The James Beard Awards semifinialist list, released yesterday, is a useful tool for assessing who's hot and who's not in the mainstream restaurant world, but it's also just a really, really interesting collection of actual words. If you follow restaurants even a little bit, you've noticed that their names follow patterns, ebbs and flows of ideas, concepts, and lexical constructions. We dove deep into the approximately 450 individual restaurants named in the semifinalist list and pulled out some pretty rad patterns.
Alleia, Alma, Annie Gunn's, Annisa, Aziza, Blanca, Cafe Juanita, Domenica, Estela, Francine Bistro, Giulia, Grace, Laurel, Lilly's, Lucia, Marea, Marta, Maude, Mei Mei, Mirabelle, Nana's, Narcissa, Oleana, Ollie Irene, Restaurant Alma, Talula's Garden*, Trattoria Stella
Abe Fisher, Bar Marco, Cosme, Daniel, Edmund's Oast, Jack Sprat, Leon's Oyster Shop, Marcel's, Marlowe, Måurice, Nico Osteria, Reynard*, Zahav
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Atelier Crenn, Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, Binkley's, Canlis, Carbone, Cindy's Back Street Kitchen, Daniel, Franklin Barbecue, Hugo's, Jennifer James 101, Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q, Joël Robuchon, Jose Enrique, L'Atelier Joël Robuchon, Mateo, Michael Mina, Miyake, Naha, Peter Chang China Café, Pizzeria Bianco, Restaurant Gary Danko, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Restaurant Martín, Restaurant Tallent, Stephan Pyles, Toups' Meatery, Vernick Food & Drink, Vetri, Yono's Restaurant
Animal, Barley Swine, Blackbird, Craftsman and Wolves, Girl & the Goat*, How to Cook a Wolf*, Lazy Bear, Lusca, Odd Duck, Ox, Red Stag Supper Club*, State Bird Provisions, The Dead Rabbit, The Ravenous Pig, The Spotted Pig, The Whale Wins, Trick Dog
Acacia, Bluestem, Bolete, Laurel, Philadelphia, Oak, The Dandelion, The Ivy Inn
Aubergine, Bâtard, Castagna, Chai Pani, Cress, Fat Rice, FIG, Flour, Greens, Hen of the Wood, Herbsaint, Hominy Grill, Honey Salt, Husk, Kanella, Long Grain, Nodoguro, Oxheart, Persimmon, Prune, Quince, Rhubarb, Roe, Salty Tart, Sarma, Semilla, Sepia, Vidalia, Wild Ginger, Zeppoli
"THING & OTHER THING"
Alden & Harlow, Anchovies & Olives*, Butcher and the Rye, Cakes & Ale, Cane & Table, Chef & the Farmer, Cooks and Soldiers, Craftsman and Wolves, Girl & the Goat*, GT Fish & Oyster*, Marlow & Sons*, Olive & Ivy*, Orsa & Winston, Spoon and Stable, Staple & Fancy*, The Pig & the Lady, Work & Class
The Alley Light, The American Restaurant, The Bachelor Farmer, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, The Bombay Club*, The Cecil, The Dandelion*, The Dead Rabbit, The Flaky Tart, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., The French Press, The General Muir, The Grey, The Grey Plume, The Hawthorne, The Hive, The Macintosh, The Optimist*, The Other Room, The Oval Room*, The Pass, The Patterson House, The Progress, The Publican*, The Ravenous Pig, The Refinery, The Rookery Cafe, The Roosevelt, The Rusty Spoon, The Spotted Pig, The Varnish, The Violet Hour
SINGLE-WORD ABSTRACT CONCEPTS OR VERBS
Animal, Ardent, Bacchanalia, Baked, Braise, Canon, Congress, Cure, Departure, Elements, Eleven*, Forage, Forequarter, Fruition, Gunshow, Heyday, Indigenous, Jaleo, Joule, Meritage, Moxy, Niche, Press, Proof, Providence, Recess, Ripple, Sixteen, Town
GRAMMATICALLY COMPLETE MULTI-WORD PARSEABLE SENTENCES
One Flew South, Take Root, The Whale Wins
*Indicates restaurants that were named as representatives of a restaurateur or hospitality group, but may not have been individually nominated