Blackbird Named Chicago's Best Restaurant of the Year

It's no secret that Chicago has one of the finest culinary scenes in the country, and this year a West Loop eatery has been named best in the city. 

The winners of the annual Jean Banchet Awards were announced on Sunday, and Blackbird took home the top honor for 2017. 

Opened in 1997, Blackbird was the first venture for executive chef Paul Kahan, who won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013.

Blackbird is managed by the One Off Hospitality Group along with other big-name Chicago establishments including The Publican, Big Star, Nico Osteria, Dove's Luncheonette and The Violet Hour. [[404072256, C]]

Located at 619 W. Randolph St., the establishment known for its Midwestern cuisine and local ingredients beat out the equally critically-acclaimed EL Ideas, Schwa and Sepia to win the award. 

Other winners included chef of the year Andrew Brochu of Roister and best new restaurant Oriole, in the Fulton River District.

Bill Montagne and Jennifer Kim of Snaggletooth took home the rising chef of the year award, while Sumi Robata Bar in River North was named best neighborhood restaurant.

Winners of the prestigious Jean Banchet awards are chosen through industry vote in collaboration with a panel that consists of "food and beverage journalists, photographers and elite gastronomes," according to the awards' website.

Hosted annually by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the awards are named for the late chef Jean Banchet who headed the world-renowned Le Francais restaurant in north suburban Wheeling.

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