Oriole was nominated as the city’s best restaurant for a second year in a row, and this year the West Loop spot will be competing against Brindille, MFK and Smyth.

The nominees for the 2019 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence—the local Oscars for the restaurant industry—were announced yesterday with West Loop’s Oriole once again nominated for restaurant of the year.

Oriole snatched the title of Chicago’s best new restaurant in 2016, and last year was nominated for best restaurant losing to George Trois. This year, the New American eatery will have to compete with Brindille, MFK restaurant and Smyth for the top accolade. Alisha Elenz, chef of MFK, took home Rising Chef of the Year at last year’s awards.

The local award ceremony recognizes top talent in all aspects of Chicago’s restaurant industry, with awards for cooking, bartending, service and restaurant designed. Over 2,500 members of the public voted on the final nominees, but the final list was decided by a panel representing the city’s culinary community, with input from critics, journalists and representatives from the hospitality world.

That panel will also decide the winners.

“Winning a Jean Banchet Award is often a predictor of even bigger accolades and national awards to come,” said Michael Muser in a statement. Muser is this year’s award show emcee and chief of operations of the highly anticipated restaurant Ever, which will open in the spring.

The awards are named after the legendary chef of Le Francais, which operated in suburban Wheeling.

Winners will be announced Jan. 19 at an award ceremony at Venue Six10. Restaurants that win in a particular category are not eligible again in that category for three years.

Here are the nominees:

Best Bartender

Honoring the most creative and outstanding talents in preparing and serving beverages.

  • Kevin Beary (The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash)
  • Roger Landes and Lanie Bayless (Bar Sótano)
  • Juanjo Pulgarin (Vajra)
  • Lee Zaremba (Lazy Bird)

Best Restaurant Service 

Honoring the establishment providing the highest level of welcoming and helpful service.

  • Gibsons Italia
  • Naoki Sushi
  • S.K.Y.
  • Smyth