2017 Finalists

 

2017 FINALISTS

Uniquely Arizona – Home to some of the oldest documented food traditions, Arizona has a rich culinary past steeped in tradition. We are searching statewide for the restaurants that embrace not only the local food but are staples of the state.

  • Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona
  • Tomaso’s on Camelback
  • Tonto Bar & Grill

Innovative Restaurant Concept – Recognizes a restaurateur or restaurant group who demonstrates that they don’t follow trends; they define them, setting the bar in restaurant operations and the overall customer dining experience.

  • Crujiente Tacos
  • El Panzon y Frida
  • Hash Kitchen

Outstanding Multiple Location Restaurant – Honors a culinary concept with multiple locations, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.

  • Hash Kitchen
  • Postino Wine Café
  • The Capital Grille

Emerging Restaurant of the Year – Honors promising up-and-comers that demonstrate exemplary talent, showcase innovation and have already distinguished themselves as pacesetters in food, beverage and service.

  • Crujiente Tacos
  • Fat Ox
  • Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse

Outstanding Food Truck – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.

  • Frites Street
  • Mustache Pretzels
  • Short Leash Hot Dogs Food Truck

Best Dish: Tacos – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.

  • Casa Añjeo
  • Crujiente Tacos
  • Tacos Chiwas

Restaurant Manager – Recognizes the manager that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and leadership as well as enhancing the overall dining experience.

  • Justin Cohen (Riot Hospitality Group)
  • Nicholas Campisano (The Clever Koi)
  • Pauline Martinez (Char Kitchen + Bar)

Restaurant Employee – Recognizes the front or back of house employee (non-managerial) that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and enhancing the overall dining experience.

  • Garrit Guthrie (Market Street Kitchen)
  • Kevin Lewis (Kai)
  • Sherry Dierauer (Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill)

Premier Cocktail Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their cocktail program.

  • Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
  • Counter Intuitive
  • Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse

Best Cocktail – Raising a glass to the best cocktail made in Arizona. This beverage is an exceptional cocktail that is without a doubt delicious, garnished to perfection while pushing the limits with flavors.

  • Kombucha Cocktail (Farm & Craft)
  • The Drunken Gardener (Market Street Kitchen)
  • The Smoking Cannon (UnderTow)

Premier Beer Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their beer program.

  • Craft 64
  • Federal Pizza
  • TapHouse Kitchen

Best Arizona Beer – Raising a glass to the best beer made in Arizona – from ales to malts, this beer is the best of the best from State 48.

  • Kilt Lifter (Four Peaks Brewing Company)
  • Papago Orange Blossom Ale (Huss Brewing Company)
  • Scottsdale Blonde (Huss Brewing Company)

Premier Wine Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their wine program.

  • FnB Restaurant
  • J&G Steakhouse
  • Postino Wine Café

 Best Arizona Wine – Raising a glass to the best wine made in Arizona – from rose to chardonnay, this wine is the best of the best from State 48.

  • Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
  • Dos Cabezas WineWorks
  • Flying Leap Vineyards

Top Mixologist – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar, constantly raising the bar and setting trends in the beverage scene.

  • Garrit Guthrie (Market Street Kitchen)
  • Keifer Gilbert (Counter Intuitive)
  • Matt Thompson (Riot Hospitality Group)

Best Overall Beverage Program – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable embracing all things beverage – cocktails, spirits, wine and beer.

  • Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
  • Counter Intuitive
  • Market Street Kitchen

Good Neighbor – Recognizes the outstanding community leadership and exceptional devotion to making a difference in our neighborhoods and community at large.

  • Chompie’s Restaurant, Deli, and Bakery
  • Fox Restaurant Concepts
  • Raveen Arora (The Dhaba)

Food Pioneer – Honors a lifetime of outstanding culinary excellence that continues to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of the culinary culture in Arizona.

  • Chef Christopher Gross (Christopher’s & Crush)
  • Chef Jeff Smedstad (Elote Café)
  • Chef Tomaso Maggiore (Tomaso’s on Camelback; Tomaso’s When in Rome)

Top Chef – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.

  • Chef Cullen Campbell (Crudo; Okra Streakhouse & Cocktails)
  • Chef Joey Maggiore (Hash Kitchen)
  • Chef Michael O’Dowd (Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona)