Over on Chow, the food website owned by CBS, they’ve been running a competition for most innovative chef in the USA.

16 chefs from across the nation were pitted against one another in a bracketed, popular vote-based shootout.

Tyson Cole of Austin’s Uchi and Uchiko, emerged from the fray with a hotly contested victory over such luminaries as Ludo LeFebvre [who’s bringing a food cart to Austin soon ] Dominique Crenn who took home an Iron Chef America crown and Michael Voltaggio a chef in Pasadena California.

But here’s the best part. When asked to dish on his favorite restaurants in Austin the first one he mentions is Bartlett’s, the clubby, dimly lit American grill on Anderson Lane. I’ve been meaning to get by there and try their $18 French Dip but now it’s a necessity. He goes on to mention Barley Swine as well as Enoteca Vespaio as being his other go local favorites.

No surprises there as Barley Swine and chef Bryce Gilmore are putting out some of the best food in Austin right now. It’s been years since I’ve been to Enoteca and I always felt like Al John’s take on Italian was superior but perhaps a visit is in order in light of Mr. Cole’s recommendation.

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