It is time now—drumroll, trumpets, etc.—to announce the winners of the 2012 Eater Awards. In over a dozen categories in 19 cities, the winners comprise a diverse group of the finest and most interesting chefs, operators, and characters in the country. We applaud them. You are hereby instructed to applaud them. So, without further ado—actually, a few quick pre-ambling thoughts...
To recap, Eater's local editors in 19 cities nominated candidates for five major local categories: Restaurant of the Year, So Hot Right Now Restaurant, Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, and Stone Cold Stunner. Eater readers then voted to narrow the field to a final three in each category. From that final three, the Eater editorial team chose the winner. Our Eater National brain trust then got together to decide the national winners for those categories. In addition to these main stage winners, said Eater editorial team has named worthy winners in more specialized categories, for myriad notable achievements.
Nominees and winners alike will be feted at a party tonight in Manhattan. Those winners that couldn't make it should watch their mail for packages containing cans of Italian peeled tomatoes. And now, without further ado, the winners in Denver.
Click through for the full rundown of winners across the country on Eater National.
Eater Awards 2012
Restaurant of the Year
Nominees: Linger, Frasca Food and Wine, ChoLon, the Squeaky Bean, Oak at Fourteenth
Finalists: Linger, Frasca Food and Wine, the Squeaky Bean
Winner: the Squeaky Bean
Chef of the Year:
Nominees: Steve Redzikowski, Max MacKissock, Matt Selby, Hunter Pritchett, Jorel Pierce
Finalists: Max MacKissock, Matt Selby, Hunter Pritchett
Winner: Max MacKissock
So Hot Right Now
Nominees: the Squeaky Bean, Uncle, Williams & Graham, Ace Eat Serve, Oak at Fourteenth
Finalists: the Squeaky Bean, Ace Eat Serve, Oak at Fourteenth
Winner: Oak at Fourteenth
Bartender of the Year
Nominees: Randy Layman, Bryan Dayton, Ryan Conklin, Kevin Burke, Courtney Wilson
Finalists: Randy Layman, Bryan Dayton, Courtney Wilson
Winner: Randy Layman
Stone Cold Stunner
Nominees: Z Cuisine & À Côté, Central Bistro & Bar, Larkburger, the Kitchen Denver, Beatrice & Woodsley
Finalists: Central Bistro & Bar, the Kitchen Denver, Beatrice & Woodsley
Winner: Beatrice & Woodsley
Empire Builder of the Year:Frank Bonanno