Shoreline and eastern region restaurants did well in the Connecticut Restaurant Association awards ceremonies at Foxwoods Dec. 2, with Grano Arso of Chester taking the title as Restaurant of the Year.
The CRA hosted nearly 700 guests and handed out 16 awards (nominated by a panel of media experts including yours truly and past winners). Winners were chosen by more than 10,000 online public votes.
Regional winners for Restaurant of the Year were Grano Arso in the south region, Present Company of Simsbury in the north, Oyster Club of Mystic in the east and Jesup Hall of Westport in the west. Grano Arso won the overall award over 15 other nominees.
The Chef of the Year award went to Jeff Lizotte from Present Company. Other nominees included Arturo Franco-Camacho of Shell & Bones (New Haven); Joel Gargano, Grano Arso (Chester); Luke Venner, Elm (New Canaan); Joel Viehland, Swyft (Kent) and Ki’Yen Yeung, Tiger Belly Noodle Bar (Granby).
The Restaurant Newcomer of the Year went to Tavern on State in New Haven and the Caterer of the Year went to the good folks at Mercado of Glastonbury. The Server of the Year went to Steve Yung from Restaurant Bricco of West Hartford and the Bartender of the Year went to Moises Ramirez from Ordinary in New Haven. The final voting award of the evening and new for 2019, Pastry Chef/Baker of the Year went to Adam Young from Sift Bake Shop (Mystic).