Eat & Drink

13 restaurants and bars you should visit in 2016, according to the Jean Banchet Awards

Over the weekend, top Chicago chefs and food influencers gathered for the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It’s kind of like the Oscars for local restaurants and bars. The equivalent of Best Picture is Restaurant of the Year, while the honor of winning Chef of the Year is sort of like taking home the Best Actor or Actress title. 

Fat Rice, The Blanchard, Billy Sunday and Sportsman’s Club were among the winners at this year's ceremony. The complete list, which includes 13 titles, reads like a bucket list of spots you need to visit this year if you haven’t already. Below, the winners for each category and your guide on where to eat and drink in 2016. 

Restaurant of the Year: Fat Rice 
Nominees: El Ideas, Fat Rice, Intro, Parachute

Chef of the Year: Chris Pandel (The Bristol, Balena)
Nominees: Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice), Phillip Foss (El Ideas), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia), Chris Pandel (The Bristol, Balena)

Best New Restaurant: The Blanchard
Nominees: Boeufhaus, The Blanchard, Bom Bolla, Momotaro

Rising Chef of the Year: Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (Parachute)
Nominees: Ashlee Aubin (Salero), Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (Parachute), Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski (Tete Charcuterie), Jason Vaughan (Pub Royale)

Pastry Chef of the Year: Sandra Holl (Floriole)
Nominees: Lisa Bonjour (MK), Meg Galus (Boka), Sandra Holl (Floriole), Chris Teixeira (West Town Bakery)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Tony Quartaro (Formento’s)
Nominees: Dennis Bernard (Dove’s Luncheonette), David Fingerman (Graham Elliot Bistro), Ed Sura (Perennial Virant), Tony Quartaro (Formento’s)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: mfk
Nominees: mfk, Osteria Langhe, The Radler, Three Aces

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year: Kelly Helgesen (Lula Cafe)
Nominees: Angela Diaz (Owen and Engine), Marjorie Easley (The Blanchard), Aya Fukai (formerly of Sixteen), Kelly Helgesen (Lula Cafe)

Best Sommelier: Elizabeth Mendez (Vera)
Nominees: Nathan Adams (Boeufhaus), Jill Gubesch (Topolobampo, Frontera Grill), Elizabeth Mendez (Vera), Steve Morgan (Formento’s)

Best Mixologist: Jacyara De Oliveira (Sportsman’s Club)
Nominees: Jacyara De Oliveira (Sportsman’s Club), Dustin Drankiewicz (The Promontory, Dusek’s, Punch House), Jason Lerner (Masa Azul), Liz Pearce (The Drifter)

Best Restaurant Service: Billy Sunday
Nominees: Boka, Billy Sunday, El Ideas, Formento’s 

Best Restaurant Design: Cherry Circle Room
Nominees: 3 Arts Club, Cherry Circle Room, Fulton Market Kitchen, Swift & Sons

Best Ethnic Restaurant: Birrieria Zaragoza
Nominees: Andy’s Thai Kitchen, Furious Spoon, Shokran, Birrieria Zaragoza

@morgancolsen | mcolsen@redeyechicago.com 

Want to learn how to brew beer or make a craft cocktail? Click here for cocktail classes in Chicago.

Copyright © 2016, RedEye
81°