Gambit's annual Best of New Orleans awards are so iconic that the alt weekly was able to choose that phrase for its URL, and it's a good thing. The 2012 Awards, chosen by reader vote, were announced in this week's edition, which went live online last night.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is in the Best New Restaurant category. The winner there is Magasin Vietnamese Café, with Borgne and Maurepas Foods coming in second and third respectively. (Root, the best new restaurant as chosen by New Orleans Magazine's editorial team, didn't make the cut.)
While the full list of winners is quite long, a number of the awards are particularly noteworthy:
· Commander's Palace won Best New Orleans (read: Orleans Parish)
· Donald Link's Cajun mecca Cochon won Best Cajun.
· Domenica, led by chef Alon Shaya, won Best Hotel Restaurant
· Five Happiness was named Best Chinese
· Beating out Jacques-Imo's and Galatoire's, the iconic Dooky Chase won Best Creole
· Chiba, Yuki Izakaya and Horinoya got shout outs as Editor's Picks for Japanese food
· By some happy circumstance, Superior Grill was not named Best Mexican again; that award deservedly went to El Gato Negro
· Willie Mae's Scotch House was voted as the Best Soul Food
· Magasin may be the Best New Restaurant, but Pho Tau Bay was named Best Vietnamese
· Cure was named Best Bar for Craft Cocktails, beating out Bar Tonique and Cure's younger sibling Bellocq
· The blog Blackened Out, led by the power team of Peter Thriffiley Jr and Rene Louapre, was named the Best Local Blog
· Best of New Orleans: And the Winners Are... [Gambit]