Skip to main content


Connect with the local beverage industry. Trade news, trends and insights.

CRA Announces 2015 Annual Awards Dinner Honorees

By November 14, 2015Connecticut, Top News

The Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA) holds its annual Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner on Tuesday, December 1, at the Mohegan Sun Ballroom. The event honors many of Connecticut’s restaurants, caterers, chefs, and mixologists. Over 400 people are expected to attend. “It is great that we have the opportunity to bring restaurant leaders from across the state together to celebrate the talent of our local chefs and the achievements of our restaurants,” said CRA Board Chairman, Phil Barnett of the Hartford Restaurant Group.

This year’s Awards Dinner will recognize Dish Restaurant Group as the 2015 Restaurateur of the Year. Dish Restaurant Group owns Dish Restaurant and Sorella in Hartford, and Dish ‘n Dat in Canton. The CRA will also be honoring Ecolab as their Vendor of the Year, and State Representative David Rutigliano of Trumbull, as their Friend of the Industry, and induct two new members into their Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame. This year’s honorees are Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant of East Lyme and Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning of Stamford.  A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented posthumously to Frederick A. DeLuca, the founder of Subway. SeLuca opened the first Subway restaurant in Bridgeport.

Awards will be given out in the following categories: Casual Restaurant of the Year, Upscale Restaurant of the Year, Caterer of the Year, Mixologist of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Server of the Year. These awards are the results of open voting and the winners will be announced at the dinner. Votes are cast online at “I am thrilled to be honoring these superb restaurants, caterers, chefs, servers and mixologists who have demonstrated a passion for offering outstanding food and beverages,” said CRA Executive Director, Nicole Griffin.

2015 Finalists

  • Casual Restaurant of Year Finalists
  • Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, Hartford
  • Carbone’s Kitchen, Bloomfield
  • Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, Middletown
  • Plan B Burger Bar, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Milford, Simsbury, Stamford, West Hartford
  • Willimantic Brewing Company, Willimantic

Upscale Restaurant of the Year Finalists

  • Dalton’s Restaurant, North Branford
  • Fresh Salt, Old Saybrook
  • Geronimo Tequila Bar & Grill, Fairfield
  • La Tavola, Waterbury

Caterer of the Year Finalists

  • A Thyme to Cook, North Stonington
  • David’s Soundview Catering, Stamford
  • Max Catering, Hartford

Pernod Ricard Mixologist of the Year Finalists

  • Adam Patrick, Luxe, Westport
  • Derek Vitale, Max’s Oyster Bar, West Hartford
  • Dimitrios Zahariadis, Highland Brass Company, Waterbury

Chef of the Year Finalists

  • Billy Grant, Grants & Bricco Restaurants, West Hartford & Glastonbury
  • Pasqualle Pascarella, Bar Sugo, Norwalk
  • James Wayman, Oyster Club, Mystic

Server of the Year Finalists

  • Kathy McGowan, Flanders Fish Market, East Lyme
  • Megan Rudman, Max Fish, Glastonbury
  • Kristy Mahler, Agave, Hartford
  • Thomas Sergi, Roma Ristorante, Oakville
« | »