The 2015 Eater Awards — recognizing the top restaurants, bars, and industry players in the food world — were announced yesterday and were celebrated at an event at The Standard High Line in New York's Meatpacking District on Monday night. Cooking at the event were chefs Dennis Bernard (Dove's Luncheonette, Chicago), Tommy Habetz (Bunk Sandwiches, PDX/NYC), Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku (Oiji, New York), John Lewis (Lewis Barbecue, Charleston), Marc Sheehan (Loyal Nine, Boston), Misti Norris (Small Brewpub, Dallas), Melissa Weller (Sadelle's, NYC), and Joe Kindred (Kindred, Davidson, NC). The winners — in categories ranging from chef of the year to best designed restaurant of the year — were announced for each of 24 cities as well as on a national level. Head here to see why they deserved the honors.
Read on to see what went down and who served which dishes, but first a very special thank you to our sponsors: Stella Artois, Verterra, Deep Eddy Vodka, and Royce Chocolates. We'd also like to thank photographer Bryan Sansivero; our Vox Media events, marketing, and product teams; and Santina, Dempsey's, Babu Ji, Russ & Daughter's Cafe, Oddfellows, and Il Laboratorio del Gelato.
- People doubted that brisket could be "life changing," but after sampling meat from John Lewis, everyone was convinced. There were long lines all night for Lewis Barbecue, and anticipation is growing for when the pitmaster moves from pop-ups to brick and mortar in Charleston, SC.
- Tommy Habetz, whose Brooklyn outpost of Portland's Bunk Sandwiches opens today, served salt cod sandwiches and a killer grilled cheese made with brie and peach preserves on thinly sliced pound cake.
- Melissa Weller from NYC's big-deal new bakery Sadelle's debuted a new babka flavor at the event. She also served whitefish sandwiches on giant bagels, dubbed party bagels.
- The trio behind Trois Mec, Trois Familia, and other LA restaurants took home the national award of Empire Builders of the Year. While they weren't at the event, they reposted this picture (that they'd originally taken after not winning at the James Beard Awards) with the hashtag #youbelievedinme.
- Spotted: A few people tucking the sample bottles of green chile barbecue sauce that John Lewis was giving away into their boots. And more than a few Lewis trucker hats were in circulation as the night went on.
- Also served at the Eater Awards this year: charred octopus ceviche and smoked chicken tamal from Dennis Bernard, lamb tartare from Joe Kindred, Misti Norris's bacon, Cape Cod mussels and soused bluefish on brown bread from Marc Sheehan, and a ssam platter and stuffed rice flour crepes called chil jeol pan from the Oiji team.
- It's a toss up between whether the best food mashup of the night was the ice cream float made by putting bourbon pecan ice cream from Lewis Barbecue into a Stella or the ice cream sandwich featuring the same ice cream and Sadelle's babka.
- Best rendition of the night at the karaoke after party: "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls.