It is time now—drumroll, trumpets, etc.—to announce the winners of the 2012 Eater Awards. In over a dozen categories in 19 cities, the winners comprise a diverse group of the finest and most interesting chefs, operators, and characters in the country. We applaud them. You are hereby instructed to applaud them. So, without further ado—actually, a few quick pre-ambling thoughts....
To recap, Eater's local editors in 19 cities nominated candidates for five major local categories: Restaurant of the Year, So Hot Right Now Restaurant, Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, and Stone Cold Stunner. Eater readers then voted to narrow the field to a final three in each category. From that final three, the Eater editorial team chose the winner. Our Eater National brain trust then got together to decide the national winners for those categories. In addition to these main stage winners, said Eater editorial team has named worthy winners in more specialized categories, for myriad notable achievements.
Nominees and winners alike will be feted at a party tonight in Manhattan. Those winners that couldn't make it should watch their mail for packages containing cans of Italian peeled tomatoes. And now, without further ado, the winners in Atlanta.
Click through for the full rundown of winners across the country on Eater National.
Eater Awards 2012
Restaurant of the Year
Nominees: Cakes & Ale, Cardamom Hill, Octopus Bar, the Optimist, Table & Main
Finalists: Octopus Bar, the Optimist, Table & Main
Winner: Octopus Bar
Chef of the Year:
Nominees: Drew Belline, Shane Devereux, Adam Evans, Ryan Smith, Tyler Williams
Finalists: Drew Belline, Shane Devereux, Tyler Williams
Winner: Tyler Williams (Abattoir)
So Hot Right Now
Nominees: Bantam & Biddy, Octopus Bar, The Optimist, Proof & Provision, The Spence
Finalists: Octopus Bar, the Optimist, the Spence
Winner: The Optimist
Bartender of the Year
Nominees: Greg Best, Paul Calvert, Navarro Carr, Miles Macquarrie, Nate Shuman
Finalists: Greg Best, Miles Macquarrie, Nate Shuman
Winner: Greg Best
Stone Cold Stunner
Nominees: Abattoir, Kevin Rathbun Steak, Miller Union, The Optimist, The Spence
Finalists: Abattoir, The Optimist, Miller Union/the Spence (tie)
Winner: The Optimist
Most Tragic Closing
Winner: Super Pan