Off the Menu Side Dish: 7th Annual Golden Foodie Awards

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Russ Bendel is nominated for Restaurateur of the Year

Voting for the seventh annual Golden Foodie Awards, which takes place Sept. 30 at the Newport Beach Marriott, has ended, and the finalists have been announced. As usual, Newport Beach restaurants are well represented.

For example, in the category Restaurateur of the Year, the three nominees include Russ Bendel, who owns Olea Restaurant in Newport Beach as well as Ironwood in Laguna Hills and Vine in San Clemente.

In the category of Best Dessert Menu, the nominees include Mixed Bakery in Corona del Mar. Elyssa Fournier, the owner and chief baker of Mixed Bakery, has been nominated for Pastry Chef of the Year.

Nominees for Best Service Award are Taco Rosa in Newport Beach, Vine in San Clemente, and The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Newport Beach.

What restaurant or bar serves the best cocktails in Orange County? Nominees include Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar.

The Winery is nominated for Best Wine Program

Best Wine Program is another tough category. Nominees include Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach, The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Newport Beach and Tustin, and Napa Rose in Anaheim. All three deserve to win—although I am partial to The Winery.

Lido Bottle Works in Lido Marina Village has been nominated for Best Beer Program, while Olea has been nominated for Best New Restaurant.

Chicken Schnitzel at Olea, nominated for Best New Restaurant

A Newport Beach restaurant is guaranteed to win the Best Lunch Category, as the nominees are all from Newport: Taco Rosa, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, and Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza.

I’ll report back on the winners in all 17 categories after the awards ceremony on Sept. 30.

Visit goldenfoodieawards.com for more information.

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