The annual Time Out Chicago Eat Out Awards took place Monday night at the Ravenswood Event Center to announce the winners in two general groupings: Critics' Picks and Readers' Choice. The Critics' Picks tend to have a little more a humorous and creative bent, but still taken quite seriously by the industry, especially the winners. The Reader's Choice, on the other hand, are the awards that really seem to have the most impact as they are selected by the readers, and in this case, 12,652 votes were cast overall.
Next and The Aviary were the big winners of the night with Next taking home the best new restaurant award and exec chef Dave Beran being named breakout chef. The Aviary won best new bar with TOC calling exec chef Craig Schoettler "a master of the obscure known for filling futuristic serving vessels with booze that infuses before your eyes."
The Pump Room was named the best comeback, Roots nabbed the best new pizzeria award, best BYOB went to Goosefoot and the Southern Mac and Cheese Truck got the best food truck. Perennial Virant raised a toast as they got the award for best restaurant cocktails, best new breakfast went to Waffles and Pleasant House Bakery got best cheap eatery.
Tony Hu, the "mayor of Chinatown" and owner of restaurants like Lao Sze Chuan and Lao Hunan, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the TOC food critics: David Tamarkin, Julia Kramer and Heather Shouse. For a full list of winners, pop over to TOC.
Dave Beran [Photo: Erica Gannett/Time Out Chicago]