We attended Time Out Chicago‘s annual award ceremony last night at the Chicago Cultural Center. The evening was filled with unusual awards, odd acceptance speeches, awkward hosting and good beer. While we didn’t agree with a lot of the categories or the outcomes, it was an excellent evening of people watching.
The Time Out editors started by awarding their favorite restaurants through their Critics’ Picks awards:
- Promo King Award – Rodney Alex of Juicy Wine Company
- Comeback Kid Award – Ryan Poli of Perennial
- Urban Oasis Award Piccolo Sogno’s patio
- Please Don’t Go Award – The Charleston
- Best Elbow Rubbing – Duchamp’s
- Best Way to Use Your Noodle – Bill Kim and Urban Belly
- Best Revival Act – Martial Noguier at Café des Architectes
- Best Extra Value Meal – The Bristol from their $11 shared plates
- Proof that Evolution Exists – The Coffee Studio who thanked Darwin for their award.
- Best Place to Ogle Women – Big Chicks
- The Bigfoot Award – Lyle Allen of Green City Market
- Viagra Award for Staying Power – Club Lago
- The Blog-O You Can Trust Award – The L2O blog
- The Most Unpretentious Pretentious Bar – The Whistler, whose owners wore their best farmer’s cap for the ceremony
- Lifetime Achievement – Henry Bishop, late sommelier for Spiaggia. His widow accepted the award on his behalf and shared a charming story about baseball and Burgundy that would’ve been much better if the crowd had stopped hobnobbing long enough to listen.
Stephanie Izard declared Chicago to be “the food world of the country”, and then helped pass out the Reader’s Choice awards:
- Best New Vegetarian – Mana Food Bar
- Best Italian – Mia Francesca. Really? I mean, c’mon, really?
- Best Brunch – Lula Café
- Best Tapas – Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! Again, really?
- Best New Frozen Yogurt – Berry Chill
- Best New Middle Eastern – Chickpea
- Best New Bar – Angels & Kings
- Best Thai – Sticky Rice
- Best Corner Tap – Small Bar Logan Square
- Best Thin-Crust Pizza – Spacca Napoli
- Best Burger – Kuma’s – The owner’s acceptance speech was “Metal” and then he walked off. Excellent. We love Kuma’s so much.
- Best Beer Bar – Hopleaf
- Best New Loop Lunch Spot – Epic Burger who suffered from Kuma-envy in their acceptance speech, “we have good burger’s too”.
- Best Barbecue – Smoque
- Best New Restaurant – The Publican
More coverage here: