Last night some of the city's top chefs joined a gaggle of food media people at Time Out New York's Food & Drink Awards at Le Poisson Rouge. The bash was more relaxed this year — there were no formal announcements or acceptance speeches. It was more like a big cocktail party with some photo ops. For the the readers' choice awards, ABC Kitchen nabbed Best New Restaurant and Dan Kluger took home the Chef of the Year honor. The John Dory Oyster Bar won for Best Comeback, David Chang for Empire Builder of the Year, Dram for Best New Cocktail Bar, and Fatty 'Cue took home the trophy for Best New Brooklyn Restaurant.
A dixieland jazz band from Boardwalk Empire provided the music, there was punch from Dram to keep things lubricated, and there were plenty of fried sweets and treats to go around — the biscuit from Pies & Thighs, chicken and waffles from Brooklyn Star, and bacon donut from ABC Kitchen were the most buzzed-about bites of the night. A few stray observations: pie man Paulie Gee was beaming after his win for Best Pizza (he's also contemplating a Boardwalk-themed dish called the "Gnocci" Thompson), Jean-Georges made a brief cameo to congratulate his crew from ABC Kitchen, the M Wells team had a steady group of well-wishes around them all night, and Ken Friedman was everywhere. As soon as the awards were handed out, most of the cooks and restaurateurs bounced — there was more fun to be had at The John Dory after party uptown. Head to the TONY site for a complete list of this year's winners.
· Food & Drink Awards 2011 [TONY]