Boston FTL - Beard Awards Thread
The James Beard Award semifinalists just came out. Boston didn't fare so well.
Boston restaurants were nominated for some awards they have no chance of being finalists for, let alone winning - like Oleana as outstanding restaurant, Trade as best new restaurant (it's not even best new restaurant in this city), and Jody Adams for outstanding chef. Our restaurants deserve some recognition for other things, though, like L'Espalier for service, Drink for bar program (despite no menu), and Chang and Kilpatrick for Pastry. Barbara Lynch being overlooked for Best Restaurateur seems like an error, especially when the Legal Seafood's d-bag gets attention.
I may be reading into this, but I think the news from the nominations is about how weak Boston is viewed as a food city nationally, something that I don't think is unfair.
Of the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef: Northeast, only 2 (Jamie Bissonnette for Coppa and Tim Cushman for O Ya) are from Boston, and 1 (Jason Bond for Bondir) is from Cambridge. I think that's pretty sad when it's just a New England and Upstate NY award and Boston is far and away the biggest city. I can't say I'm surprised, though. People can say that it's not fair to compare Boston to NYC, Chicago, or LA for food, which I understand, but what about Portland, ME?
Honestly I think you are giving them more credit than they deserve. That Trade is likely not the best restaurant in the city actually has little to do with whether it could become a finalist, and I think that says a lot about the Beard awards...which at this point I feel I can predict without even looking at the list each year. It seems to be largely an insiders' club, and while I don't mean to say that the winners aren't deserving, I do think it tends to be a very predictable, uncreative list that rolls out the usual suspects. It's fun to see who wins and they should be proud, but I never worry too much if a restaurant I like is not nominated. Think how hard it would be to get a table at Strip-T's if Tim Maslow were nominated!!