Winners were announced today in the 2017 Restaurant Spotlight Awards. The Restaurant Spotlight Awards showcase and recognize those in the restaurant industry that serve the highest quality food, place their patrons first, and use innovative approaches to continually deliver the best customer service. The awards were open to any restaurant in New York State, including bars, food trucks, and other food venues (except for nationwide chains).
Winners and finalists in the 2017 Restaurant Spotlight Awards are as follows:
The Executive Award
This award recognizes the owner/operator who goes above and beyond their duties in managing their restaurant(s) and support staff.
- Winner: Congratulations to the winner in this category, Jon Eisen of , a Manhattan-based chain of restaurants that provides locally-sourced food.
- Finalist: Karl Franz Williams of Solomon and Kuff Rum Hall, a pan-Caribbean fusion restaurant and rum bar in West Harlem.
The Restaurant of the Year Award
The best restaurant in the State of New York is selected based on several criteria ranging from service and food to their use of technology to improve customer service.
- Winner: Congratulations to Chestnut Ridge-based, , a restaurant offering modern twists on traditional southern dishes, barbecue, specialty cocktails, and an impressive selection of American whiskeys. Southbound BBQ captures the essence of Southern comfort, hospitality, cuisine, and libations.
The Rising Star Award
This award recognizes a restaurant that has been operating for less than a year, and has demonstrated significant success during their short time in business.
- Winner: Congratulations to Manhattan-based , a Greek-focused Mediterranean restaurant that opened in January 2017, for taking home this judge's choice award.
The esteemed panel of judges in the Restaurant Spotlight Awards included Pat LaFrieda, the third generation owner and CEO of NY-based Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, and Damien L. Duchamp, a full time instructor and department head at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn. Both these judges have a strong connection to the restaurant industry, and are also frequent diners with a keen eye for great service, excellent food, and other traits that were evaluated to determine the best of the best in New York's restaurant industry.
The Restaurant Spotlight Awards are presented in partnership with Edible and TouchBistro. Edible events, print publications, and digital and social channels celebrate food and drink culture season by season, community by community. TouchBistro is an iPad point of sale (POS) that helps restaurants increase sales, improve customer experience, and make better business decisions.
Based on a survey of more than 1,000 restaurants throughout North America, there is consensus that restaurants, managers, and serving staff do not receive the recognition they deserve. The Restaurant Spotlight Awards were created to showcase and recognize those in the restaurant industry that deserve to be called the "best of the best". Additional information is available at restaurantspotlightawards.com.
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