What They Missed: Restaurants and Cities Snubbed at the James Beard Award Nominations

New restaurants and entire cities (like Indianapolis) were snubbed this year at the James Beard Awards
What They Missed: Restaurants and Cities Snubbed at the James Beard Award Nominations
James Beard Foundation

Sure, not everyone can get nominated, but we were pretty surprised to see that Dirty French was not on the Best New Restaurants list.

The 2015 James Beard award announcements have the food industry buzzing this year, mostly about the actual James Beard Award ceremony, which, for the first time ever, will take place in Chicago. The nominees themselves are earning lots of chatter, too. Some highlights of this morning’s nominations include Michel Nischan, CEO of Wholesome Wave, receiving the Humanitarian Award, and the competitive Outstanding Chef category, which will be a tug of war between chefs Michael Anthony, Sean Brock, Suzanne Goin, Donald Link, and Marc Vetri.

But what about who was snubbed? The biggest category with gaping holes was probably Best New Restaurant. The nominees this year are BâtardCentral ProvisionsCosme, ParachutePetit Trois, The Progress, and Spoon and Stable. Here’s who we were surprised not to see on that list:

Dirty French, New York, N.Y. — The newest restaurant from culinary power team Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi opened in September in the Ludlow Hotel. The New York Times’ Pete Wells gave the restaurant two stars, and the Major Food Group team has a devoted following who have been hooked since the first Parm opened. But Torrisi and Carbone were both nominated for Best Chef this year, so they shouldn’t be too unhappy.  

Gato, New York, N.Y. — Gato has received mixed reviews, but it is the latest culinary adventure from the esteemed Iron Chef Bobby Flay, and Pete Wells did award it two stars and a critics’ pick. But it seems that other restaurants this year “beat Bobby Flay” out of the running for best new restaurant.

Ivan Ramen, New York, N.Y. — We were surprised to see that Ivan Ramen, the newly opened New York City ramen joint from ramen master Ivan Orkin, was slighted this year. The Daily Meal picked Ivan Ramen as the number six ramen restaurant in America, just on the heels of Momofuku. 

Bazaar Meat, Las Vegas, Nev. — José Andrés’ lavish ode to steak and other meats snagged the number two spot on The Daily Meal’s best steakhouses in Las Vegas list. Of course, chef Andrés himself was disappointed with the snub as well.

Knife, Dallas, Texas — From the mind and butcher knife of Top Chef’s John Tesar, this newly opened Texas steakhouse is already a favorite, and The Daily Meal’s Dallas restaurant critics called it a “must-stop” for all meat-lovers. But it just wasn’t meant to be for Tesar this year.

All’onda, New York, N.Y. — The “hip” Venetian restaurant in the West Village that served a special dinner this month inspired by the hip-hop lyrics of Biggie may have gotten two stars each from Pete Wells and The New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo, but it wasn’t enough to snag a Best Restaurant nomination.

On another note, entire cities were snubbed this year. Indianapolis and San Diego received zero nominations across the board (again). San Diego has never won a James Beard award and has not been a finalist for the last several years. The lone Indianapolis nomination in recent years went to St. Elmo Steak House for the America’s Classics awards.

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