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Here Are The Standout Restaurants Nominated For The 2018 Jean Banchet Awards

By Stephen Gossett in Food on Nov 1, 2017 5:41PM

The Publican / Facebook

Unimpeachable rule of thumb: If you want good dining advice, ask the locals. That's precisely what the Jean Banchet Awards do, and precisely why we always pay attention to them so studiously each year. The public can nominate selections, and the award panel that chooses winners—annually crowning Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Rising Chef of the Year and a slew of other honors—is made up of Chicago-area food writers and critics.

The marquee matchup is of course Restaurant of the Year. This year's nominees is a murderer's row with plenty of longtime favorites, with much acclaim already among them: Monteverde, The Publican, Sixteen and Vie. Last year, Blackbird won the honor.

The 2018 awards are notable for the first-time inclusion of a Best Bar category. (The Best Alternative Dining category was nixed.) The nominees for top watering hole represent another unenviable choice for the committee: Best Intentions, Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery, Income Tax and Lost Lake.

The Banchet Culinary Achievement Award is going to Katsu and Haruko Imamura, who announced in September that their beloved sushi destination Katsu would shutter in late November.

The awards dinner takes place on Jan. 14 at Six10, in the South Loop. Check out the list of nominations from other categories below.

Chef of the Year
Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde)
Noah Sandoval (Oriole)
John Shields (Smyth and The Loyalist)
Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia, Proxi)

Rising Chef of the Year
Diana Dávila (Mi Tocaya Antojería)
Nick Dostal (Sixteen)
Brian Fisher (Entente)
Sam Plotnick and Don Young (Temporis)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine
Ross Henke (Quiote)
Joel Heseman (The Bristol)
Bill Montagne (Nico Osteria)
Sarah Rinkavage (Lula Cafe, Marisol)

Pastry Chef of the Year
Mari Katsumura (Entente)
Genie Kwon (Oriole)
Greg Mosko (NoMi Kitchen)
Anna Posey (Elske)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year
Kyleen Atonson (Honey’s)
Angelyne Canicosa (Vie)
Maree Rogers (Momotaro)
Evan Sheridan (Sixteen)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant
Le Bouchon
Old Irving Brewing Co.
Osteria Langhe

Best Ethnic Restaurant
HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen
Isla Pilipina
La Chaparrita
Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant

Best New Restaurant

Best Sommelier
Andrew Algren (Cherry Circle Room)
Matty Colston (Parachute)
Jill Gubesch (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Leña Brava, Cruz Blanca, Xoco, Xoco Bistro)
Parag Lalit (Sixteen)

Best Mixologist
Stephanie Andrews (Billy Sunday)
Julieta Campos (The Whistler)
Amit Gilad (GreenRiver)
Joshua Novy (Homestead on the Roof)

Best Restaurant Design
the Albert

Best Service
Cherry Circle Room