Connecticut Restaurant Association Honors Local Businesses At Awards Dinner

See which restaurants earned @CTrestaurant annual honors at awards dinner

A fast-expanding Kansas City-style barbecue restaurant, a farm-to-table catering operation and a posh waterfront hotel eatery were among the honorees at the Connecticut Restaurant Association's (CRA) annual "Salute to Excellence" awards dinner Tuesday at Mohegan Sun.

Bear's Smokehouse of Hartford and Windsor took home the prize for Casual Restaurant of the Year, while Max Restaurant Group's Max Catering earned honors for Caterer of the Year. Saybrook Point Inn's Fresh Salt was named Upscale Restaurant of the Year, and Dish Restaurant Group (Dish Bar & Grill and Sorella in Hartford; Dish n'Dat in Canton) was recognized as Restaurateur of the Year. 

Individual award winners included Chef of the Year Billy Grant of Grants Restaurant, Restaurant Bricco and Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury and West Hartford; Server of the Year Kristy Mahler of Agave Grill in Hartford and Mixologist of the Year Dimitrios Zahariadis of Highland Brass Company in Waterbury.

The CRA also honored Ecolab as Vendor of the Year and state representative David Rutigliano of Trumbull as Friend of the Industry. A posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award went to Frederick A. DeLuca, the founder of Connecticut-based Subway. Two businesses were also inducted into the Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame: Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant of East Lyme and Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning of Stamford.

The awards were results from open voting, the CRA said in a news release. "I am thrilled to honor these superb restaurants, caterers, chefs, servers and mixologists who have demonstrated a passion for offering outstanding food and beverages," said Nicole Griffin, the association's executive director.

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