It is time now to announce the winners of the 2011 Eater Awards, presented by Patrón Tequila. In over 50 categories spanning thirteen cities, the winners comprise a diverse bunch of the finest and most interesting chefs, operators, and characters in the country. We applaud them. You are hereby instructed to applaud them. So, without further ado—actually, a few quick pre-ambling thoughts....
To recap, Eater's local editors in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Miami nominated candidates for five major local categories: Restaurant of the Year, So Hot Right Now Restaurant, Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, and Best Bathroom. Eater readers then voted to narrow the field to a final three in each category. From that final three, the Eater editorial team chose the winner. Winners were then moved up to a national round to select the best of all the land. In very rare cases, we exercised Rule 17, Sub. 19, which allows for veto of the popular vote. (This rule was used just once in 2010.) In addition to these main stage winners, said Eater editorial team has named worthy winners in more specialized categories, for myriad notable achievements.
Nominees and winners alike will be feted at a party tonight in Manhattan. Those winners that couldn't make it should watch their mail for packages containing cans of Italian peeled tomatoes. And now, without further ado, the winners in Washington, DC. Click through for the full rundown of winners across the country on Eater National.
=== WASHINGTON, DC ===
Chef of the Year, DC
Nominees: José Andrés (Think Food Group), Scott Drewno (The Source), Haidar Karoum (Proof, Estadio), Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley), Cathal Armstrong (Eat Good Food group), Todd Gray (Equinox, Watershed)
Winner: José Andrés (Think Food Group)
Restaurant of the Year, DC
Nominees: Estadio, Palena, The Source, Birch & Barley, Bourbon Steak, Graffiato
Winner: Birch & Barley
Restaurant Bathroom, DC
Nominees: Estadio, Proof, Comet Ping Pong, Mie N Yu, Zola, Lyon Hall
Bartender of the Year, DC
Nominees: Adam Bernbach (Proof), Derek Brown (The Passenger, Columbia Room), Jeff Faile (Fiola), Gina Chersevani (PS 7's), Owen Thomson (Think Food Group), Chantal Tseng (Tabard Inn), Dan Searing (Room 11)
Winner: Jeff Faile (Fiola)
So Hot Right Now, DC
Nominees: Graffiato, Toki Underground, Shake Shack, America Eats Tavern, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace/Black Jack, Fiola, Virtue Feed & Grain
Winner: Toki Underground
Nominees: José Andrés (Think Food Group), Jeff Black (Black Restaurant Group), Michael Landrum (Ray's the Steaks, Ray's Hell Burger, Ray's to the Third), Cathal Armstrong (Eat Good Food group), Michel Richard (Citronelle, Central, Michel), Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo, David Wizenberg (Passion Food Hospitality)
Winner: Jeff Black (Black Restaurant Group)
The Eater Awards 2011 would not be possible not only without presenting sponsor Patrón Tequila but also the event's product sponsors—Seamless, Organic Valley, USA Pears, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Whole Foods, Pat LaFrieda, Forever Cheese, and Sokol Blosser—and participating restaurants—Mission Chinese, Cookshop, Franklin BBQ, Baohaus, flour + water, Beast, Pok Pok, Red Farm, and Marble Lane. We salute them all.