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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cleveland restaurants among list of 2008 Beard Award nominees

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 1:35 PM

dante.jpg
Dante Bocuzzi's Dante is up for Best New Restaurant
New York magazine has posted an online copy of the first-round ballot for the 2008 Beard Foundation Awards, and Cleveland has made an impressive showing. Checking in at 23 pages, the lengthy ballot of the nation’s top chefs and restaurants is only a preliminary document, from which Beard-appointed judges will chose a final five nominees in each of 19 categories. Those finalists will be announced on March 24. A winner in each category will be announced on Sunday, June 8, in a New York ceremony that's just like the Oscars, only with a way better dessert bar. If you doubt Cleveland’s growing culinary cred, take a look at rundown of local nominees ... Best Chef – Great Lakes Region: Zack Bruell (Table 45) and Michael Symon (Lola, Lolita). This marks the second consecutive year that Symon has been nominated. He reached the final round in 2007, before losing to Chicago chef Grant Achatz (Alinea). Rising Star Chef (chefs age 30 or younger): Jonathan Sawyer (Bar Cento) and Cory Barrett (Lola). Best New Restaurant: Dante (Valley View) and Table 45 (at the Cleveland Clinic). We’ll have to wait and see if any of our hometown heroes actually makes it to the finals. But damn, these are great days to be a Cleveland foodie. --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.

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