS

Nina Compton
Compère Lapin
New Orleans

Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique
San Juan, PR

Slade Rushing
Brennan’s
New Orleans

Rebecca Wilcomb*
Herbsaint
New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
John Fleer
Rhubarb
Asheville, NC

Edward Lee
610 Magnolia
Louisville, KY

Steven Satterfield*
Miller Union
Atlanta

Ryan Smith
Staplehouse
Atlanta

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
Memphis

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)
Bryce Gilmore
Barley Swine
Austin

Steve McHugh
Cured
San Antonio

Hugo Ortega*
Hugo’s
Houston

Steve Redzikowski
Acorn
Denver

Martín Rios
Restaurant Martín
Santa Fe

Jianyun Ye
Mala Sichuan Bistro
Houston

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Michael Cimarusti
Providence
Los Angeles

Dominique Crenn
Atelier Crenn
San Francisco

Jeremy Fox
Rustic Canyon
Santa Monica, CA

Corey Lee*
Benu
San Francisco

Ludo Lefebvre
Trois Mec
Los Angeles

Travis Lett
Gjelina
Venice, CA

The James Beard Foundation is also pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of the Who’s Who award:
Suzanne Goin
Multiple James Beard Award–Winning Chef and Restaurateur, A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern
Los Angeles

Evan Kleiman
Culinarian; Host of KCRW’s Good Food
Santa Monica, CA

Roger Berkowitz
President and CEO, Legal Sea Foods
Boston

Michel Nischan
Multiple James Beard Award–Winning Chef; Founder, President,
and CEO, Wholesome Wave
Bridgeport, CT

Rajat Parr
Domaine de la Cote
Lompoc, California

The 2017 America’s Classics Award Winners (announced in advance of the show)
Bertha’s Kitchen
Charleston, SC
Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney, and Sharon Coakley

Gioia’s Deli
St. Louis
Owner: Alex Donley

La Taqueria
San Francisco
Owner: Miguel Jara

Sahadi’s
Brooklyn, NY
Owners: Christina Sahadi Whelan, and Ron Sahadi

Schultz’s Crab House
Essex, MD
Owners: Karen and Bob McKinney

2017 JBF Humanitarian of the Year
Denise Cerreta
One World Everybody Eats
Salt Lake City

2017 JBF Lifetime Achievement Award
Nora Pouillon
Restaurant Nora
Washington, D.C.

 

Harris Poll’s 2017 EquiTrend Study reveals top restaurant brands of the year

April 19, 2017

The Harris Poll’s 29th annual EquiTrend Study reveals 2017’s strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries, based on consumer response.

Measuring brand health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors—Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration—that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. According to a Harris Poll press release, the brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories.

Here are the top-ranking brands in the restaurant industry:

Burger Restaurant Brand of the Year

Five Guys restaurant

  1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries
  2. In-N-Out Burger
  3. Shake Shack
  4. Wendy’s
  5. Culver’s
  6. Whataburger
  7. McDonald’s
  8. SONIC America’s Drive-In
  9. Smashburger
  10. Steak ‘n Shake
Other Burger Restaurant brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Checkers/Rally’s, DQ Grill & Chill, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, White Castle
 

Casual Dining Restaurant Brand of the Year

  1. The Cheesecake Factory
  2. Texas Roadhouse
  3. Olive Garden Italian Restaurants
  4. Outback Steakhouse
  5. LongHorn Steakhouse
  6. California Pizza Kitchen
  7. IHOP (International House of Pancakes)
  8. Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  9. Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant
  10. Chili’s Grill & Bar
Other Casual Dining Restaurant brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Applebee’s, Bahama Breeze, Bonefish Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny’s, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Red Lobster Seafood Restaurants, Red Robin, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Italian Restaurant, Ruby Tuesday, Shoney’s, TGI Fridays

Chicken Restaurant Brand of the Year

 

  1. Chick-fil-A
  2. Zaxby’s
  3. El Pollo Loco
  4. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Other Chicken Restaurant brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Bojangles’, Boston Market, Church’s Chicken, KFC Restaurants (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

 

Coffee & Quick Service Restaurant Brand of the Year

  1. Starbucks Coffee Shops
  2. Dunkin’ Donuts Stores
  3. Krispy Kreme
  4. Einstein Bros Bagels
Other Coffee & Quick Service Restaurant brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Bruegger’s Bagels, Caribou Coffee Shops, McCafe, Seattle’s Best Coffee Shops, Tim Hortons

