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Sunday, September 26

Gapers Block

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« Birchwood Kitchen Opens with Veggie Delights Hot Doug Drop: Delivering Encased Meats to the Loop »

Event Tue Apr 07 2009

Time Out Chicago's 2009 Eat Out Award Winners

stephanieizard_2009eatoutawards.jpgTime Out Chicago celebrated its annual Eat Out Awards with a cocktail reception and awards ceremony at the Chicago Cultural Center Monday night, and around 150 people showed up to hob nob, sip wine and Goose Island's new Reserve beers (Matilda, Pere Jacques, Juliet and Sofie; the last two happened to be reviewed in this week's issue) and watch "Top Chef" winner Stephanie Izard host and find out who won what.

After an introduction from Izard, during which we learned that the invitation's estimate that her Drunken Goat would open this summer was a little optimistic (she guessed fall of '09 instead), TOC's Editor-in-Chief Frank Sennett and Executive Editor Amy Carr announced the Critics' Picks award winners.

Promo King Award: Rodney Alex of Juicy Wine Co.

Comeback Kid Award: Ryan Poli of Perennial

Urban Oasis Award: Piccolo Sogno's patio

Please Don't Go Award: The Charleston, which is currently up for sale

Best Elbow Rubbing: Duchamp's outdoor communal tables

Best Way to Use Your Noodle: Bill Kim's Urban Belly

Best Revival Act:Marcel Noguier at Café des Architectes

Best Extra Value Meal:The Bristol for its shared plates under $11

Proof that Evolution Exists: The Coffee Studio, whose co-owner Miguel Cano thanked Charles Darwin.

Best Place to Ogle Women: Big Chicks... for its artwork. Owner Michelle Fire said, "The girls are on the wall, the boys are on the floor -- so to speak. Tweet is the place to check out the hot women."

The Bigfoot Award: Lyle Allen at Green City Market, who noted that the market reopens outdoors May 9.

Viagra Award for Staying Power: Club Lago, which plans to reopen in a couple months after a chimney collapsed onto its building March 18, destroying its kitchen and second floor.

The Blog-O You Can Trust Award: The L2O blog

The Most Unpretentious Pretentious Bar: The Whistler

Finally, the Eat Out Awards' first Lifetime Achievement Award went to Henry Bishop, former sommelier for Salpicon, who died earlier this year. His widow accepted on his behalf.

Izard then returned to announce the Readers' Choice winners along with a rotation of Blackbird Chef de Cuisine Mike Sheerin, Hot Chocolate Chef Mindy Segel, Goose Island's Greg Hall, Hot Doug's Doug Sohn, and someone else whose name I missed. (These are not quite in the order they were presented, in part because I didn't keep track of the order and because they were named out of the order they were listed on the schedule.)

Best New Vegetarian: Mana Food Bar

Best Italian: Mia Francesca

Best Brunch: Lula Café

Best Tapas: Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!

Best New Frozen Yogurt: Berry Chill, who promised a "free day" at the shop sometime soon to celebrate.

Best New Middle Eastern: Chickpea

Best New Bar:Angels & Kings

Best Thai: Sticky Rice

Best Corner Tap: Small Bar Logan Square (beating out "Please Don't Go" winner The Charleston)

Best Thin-Crust Pizza: Spacca Napoli

Best Burger: Kuma's, whose owner's entire acceptance speech was, "Metal." And the devil horns.

Best Beer Bar: Hopleaf

Best New Loop Lunch Spot: Epic Burger

Best Barbecue: Smoque

Best New Restaurant: The Publican

Overall, it was an odd and interesting award ceremony. Odd in its choice of categories -- who cares which is the best new frozen yogurt, and which would be considered not new? Interesting in its peek into the demographics of Time Out Chicago, considering the choice of Mia Francesca over such competition as Anteprima, Spiaggia and Terragusto. Francesca's is OK, but its menu is boring and dated in comparison to some of its competitors. It makes me wonder what Time Out's readers would have done if there were an Olive Garden within city limits. OK, that's not fair to Mia Francesca -- they're not that bad. Just boring.

More photos of the event on Flickr.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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