Not one, but two Nashville restaurants were named James Beard Award semifinalists for Best New Restaurant, a national honor.
The 404 Kitchen, a project by Chef Matt Bolus, was named to the the list of 30 restaurants across the country along with Pinewood Social, the newest creation of ex-Catbird Seat chef Josh Habiger. Both 404 and Pinewood received rave reviews from the Scene.
The semifinalists will be cut down to a smaller list of finalists later this spring. This is Habiger's second time to direct a restaurant into the prestigious group, as he and chef Erik Anderson were Best New Restaurant semifinalists at The Catbird Seat in 2012.
After getting three chefs in the Best Chef — Southeast last year, Tandy Wilson of City House was the city's only nominee for 2014. This is his sixth semifinalist nod, and he would have to be considered a favorite to make the finalist list, as he did last year.
Other Tennessee chefs who made the Best Chef — Southeast list include Daniel Lindley from St. John's in Chattanooga, and Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman from Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis.
Not surprisingly, the Best New Restaurant list was heavy with New York entries, and 404 and Pinewood were joined only by Milkwood, in Louisville, from the Southeast.