 

Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant Brand of the Year

  1. Moe’s Southwest Grill
  2. Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
  3. Taco Bell
Other Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Chipotle Mexican Grill, Del Taco, Qdoba Mexican Grill

 

Ice Cream and FroYo Shop Brand of the Year

  1. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop
  2. Baskin Robbin’s Ice Cream Shop
  3. Cold Stone Creamery
Other Ice Cream and FroYo Shop brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Shop, Red Mango Frozen Yogurt Cafe, TCBY Frozen Yogurt Shop

 

Pizza Chain Brand of the Year

  1. Papa John’s Pizza
  2. Blaze Pizza
  3. Pizza Hut
  4. Marco’s Pizza
Other Pizza Chain brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): CiCi’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza

 

Sandwich Shop Brand of the Year

  1. Subway
  2. Panera Bread
  3. Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  4. Corner Bakery Cafe
Other Sandwich Shop brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Arby’s, Blimpie, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Jimmy John’s, Quiznos

 

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marbella to open in Spain

March 28, 2017

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marbella
Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marbella (Photo courtesy of Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa)

 Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa and Nobu Hospitality are launching the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marbella in southern Spain. Nobu Restaurant Marbella will open in May 2017, while Nobu Hotel Marbella will debut in spring 2018 at the luxurious Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa on the Golden Mile.

The following is an excerpt from a Puente Romano press release:

Nobu Restaurant Marbella, the first Nobu to open in Spain, will sit at the heart of Marbella’s dining scene, joining Puente Romano’s magnetic gastronomic offering of ten individual restaurants including the two-Michelin star Dani Garcia.

The new restaurant will introduce Nobu’s world-renowned cuisine to the resort’s discerning guests. With a fusion of Japanese cooking and Peruvian flavours, the menu will offer a mouth-watering array of signature dishes including Black Cod Miso, Yellowtail Jalapeño and Tiradito, as well as specialty plates inspired by Marbella itself. Nobu’s signature cocktails crafted by master mixologists will be served in the Nobu Bar and terrace, which will encompass a stylish setting with an electric atmosphere adjacent to the restaurant. Envisioned by Jean-Pierre Martel, one of Spain’s most cutting edge interior designers, in collaboration with StudioPCH Malibu, Nobu Restaurant Marbella will balance comfortable simplicity with natural materials and textures, consistent with the recently refurbished resort’s contemporary aesthetic.

Launching in spring 2018, the new Nobu Hotel Marbella will be distinguished by its bespoke Nobu guestroom design and sensual touches across the elegant hotel rooms. Guests can look forward to priority access to the Nobu restaurant, a private swimming pool, and Natura Bisse amenities. Nobu Matsuhisa’s exclusive in-room dining menu will be available around the clock to serve Nobu dishes to guests of Nobu Hotel Marbella who wish to make the most of the flexibility to dine in the privacy of their rooms or at the edge of the private pool.

Overlooking Puente Romano’s energised gastronomic and nightlife epicentre Plaza Village, Nobu Hotel Marbella will be the perfect destination for both business and leisure guests looking for a lifestyle filled with new and exciting experiences from dusk until dawn; the hotel will reinvent the resort experience with a range of spaces to intertwine work and play.

The launch of the new hotel at the Marbella property will also see Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa entirely transformed into an all-suites resort: 184 recently refurbished suites set across 27 beautifully designed Andalusian villas, will offer access to the resort’s famous amenities and Six Senses Spa, as well as the new Nobu experience.

Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa is situated between Marbella and Puerto Banus, just 45 minutes from Malaga airport.

OpenTable names the hottest U.S. restaurants of 2017

March 16, 2017

The Bazaar by José Andrés South Beach
The Bazaar by José Andrés South Beach (Photo courtesy of SBE)

OpenTable, a PriceLine Group-owned website for restaurant reservations  and reviews, has released the results of a year-long analysis of customer reviews of restaurants in the United States. The 100 restaurants that received the highest reviews were named as the Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America for 2017.

According to an OpenTable press release, the results reflect the combined opinions of more than 10 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 25,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, between February 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “hot spot” was selected as a special feature.

Hottest Restaurant Cuisine

American cuisine is the most popular food served at the restaurants on the list, but eateries serving international  meals are well-represented. Restaurants with Asian, Brazilian, Italian, Latin, Mexican and Spanish cuisine also made it on the list.

