The Oscars of Food NYC Edition: The James Beard Foundation Awards

The James Beard Foundation Awards which were established in 1990 are considered to be the Oscars of the food world. The awards cover all aspects of the industry: chefs and restauranteurs, cookbook authors and food journalists, restaurant designers and architects, and more. The nation’s best places to eat include many New York culinary masters and newcomers! The nominees were chosen from 23,000 entries throughout the country and the winners will be announced at a glamorous gala in May.

Two NYC superstars — Balthazar and Momofuku Noodle Bar — earned a nomination for “Outstanding Restaurant” in the U.S. Only restaurants that have been continuously open for more than 10 years are eligible for the honor. As always, the Queen of Retail is mesmerized by Manhattan so let’s look closely at our local nominees for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Best New Restaurant

Cote, NYC

16 West 22nd St. (b/w 5th & 6th Ave.) New York, NY 10010

In the basement of this sleek, clubby Flatiron restaurant is a Michelin-starred Korean-American steakhouse with an upscale tweak that sets Cote apart. When you walk downstairs, you’ll see a red, glowing “aging vault” filled with cuts of beef. Cote is the Korean word for flower, and it is also the word used to describe a particularly marbled and lovely cut of steak. Offering a true culinary dining experience, each table is outfitted with a Korean barbecue styled grill and your order is brought to your table and grilled to your liking by incredibly knowledgeable chefs. Cote is the New Yorker meat lover’s heaven.

Allen Brothers July 2018 728×90

Empellón Midtown, NYC

510 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10022

This glass-fronted, bi-level restaurant from chef Alex Stupak reels you in with the aroma of masa emerging from the kitchen and tortilleria on the basement level and the spectacle of bold murals in primary colors and contrasting textures in the dining room.

Outstanding Bar Program

Bar Goto, NYC

245 Eldridge Street New York, NY 10002

This Lower East Side spot is a Japanese-style American Bar, offering craft cocktails and comfort Japanese tapas. Set on the ground floor of a century-old tenement building, the drink list is heavily influenced by Japan.

Dante, NYC

79-81 Macdougal Street New York City 10012

Caffe Dante, the 100-year old Italian institution located in Greenwich Village espresso bar, has been rebooted into a charming aperitivo bar. Over the course of the years, community neighbors and celebrities alike frequented this cafe for a piece of Italy. Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Dylan were just a few of the famous faces that passed through. The new Dante really is a love letter to the original. The pictures that line the walls are not only of the original owners, but also highlight the wonderful cast of characters that have passed through these doors. From artists and writers, like Anais Nin and Ernest Hemingway of the Bohemian age, to Robert Maplethorpe and Patti Smith, The new owners have elevated the menu, fusing Australian flavors with traditional Italian cuisine.

Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)

Andrew Carmellini, The Dutch, NYC

131 Sullivan Street New York, NY 10012

Andrew Carmellimi’s American Restaurant, Bar and Oyster Room is located on a prime corner in SoHo. The chef has been in the game for twenty years and has cooked food from all over the world. This hot spot is an innovative take on classic dishes in a retro setting where you can “see and be seen.”

Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC

54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

A nineteen-year old East Village neighborhood fixture, Gabrielle Hamilton has proved that she’s still as relevant as ever. Her American bistro is a delightful shoebox of a restaurant serving a perfectly curated menu of exceptional New American dishes.

Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)

Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, NYC

945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021

Flora Bar takes inspiration from lively, approachable restaurants in New York and Europe, creating an atmosphere of accessibility and fun. Pastry chef, Natasha Pickowicz has earned a reputation for her finely honed seasonal fruit crostatas and is the mastermind behind what some would say is New York’s best sticky bun. The San Diego native relies on natural ingredients such as turmeric, paprika and matcha powder to create colorful icings for a vibrant look. What makes Pickowicz’s pastries so compelling is that they manage to land in the zone where comfort and familiarity are balanced with a novel twist.

Stephanie Prida, The Pool, NYC

The Seagram Building, 99 East 52nd Street New York, NY 10022

The seafood restaurant created by Major Food Group is a landmarked architectural treasure with a celebratory experience. The pastry chef, Stephanie Prida, has a knack for combining flavors that seem to get more interesting as you go along like an intricate combination using grapefruit and green tea and a cucumber parfait.

Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

Balthazar, NYC

80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

The buzzy French brasserie which opened in SoHo in the spring of 1997 is where the leaders and notables of New York have long come to make deals over freshly made croissants. Offering a wide selection of fresh seafood and shellfish, as well as bread and pastries, the legendary restaurant twenty years later, is still one of New York’s essential restaurants.

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

171 First Avenue Btwn 10th + 11th Street  New York, NY 10003

Opened in 2004, this East Village spot was the first Momofuku restaurant which gave chef and founder David Chang culinary superstardom. Since then, he has expanded his innovative comfort cuisine under the umbrella of Momofuku and has been widely credited for popularizing ramen in America, growing into an international brand.

Our great city of New York always has a fairly strong showing of candidates, getting some serious recognition across several categories…looking forward to the James Beard Foundation Awards announcing the winners in May…Happy Dining!

Faith Hope Consolo
Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, writes the "Faithful Food" column for Total Food Service. Ms. Consolo is a leading retail broker and advisor who covers the national market. She is a specialist ranging from fine restaurants to fashionable fast foods. "To find the best retail space, You Need Faith." Email her at fconsolo@elliman.com