2015 Clean Plate Awards

In the eight years since Restaurant Business has published our annual Clean Plate Awards issue, about 100 notable chefs, restaurateurs and industry folks have served as judges.

This year, our ninth panel of judges selects their favorites—those restaurant dishes that literally made them clean their plates. They ate locally and globally, enjoying meals in their hometowns and during their travels around the country and the world. Among their top choices were expert renditions of comfort classics, such as pizza, doughnuts and fried chicken. Also on their lists were regional and ethnic sandwiches, Asian-style seafood preps and platters of shareable bites. Read on to see what dishes made the cut for “best of the best” in 2015.


Read more

Favorite seafood dishes | Favorite finger foods | Reinvented favorites
Wildest picks | Editors’ picks | Winsight staff picks
stan frankenthaler
  • Berkshire Pig Head Carnitas, CBD Provisions, Dallas
     
  • Roasted Marrow Bones, Brasserie Ten Ten, Boulder, Colo.
fabio viviani
  • Seared Diver Scallops, Girl & The Goat, Chicago
     
  • Cubana, Xoco, Chicago
     
  • Momotaro Tartare, Momotaro, Chicago
brad kent
  • Temaki, KazuNori, Los Angeles
     
  • Deconstructed Latte, Indaba Coffee, Spokane, Wash.
     
  • Fried Chicken, Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans
amanda cohen
  • Vegan Chicarrones Locos, El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette, New York City
     
  • Catfish Salad, Lan Larb, New York City
     
  • Doughnuts, Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts, Tannersville, N.Y.
roz mallet
  • Maytag Blue Cheese Potato Chips, Jasper's, Plano, Texas
hugh acheson
  • Brisket Frito Pie, La Barbecue, Austin, Texas
     
  • Smoked Meat Croquettes, Joe Beef, Montreal, Canada
     
  • BBQ Shrimp, W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, Ponce City Market, Atlanta
bruce bromberg
  • Late-Night Seafood, J.Sheekey Restaurant, London
hattie hill
  • Calves Liver with Sauteed Onions, Al Biernat's, Dallas
     
  • Mimi's Fried Chicken, Jasper's, Plano, Texas
     
  • Tortilla Soup, Fearing's Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
chris newcomb
  • Famous Ferdi Special, Mother's Restaurant, New Orleans
     
  • Langoustines, Costa di Mare at the Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas
     
  • Original Cheddar Fries, Snuffer's Restaurant & Bar, Dallas
chazz palminteri
  • Filet Mignon, Empire Steak House, New York City
     
  • Fusilli in Cartoccio, Roberto's Restaurant, Bronx, N.Y.

Once again, we’ve gathered an esteemed panel of industry insiders to name the restaurant dishes they enjoyed most over the last year—the ones that literally made them clean their plates. In 2013, these expert eaters sampled from menus close to home and around the country and the world, discovering new tastes and returning to familiar flavors. They sat down to elaborate tasting menus, visited family-run ethnic eateries and stopped at holes-in-the-wall for a special doughnut or pork bun. While tripe, live spot prawns and sea urchin made it to the top of their lists, simple, everyday fare also scored high. This was a big year for pizza, burgers, tacos and roast chicken. Bowls of comfort, like ramen, matzo ball soup and lobster bisque were favorites, too.  As one panel member stated, “I live and breathe ‘refined cuisine’ ... and a steady diet of culinary perfection … so when I go out, I  enjoy simple, natural and flavorful foods.”

Click here for the full listing of this year's Clean Plate Awards.

Today's top stories

1
In this column, we have previously addressed whether managers and owners can have a share of an employee tip pool, even if they participate in serving guests. The answer is emphatically no, under the...
2
[ View the story "How Wendy's tackles trolls" on Storify ]
3
Providing exclusive consumer trends and insights to enhance your marketing strategy. Powered by Technomic . “Technomic is a Chicago-based consulting and research firm providing a 360° view of the...
4
Despite McDonald’s sales and traffic challenges, the burger giant remains the best in class in restaurant franchising, according to a just-released ranking of franchised brands. McDonald’s was the...
5
Where’s the beef? With many consumers looking to lower saturated-fat intake and raise fiber consumption while making environmentally conscious purchasing decisions, plant-based proteins are replacing...
6
The parent company of La Madeleine , Bruegger’s Bagels and Mimi’s Cafe has named former Motel 6 chief Olivier Poirot as CEO of its U.S. operations. Groupe Le Duff said Poirot will expand all three of...
7
The views from customers at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse were clear: “The perception of health has shifted from counting calories to adding more nutrient-rich foods,” says Scott Rodriguez, the...
8
It’s one thing to whip up a signature beverage in a brick-and-mortar restaurant, where access to soda lines, water heaters and ample prep and storage space come standard. It’s another when the...
9
You chuckleheads merely have to pledge feats like losing 50 pounds or being nicer to the one-headed dragon known as Significant Other’s mom. Fate has thrust the moonshot upon me of drafting New Year’...
10
Restaurant trends change year to year, but one thing remains consistent: Service and hospitality are crucial to consumers. And there’s data to back it up. All five of the top chains in our fourth...