The New York restaurant scene is flush with nominations from the James Beard Foundation, the top award in the food world. Mario Batali (Babbo, pictured left), Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern), and Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar & Grill) were all nominated for Outstanding Chef (a national award); Nobu Matsuhisa (Matsuhisa, LA) and Judy Rodgers (Zuni Cafe, San Francisco) are the other two. Chanterelle, Felidia, and La Caravelle were nominated for Outstanding Restaurant (national).

New York made a fierce showing in the Best New Restaurant category with four nominees: 'Cesca, Hearth, Lever House, and wd-50. And, in a nice rarity, a female chef was noted: Allison Vines-Rushing of Jack's Oyster Bar is nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Pastry chef nominees from NY are Karen DeMasco (Craft), Gina DePalma (Babbo), and Bill Yosses (Citarella).

Other Nominees:

Wine Service: Babbo (Wine director: David Lynch), i Trulli (Charles Scicolone), Veritas (Tim Kopec)
Wine and Spirits Professional: Joe Bastianich (Italian Wine Merchants)
Outstanding Service: Eleven Madison Park
Best Chef, NYC: Terrence Brennan (Picholine), Floyd Cardox (Tabla), Andrew Carmellini (Cafe Boulud), David Pasternak (Esca), Tom Valenti (Ouest)
Newspaper Writing with Recipes: Melissa Clark (The New York Times, “A Yak Attack on Beef and Bison," 5/21/03)


Keith McNally and Ian McNally were nominated for best restaurant design with Schiller's Liquor Bar; Schiller's graphic design firm Mucca was also nominated for outstanding restaurant graphics (Mucca got a second nod in graphics for The Standard Downtown, LA). Public got nominated in both restaurant design and graphics as well.

Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar

Congratulations to all the nominees. The mix of new and old, hip and tried-and-true restaurants is a testament to the places dining can be taken in the city. Gothamist notes that it's certainly a big year for the Mario Batali-Joe Bastianich empire: Between Babbo, Esca, and Italian Wine Merchants, they received five nominations. Plus Joe's mom, Lidia Bastianich, owns Felidia. Tom Valenti's two Upper West Side restaurant each received a nomination. And here, here for East Village restaurateurs Jack and Grace Lamb's entry into the big time, with Alison Vines-Rushing's rising chef nominations for Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar.

The James Beard winners will be announced on May 10, 2004.

Gothamist on last year's James Beard winners.