After eight consecutive years of being nominated in the national Outstanding Restaurant category, San Francisco's own Boulevard finally took home the prize at the James Beard Foundation Awards tonight in New York City. But that was pretty much all there was for a Bay Area showing amongst the winners the four local nominees in the Best Chef: Pacific category split the votes, or something, and the honor this year went to the sole Los Angeles nominee, Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza. Ah well ... they had to throw L.A. a bone at some point, we suppose.
Boulevard co-owner Pat Kuleto said he "almost fell off his chair" when the winner was announced, and he and business partner Nancy Oakes fist-bumped as they accepted their medal. The two opened Boulevard together in 1993, and it's gone on to become one of the most profitable restaurants in the country.
Also, S.F. pastry chef Emily Luccheti was one of five people inducted into the "Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America" along with Dana Cowin of Food & Wine, Mark Bittman, and Grant Achatz.
This means we were once again wrong in our prediction of the regional winner, and now that Boulevard has finally gotten their prize, it's left to Daniel Patterson to be the Susan Lucci of these awards for another year. And, sadly, AQ did not take the Best New Restaurant prize that went, sort of predictably, to Next in Chicago.
Congrats to all the winners, and we promise there'll be some more discussion of all this tomorrow from our friends in New York.
And the James Beard 2012 Winners Are: Daniel Humm, Christina Tosi, Michael Anthony, and More [Grub Street NY]
Boulevard (finally) takes home James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant: ‘I almost fell off my chair’ [Inside Scoop]