James Beard Foundation Semifinalists from LA
Best New Restaurant: Chi Spacca, Connie and Ted's, Trois Mec.
Outstanding Chef: Suzanne Goin (Lucques), Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Mozza)
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dahlia Narvaez (Osteria Mozza)
Outstanding Restaurant: Melisse
Outstanding Bar Program: The Varnish, Rivera
Rising Star Chef: Ari Taymor (Alma), Casey Lane (The Tasting Kitchen), Eduardo Ruiz (Corazón y Miel)
Outstanding Wine Program: Spago
Outstanding Service: Lucques, Providence
Outstanding Restaurateur: Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern)
Best Chef West: Josef Centeno (Bäco Mercat), Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec), David LeFevre (MB Post), Niki Nakayama (n/naka), John Rivera Sedlar (Rivera), Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal), Ricardo Zarate (Picca)
"Outstanding Wine Program: Spago "
Says yours truly ( re. my last dinner there Tuesday 2/18 ):
1) All across the board 2.6x pricing.
Krug Clos du Ambonnay, Grand Cru Ambonnay, Blanc des Noir 1998
Market value $1850, listed @ Spago $5000
See page 6 in Spago's list, Item # 3740:
And I cite this extreme case not because I order $5K bottles, but because rigid markup policy all across the board just doesn't make sense; or even worst, reflects an uncaring, unprofessional or ignorant management.
2) Corkage $50 (down from $75, mind you!)
3) Wine director MIA (or AWOL?)
4) Sorry, but a large inventory doesn't translate into "Outstanding Wine Program" in my book.
Finalists were announced today: From the LA Times: It's going to be Suzanne Goin going head-to-head with Nancy Silverton in the outstanding chef category in the James Beard Foundation's annual awards competition.
in addition, Goin's restaurant partner Caroline Styne was nominated for the outstanding restaurateur award and Osteria Mozza's Dahlia Narvaez was nominated for outstanding pastry chef. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal and Son of a Gun and Michael Cimarusti of Providence were nominated for best chef in the West.