Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. The talented Maria Hines of Seattle's Tilth, Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez of Seattle's The Harvest Vine, Holly Smith of Kirkland's Cafe Juanita, and John Sundstrom of Seattle's Lark are among the five nominees for Best Chef: Northwest. Go to www.jamesbeard.org for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:
-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hills, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.
Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. (http://www.theworlds50best.com/2007_list.html) Here are the U.S. entries:
The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca. (No. 4)
Per Se, New York City (No. 9)
Jean Georges, New York City (No. 18)
Le Bernardin, New York City (No. 26)
Charlie Trotter's, Chicago (No. 30)
Daniel, New York City (No. 32)
Alinea, Chicago (No. 36)
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Ca. (No. 40)
Masa, New York City (No. 56)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, New York City (No. 64)
Peter Lugar, Brooklyn, NY (No. 69)
Nobu New York, New York City (No. 89)
Gramercy Tavern, New York city (No. 90)
WD-50, New York City (No. 91)
Zuni Café, San Francisco (No. 98)
Alex at Wynn, Las Vegas (No. 100)
IN THE NEWS: The P-I's critic Leslie Kelly gives twos stars in her review of the Spanish joint Gaudi, 3410 N.E. 55th St. Kelly also details and lists participating restaurants in the May dining special Sundays through Thursdays through May, except Mother's Day. Kristin Dizon's Cheap Eats column looks at Bakery Nouveau, 4737 California Ave. S.W., Seattle (bakerynouveau.com) And Kelly pays a visit to Etta's at the Pike Place Market in her always entertaining Whining and Dining blog. www.nwsource.com ... The Times' Karen Johnson reviews Sun Break Café, 22 A Street S.W., Auburn., Providence Cicero gives two and a half stars to Qube, 1901 Second Ave., Seattle (www.quberestaurant.com), while Leigh Haddix's Dining Deals looks at Roti Cuisine of India, 530 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle. www.seattletimes.com ... Seattle Weekly's Mike Seely wrestles with a 72-ounce steak at Wedgwood Broiler, 8230 35th Ave. N.E., Wedgwood . The Weekly's Voracious blog details the just-opened Opal, 2 Boston St., Queen Anne., and the recent closing of Rainbow Grocery on 15th Ave. East in Capitol Hill. www.seattleweekly.com ... The Stranger (www.thestranger.com) searches for Seattle's best cheap Vietnamese sandwich ... West Seattle's Blackbird restaurant is reviewed by the Puget Sound Business Journal. seattle.bizjournals.com ... menuism.com reviews Steelhead Diner.