The sound of clinking glasses and congratulations continue on the local food and wine scene. Fresh off the news that four local wineries made Wine Enthusiast magazine's list of the Top 100 wines, The Kitchen and Auburn's Carpe Vino were both ranked in OpenTable's "diner's choice awards" for Top 100 Best Restaurants in the United States. OpenTable, the popular online restaurant reservation system, compiled the list from more than 10 million reviews submitted by OpenTable users over 12,000 restaurants.
The news is doubly sweet for Carpe Vino, which was also ranked in OpenTable's list of the Top 50 restaurant wine lists. Only four restaurants nationally were ranked in both of OpenTable's lists for best wine list and best restaurants, noted Carpe Vino owner Gary Moffat.
Meanwhile, the staff at The Kitchen is also celebrating news that they're being awarded 5 diamonds from AAA, one of the most prestigious ratings in the domestic dining industry. Look for this to be announced formally around the new year.
"We're just so thankful to our customers who've supported us the last 20 years," said Randall Selland, executive chef and restaurateur of the Selland Group. "The Kitchen is actually going stronger today than ever, and that's pretty amazing."
In related news, the job hunt is on for a new executive chef at The Kitchen's sister restaurant, Ella Dining Room & Bar. As reported yesterday, chef Kelly McCown is leaving Ella for a job in Napa wine country. McCown will be at Ella through mid-January, and the restaurant is currently getting deluged with applicants.
"They have some big shoes to fill, but we have some great candidates," said Josh Nelson of The Selland Group. "I'm excited about the prospects of hiring what's coming our way. There's a lot of talent out there."