The 2020 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Announcing our 2020 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists! Read on for the semifinalists in all categories, from Outstanding Restaurant to Rising Star Chef. We’ll announce the final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as well as the nominees for our Media and Restaurant Design Awards, in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 25. The nominee announcement will begin at 9:00 A.M. ET and will be streamed live (check back soon for details). Nominees will also be announced in real time via our Twitter feed.

The 2020 James Beard Awards presented by Capital One will mark the 30th anniversary of America’s most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors, and other leaders in the food and beverage industry. The 2020 James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 4, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2020 Leadership Awards will be held on Sunday, May 3 in Chicago, and the 2020 Media Awards will take place on Friday, April 24, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Tickets to both the Awards Gala and the Media Awards will be on sale beginning March 25 at

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Here Are the 2020 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists

By Nikita Richardson

This morning, the James Beard Foundation shared the list of semifinalists for the 30th annual James Beard Awards, highlighting some of the most talented, creative, and accomplished people working in food throughout the United States.

Last year, the foundation announced the biggest shake-up to the regional Best Chef categories since 2007, and this is the first year it will be in effect. California and Texas are now their own regions; Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington State have been combined into a new “Northwest & Pacific” region; Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are now part of a new “Mountain” region; and New York City, once its own category, has now been combined with the rest of New York to form the “New York State” region.

Still, New York City is well-represented among this year’s nominees, with Sam Yoo’s Golden Diner making the Best New Restaurant nominees list; Existing Conditions and Brooklyn’s Leyenda making the cut for Outstanding Bar Program; and SriPraPhai landing among the Outstanding Restaurant nominees. Tune in on March 25 when the semifinalists list is narrowed down to this year’s finalists, and see who wins when the awards take place in Chicago on May 4.

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Robbie Felice, Viaggio Ristorante, Wayne, NJ

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NJ’s top chefs to be featured in gourmet tasting event to benefit Eva’s Village

Esther Davidowitz, North Jersey Record

A dozen top New Jersey chefs will showcase their specialties at a gourmet tasting event Sept. 16 at Battello, chef Ryan DePersio’s modern Italian restaurant that sits on the Hudson River offering heart-stopping views of the Manhattan skyline.

All proceeds will benefit Eva’s Village, the Paterson-based nonprofit organization that provides care and support for people struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness and addiction.

Eva’s Village also has a culinary school, launched five years ago, that offers job training and placement for underserved members of the community, including graduates from Eva’s addiction recovery program.

Full Article Here…

The 30 Best Restaurants in New Jersey 2019 | NJ Monthly

The Garden State’s dining scene and chefs are ever more dynamic, adventurous and assured.

By Eric Levin | | July 26, 2019

Robbie Felice has a knack for creating dishes that taste even better than they sound, such as a recent tagliatelle with shrimp and corn in a buttery jalapeño pesto. You don’t want to share it, yet you want everyone at the table, maybe even the world, to taste it.

At the same time, he reinvents dishes you think you know, like tricolore salad. The key is the ultrafine slicing of the endive and radicchio and the topping of radicchio cream, hazelnut brittle and a snowdrift of grated ricotta salata. His fried calamari eschews the mainstream marinara, instead imbuing the crispy rings with the flavors of seaside Sorrento—fresh lemon most of all, soothed with butter, sparked with Calabrian chilies and pickled shallots. “It’s one of the dishes that’s made us who we are,” he says.

The bresaola, porchetta and other salumi he and his team laboriously create in house are stellar. At 28, Felice has realized his dream of owning a second restaurant: Osteria Crescendo in Westwood, also on this list.

Riding herd on both places, breaking downsides of meat at a friend’s butcher shop, working out in the gym every day at 6 am, and tearing around on his racing motorcycles when time and weather permit, he has gotten where he is by never taking his foot off the pedal, in any sense. BYO

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These 15 North Jersey dishes will never be taken off the menu

As featured on

If you have ever been to Viaggio in Wayne, you know that there is NOTHING like their Calamari Fritti – lemon butter, pickled shallots, chili.

The guests have said “If they ever take this off the menu, they will chase the Chef with pitchforks”

For most people, it has ruined ever eating Calamari anywhere else for them.

No meal is complete without our Calamari Fritti.

We Are Honored to Make NJ’s 10 Best Dishes of 2018

Need a reason to indulge in a six- to eight-course chef’s tasting at acclaimed restaurant Viaggio? It’s not guaranteed, but if the house-cured Loch Etive ocean trout happens to be on chef/owner Robbie Felice’s Chef’s Bar Menu the night you’re dining there, savor every bite. It’s a small portion of seafood heaven: a silky, smooth, rich-tasting trout that is divine even without its usual dressing of whipped lemon mascarpone and cured egg yolk. This fish can float on its own. Chef’s Bar Menu costs $95.

Original Article Here

Series: A Local’s Guide to North Jersey BYOB Restaurants

By Melissa Beveridge / North Jersey Inmotion

Make no mistake – just because you may be bringing your own bottle of booze, does not mean that the food will not be bringing the flavor. If our list of some of the best North Jersey BYOB restaurants have anything to show you it’s that what they lack with the bar, they make up for in the kitchen – two-fold!

No matter what you’re craving, one of these BYOB restaurants in North Jersey will hit the spot. From Mexican to Italian, seafood and Cuban, there’s nothing left to be desired (except for a trip to the liquor store on your way there). We’ve got award winning chefs, restaurants that have won praises from all over, and of course, our personal favorites.

“Handmade pastas, locally sourced ingredients, and a warm and rustic Italian ambiance, Viaggio Ristorante lives up to hundreds (and counting) of five star reviews. Diners swoon over everything from the excellent service to the seasonal menu, and of course Chef Robbie Felice’s passion for delicious dishes.”

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Viaggio Made The 30 Best Restaurants in New Jersey 2018 List

His fellow chefs have seen this coming; so have his customers, and so have we. Robbie Felice, whom we identified in last year’s Best Restaurants issue as a Talent on the Rise, has arrived. At 27, he has made his 2-year-old restaurant a rewarding journey (viaggio) for those who appreciate the intense care and craft underlying Italian cooking. You can get a tricolore salad at any Italian restaurant; at Viaggio, you get one as detailed as a Verdi quartet. The endive and radicchio are sliced fine, the arugula left uncut. The salad is topped with a radicchio cream, hazelnut brittle, and a blizzard of grated ricotta salata. Equally good is his branzino in parchment with fregola, fried capers and marinated currants. Felice and his team make several salumi and all their pastas from scratch, including a fresh spaghetti that turns that quotidian shape into the toothsome star of an opus featuring tiny shrimp in Meyer lemon butter, shrimp stock and herbs. BYO


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