It is time now—drumroll, trumpets, etc.—to announce the winners of the 2012 Eater Awards. In over a dozen categories in 18 cities and the state of Maine, 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 18 cities and the state of Maine 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 Maine.
Click through for the full rundown of winners across the country on Eater National.
Eater Awards 2012
Restaurant of the Year
Nominees: Eventide Oyster Co., Portland; Petite Jacqueline, Portland; Miyake, Portland; Carmen at The Danforth, Portland; Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport
Finalists: Eventide Oyster Co.; Carmen at the Danforth; Petite Jacqueline
Winner: Carmen at The Danforth
Chef of the Year:
Nominees: Carmen Gonzalez, Carmen at The Danforth, Portland; Brian Hill, Francine Bistro and Shepherd's Pie, Rockland; Cara Stadler, Tao, Brunswick; Masa Miyake, Miyake and Pai Men Miyake, Portland; Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley, Hugo's and Eventide Oyster Co., Portland
Finalists: Carmen Gonzalez; Cara Stadler; Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley
Winner: Cara Stadler
So Hot Right Now
Nominees: Eventide Oyster Co., Portland; Tao, Brunswick; Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport; Mache Bistro, Bar Harbor; Black Birch, Kittery
Finalists: Eventide Oyster Co.; Tao; Earth at Hidden Pond
Winner: Eventide Oyster Co.
Bartender of the Year
Nominees: Guy Streitburger, Gingko Blue; Roxanne Dragon; Hugo's; Christina Klein, Sonny's; John Myers, The Grill Room (all in Portland)
Finalists: Guy Streitburger, Roxanne Dragon, John Myers
Winner: Guy Streitburger
Stone Cold Stunner
Nominees: Grace, Portland; Carmen at The Danforth, Portland; Natalie's, Camden; Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport; Arrows, Ogunquit
Finalists: Grace; Carmen at The Danforth; Earth at Hidden Pond
Winner: Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, Otto