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Izard Scores Big at Time Out Chicago Eat Out Awards; Boka Group Named Restaurateurs of the Year

Rob Katz and Stephanie Izard
Rob Katz and Stephanie Izard

On Monday night, Time Out Chicago held its annual Eat Out Awards ceremony in the Modern Wing at the Art Institute, where the honors started being announced around 8 p.m. by editor in chief Frank Sennett and executive editor Amy Carr; Spiaggia and Terzo Piano chef/partner Tony Mantuano, co-hosted. In total, 30 awards in two sections—Critics' Picks and Readers' Choice—were given out.

Stephanie Izard took home chef of the year while her restaurant, Girl & The Goat, was named best new restaurant. Her partners, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of the Boka Restaurant Group, nabbed the award for restaurateurs of the year, while Scott Harris, who scored that honor from the Tribune earlier this year, took home a lifetime achievement award.

The Readers' Choice awards really seem to be the category that matters the most, including the aforementioned best chef and best new restaurant. The "best new Italian" went to Harris' Davanti Enoteca; Bangers & Lace was named "best new bar;" the "breakout chef of the year" went to Matthew Eversman from Saigon Sisters; and the "best new patio," not surprisingly, went to Big Star.

Other standout awards in the Critics' Picks section included "best excuse to be a locavore" went to WaterShed for its fantastic mix of local spirits and beers; "best change of pace," went to Jeff Pikus for morphing from chef de cuisine at Alinea to making classic French dishes at Maude's Liquor Bar; "best cure for the average brunch" went to Sunday noodles at Takashi; and the "latest reason to be a homosexual," went to the new River North gay bar Downtown Bar & Lounge," which was introduced with a hilarious lead up by Sennett.

During the night, hundreds of people, many food-industry nominees, spread through the hall to sip Champagne and cocktails and food prepared by Mantuano and his staff at Terzo Piano. The crowd snacked on beautiful charcuterie and artisanal cheeses, beef empanadas, seared scallops, mini lamb burgers with goat cheese, grilled shrimp and more. But it was more about the mingling.

Many of Chicago's big-name restaurant and nightlife folk were in the house, including Harris, Jimmy Bannos (Sr. and Jr.), Takashi Yagihashi, Katz and Boehm, Izard, John Hall and Jared Rouben from Goose Island, Ty Fujimura and B.K. Park from Arami, Check! Please creator David Manilow, Todd Stein, Brad Rubin (Eleven City Diner), CelebTV's Kelli Zink and Ryan Poli and Alfredo Sandoval from Tavernita.

And, once again, those sneaky anonymous Time Out food critics, David Tamarkin and Julia Kramer, roamed the party (just like they did at the big Michelin bash last fall). Kramer thought we might out her (which we never would; Eater is classier than that) and said she was supposed to be hanging out in a corner away from the masses. We asked why she was there, to which she replied she could never miss this bash!

One of our favorite moments was when Mantuano, after appearing in a video following the announcement of the Critics' Picks where he was shown walking through the museum, appeared on the landing above the room, changed out of his chef's jacket into a suit jacket just like Mr. Rogers, and descended into the crowd.

Check out the full list of winners:

Readers' Choice winners
· Best New Restaurant - Girl & The Goat
· Best New Bar - Bangers & Lace
· Best New Beverage Program - Sable Kitchen & Bar
· Best Local Coffee Roaster - Intelligentsia
· Chef of the Year - Stephanie Izard
· Breakout Chef of the Year - Matthew Eversman
· Restaurateurs of the Year - Kevin Boehm & Rob Katz
· Best New Bakery - Sprinkles Cupcakes
· Best New Steakhouse - Chicago Cut Steakhouse
· Best Dessert Truck - Flirty Cupcakes
· Best Food Truck - gaztro-wagon
· Best New Pub Grub - Owen & Engine
· Best New Barbecue - Lillie’s Q
· Best New Italian - Davanti Enoteca
· Best New Patio - Big Star

Critics' Picks awards
· The “Extreme Makeover: Integrity Edition” Award - Ba Le
· Best Cure for the Average Brunch - Sunday noodles at Takashi
· Best Change of Pace - Jeff Pikus’s Cooking at Maude’s Liquor Bar
· Best Cheese Course - The goat-cheese-cashew-caramel gelato at Black Dog Gelato
· Best Location for a Murder Mystery - Owen & Engine
· Best Reason to Fly Again - Tortas Frontera
· Best Community Sponsor - Matt Maroni
· Lifetime Achievement Award - Scott Harris
· Best Box Lunch - The Bento Box
· Least Insufferable Food Term of the Year - “Chimney Cake”
· Best Chip Off the Old Block - Ed Marszewski
· Latest Reason to be a Homosexual - Downtown Bar
· Best Late-Night Destination - MingHin Cuisine
· The Sorta-Annual “Proof that Evolution Exists” Award - Caffé Streets
· Best Excuse to Be a Localvore - The all-Midwestern lineup of spirits at WaterShed

· Eat Out Awards [TOC]
· Trib Names Tru's Anthony Martin Chef of the Year [~EChi~]

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