Hottest Restaurant States

For non-chain restaurants, Florida had 17 on the list, followed by California (15); New York and Ohio (nine each); Arizona and Pennsylvania (seven each); Minnesota (five); Colorado and Tennessee (four each); and Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada and Texas (three each).

Video footage from some of these restaurants are at the end of this article.

Here are OpenTable’s Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America for 2017, in alphabetical order:

4 Bells – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Acorn – Denver, Colorado
The Avenue Steak Tavern – Columbus, Ohio
Barton G. The Restaurant – Multiple Locations
The Bayou – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
The Bazaar by José Andrés South Beach – Miami Beach, Florida
Beat Brasserie (Beat Hotel) – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Beauty & Essex – New York, New York
Besito Mexican – Huntington, New York
Bida Manda Restaurant and Bar – Raleigh, North Carolina
Bistro 821 – Naples, Florida
Blend on the Water – Long Island City, New York
BRAVO Cucina Italiana – Naples, Florida
Broadway by Amar Santana – Laguna Beach, California
Buccan – Palm Beach, Florida
Buddakan NY – New York, New York
Butcher & the Boar – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Café Tu Tu Tango – Orlando, Florida
Campiello – Naples, Florida
Capo Restaurant – South Boston, Massachusetts
Carnivale – Chicago, Illinois
Centro Restaurant – Des Moines, Iowa
Chino Latino – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Continental Naples – Naples, Florida
Culinary Dropout – Multiple Locations
Departure Restaurant and Lounge – Portland, Oregon
Don & Charlie’s – Scottsdale, Arizona
E+O Kitchen – Cincinnati, Ohio
Edmund’s Oast – Charleston, South Carolina
Eight4Nine – Palm Springs, California
El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar – Delray Beach, Florida
Fixe – Austin, Texas
Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar – Memphis, Tennessee
Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Forno Kitchen and Bar – Columbus, Ohio
Girl & the Goat – Chicago, Illinois
Grato – West Palm Beach, Florida
The Greenhouse Tavern – Cleveland, Ohio
The Grey – Savannah, Georgia
.ink – West Hollywood, California
Ironside Fish & Oyster – San Diego, California
Juniper & Ivy – San Diego, California
Kaluz Restaurant – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
La Cuchara – Baltimore, Maryland
Lola-A Michael Symon Restaurant – Cleveland, Ohio
Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mastro’s Ocean Club – Scottsdale, Arizona
Mateo – Durham, North Carolina
Mercantile dining & provision – Denver, Colorado
The Millworks – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
The Mission-Old Town – Scottsdale, Arizona
Mita’s – Cincinnati, Ohio
Morcilla – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nada – Cincinnati, Ohio
The Nest – Indian Wells, California
O-Ku – Atlanta, Georgia
Officine BRERA – Los Angeles, California
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox – Denver, Colorado
The Pearl – Columbus, Ohio
Perch LA – Los Angeles, California
Poros – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Prasino – St. Charles, Missouri
Puckett’s 5th & Church – Nashville, Tennessee
Pump – West Hollywood, California
Raglan Road Irish Pub – Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Red Rooster Harlem – New York, New York
Republic – Detroit, Michigan
Root Down – Denver, Colorado
Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
Selva Grill – Sarasota, Florida
Shore Diner – Sarasota, Florida
The Southern – Nashville, Tennessee
Spoon and Stable – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Steak 44 – Phoenix, Arizona
STK – Multiple Locations
Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill – Germantown, Tennessee
Strip by Strega – Boston, Massachusetts
SumoMaya Mexican-Asian Kitchen – Scottsdale, Arizona
Tao – Multiple Locations
Texas de Brazil – Multiple Locations
Three Muses – New Orleans, Louisiana
Toca Madera – West Hollywood, California
Tony’s of Lexington – Lexington, Kentucky
Toutant – Buffalo, New York
Trio Restaurant – Palm Springs, California
The Tropicale – Palm Springs, California
The Twisted Olive – Green, Ohio
TWO urban licks – Atlanta, Georgia
Uchi – Austin, Texas
Uchiko – Austin, Texas
Ulele – Tampa, Florida
Union 50 – Indianapolis, Indiana
VACA – Costa Mesa, California
Vandal – New York, New York
Vida – Indianapolis, Indiana
Warmdaddy’s – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Whitfield – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
YOLO – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Yoshi’s – Oakland, California
Zahav – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania