Our colleagues at MenuPages spoke to several Beard-nominated chefs leading up to tonights awards ceremony. We were most interested in where they were eating. Their tastes vary, though we advise Paul Liebrandt and Gabrielle Hamilton to order some extra inventory. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter feed for real-time coverage of tonight's event.
Jeff Benjamin of Philadelphis Vetri, nominated for Outstanding Service: Im excited to see Cesare Casellas Salumeria Rosi, I havent been. Of course if Stephen Starr wins well go to Buddakan for a congratulatory drink with him. Last year we shook off the loss at Morimoto.
Paul Kahan of Chicagos Blackbird, nominated for Outstanding Chef: I really want to go to Momofuku Milk Bar, Im definitely going to go there. Theres a coffee shop on First Avenue and 7th thats a little drip coffee place that I went to a few years ago, and Im going to try to go there every morning. Its an amazing cup of coffee. Im sure Ill spend some time at the bar at Babbo, drink a little wine with Mario thats obligatory. Beyond that Im going to go to Brooklyn and check out some beer places, since the Publican is beer-driven. Spuyten Duyvil for sure, and wherever anyone drags me.
Nate Appleman of San Franciscos A16, nominated for Rising Star Chef: I always look forward to Gramercy Tavern. Its my favorite restaurant. One place I want to try that I havent been to is Motorino.
Mindy Segal of Mindys HotChocolate in Chicago, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef: For sure! Im going to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Im going to Gramercy Tavern, Im going to see my friend Missy [Robbins, former chef di cocina at Spiaggia] at A Voce. Fatty Crab is a not-miss when Im in New York. Frank DeCarlo Frankie is my favorite chef on the planet I never dont go to Peasant. And lots of drinking! I like Employees Only, I like Death & Co. ... Smith & Mills is my favorite place its the cutest thing Ive ever seen. Definitely there. Love the Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel. Its exactly what I love. My apartment looks like that. I love it.
Michael Solomonov of Philadelphias Zahav, nominated for Rising Star Chef: The Momofuku empire is always a good time, and when we were in New York for the Esquire thing, we went to Scarpetta for dinner, which was really, really good. We also went to Fette Sau, which was really good, and Blue Hill. I guess Ive been on a BBQ kick recently. I like the Blue Ribbon Brasserie thing, its pretty cool to get to New York at four in the morning and have to wait for a table then.
Zach Bell of Palm Beachs Caf Boulud, nominated for Best Chef, South: My wife is a pastry chef, so we are going to check out what is going on in that scene. We do always have to satisfy our cravings for great ethnic food Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, and of course a good slice as soon as we can.
Sarah Grueneberg of Chicagos Spiaggia, nominated for Outstanding Service: Last time I was there, I ate at Convivio and it was amazing. I really want to go back, but there are so many places Ive got to go somewhere new. The Blue Ribbon team really does a great job, both the sushi and the brasserie. Our hotel has Blue Ribbon Sushi right in the building, so Ill definitely check that out. Some sushi right off the plane you cant beat it.
Daniel Patterson of San Franciscos Coi, nominated for Best Chef, Pacific: David from Manresa made a reservation at Corton, so Im really excited to eat there [with him]. Im going to go to Le Bernardin; its been about ten years since Ive been there, so Im looking forward to that. And Im going to try to get to Eleven Madison Park, at least for lunch, so I can try a few things.
Douglas Rodriguez of Miami Beachs Ola, nominated for Best Chef, South: I havent made any plans yet. A lot of people want to take me to different places, but I dont have any set plans yet. Every time Im in New York, I eat some Korean food. Korean food is high on the list. Theres a particular one on 36th Street. I dont know the name of it, but its much higher-end than 32nd Street. They serve this frozen beef tartare with a raw quail-egg yolk, sesame oil, diced Asian pear, and fried shallots. Its very unusual, because the beef tenderloin melts in your mouth. After it defrosts in your mouth, you start chewing it. I love that dish.
Nancy Oakes of San Franciscos Boulevard, nominated for Outstanding Restaurant: Im very interested in Corton, so we have reservations there. One thing is that a lot of our obligations are later, and its always been possible to eat late in New York, but thats changed. Not everybodys staying open as late.
Koren Grieveson of Chicago's Avec, nominated for Best Chef, Great Lakes: Id love to go back to Resto, which is great. I love the tete de cochon sandwich and the crispy pigs ear salad. I always love going to Prune thats always a winner. Any of Mario [Batali]s restaurants.
Michael Schwartz of Miamis Michaels Genuine, nominated for Best Chef, South: Were going to go eat in as many restaurants as we can. We have reservations at some restaurants: Corton, Esca, Prune, Minetta Tavern. I cant believe I got a reservation there, actually. But those are the places that we want to check out.
Brian Duncan of Chicagos Bin 36, nominated for Outstanding Wine Service: Im sure were going to Merkato 55 while were in town, also the Spotted Pig, Hearth. Paris Commune is on the list, not sure if well make it or not. Those are just some of them; there are so, so many.