Congratulations to Canlis, which finally won a coveted James Beard Award last night for Outstanding Wine Program, an honor 10 nominations in the making. Canlis brothers Brian and Mark and wine and spirits director Nelson Daquip accepted the award Monday night at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.
If you’ve got some time, browse Canlis’ Beard-approved 80-page wine list online. The 67-year-old restaurant was the only Washington winner, rising above Emeril’s New Orleans, Fig in Charleston, Benu in San Francisco, and Miller Union in Atlanta. Check out the rest of the winners at Eater National. (You can also compare the results to Eater’s endorsements and predictions.)
Considered a timeless fixture of the Seattle fine-dining landscape, Canlis has nevertheless come a long way over the past couple of years. As recently as fall 2014, Eater’s national food critic, Bill Addison, lamented the restaurant’s “tame food in a sensational space.” The following year, chef Brady Williams replaced Jason Franey and remade the menu with a seasonally inspired focus, succeeding to such a degree that he was nominated for the Beard’s Rising Star Chef of the Year category this year. (Zachary Engel of New Orleans’ Shaya took home that prize.)
In the regional competition for Best Chef: Northwest — which went to Seattle’s Renee Erickson last year — local heroes Edouardo Jordan (Salare) and Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule) were edged out by Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox in Portland. But there’s always next year.