Independent Restaurant with a Per-Person Check Average of More Than $30

FIRST PLACE TIE: Robard’s Steakhouse, The Woodlands, Texas

1502tabletop35Robard's Steakhouse 1502tabletop36Robard's Steakhouse

Specifying Team: John Brazie, executive chef, The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center; Michael Hammes, director of food and beverage, The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center; Andy Friday, director of purchasing, The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center; Rob Jacobs, dealer sales rep, Edward Don & Co.; and Mark Sass, principal, Preferred Source

Dinnerware: Steelite (Distinction, Metro, Monaco White, Taste, Varick 
and Pillivuyt)

Glassware: Steelite (Rona)

Flatware: Sambonet/Rosenthal (Imagine)

Accessories: Bon Chef, Impulse and Tablecraft

Why it Won: This is a very simple, classic tabletop that fits perfectly in this elegant dining room. The tabletop balances the traditional sturdiness a steakhouse requires with a beautiful aesthetic.

FIRST PLACE TIE: Union 50, Indianapolis

1502tabletop31Union 50. Photographs courtesy of Stella Lorens, Edward Don & Co.

1502tabletop32Union 50

1502tabletop33Union 50

Specifying Team: Kristine Bozovich, sales consultant, RZ Marketing; Carl Chambers, corporate executive chef, Union 50; Roddy Kirschenmaw, general manager, Union 50; Glen Sheehan, district manager, Libbey; Layton Roberts, executive chef, Union 50; and Scott Springer, dealer sales rep, Edward Don & Co.

Dinnerware: Cardinal, Front of the House, IMCO, Vetex

Glassware: Libbey (Embassy, Excalibur and Perfection)

Flatware: Bauscher/Hepp, Oneida (Barcelona) and Walco

Accessories: American Metalcraft, Fox Run, Myco, Revol, Sterno/Candlelamp and Tablecraft

Why it Won: This tabletop installation highlights the eclectic nature of this restaurant’s menu and allows the sharable plates of food to really pop. The craft cocktail presentation adds color and visual intrigue to the tabletop. This tabletop overlooks no detail, as evidenced by the way the black napkin ties in so nicely with the small black bowls.

Honorable Mention: Cantoro’s Trattoria, Plymouth, Mich.

1502tabletop28Cantoro’s Trattoria1502tabletop29Cantoro’s Trattoria

Specifying Team: Greg Fedurek, territory manager, Top O’ The Table; Michael Larranga, general manager and sommelier, Cantoro’s Trattoria; Anthony Valenti, marketing associate, Sysco; and Matthew Yardley, district manager, Sysco

Dinnerware: Oneida (Royale)

Glassware: Stolzle (Classic)

Flatware: Oneida (Chef’s Table Satin)

Accessories: Oneida

Worth Mentioning: The food looks great on the plate and the vessels used for the oil and cheese add visual intrigue. The fluted glass with basil provides a pop of color to this tabletop. Overall, the tabletop presents a perfect example for an Italian-style bistro.


Honorable Mention: Steak 44, Phoenix, Ariz.

1502tabletop25Steak 44

1502tabletop26Steak 44Specifying Team: Oliver Badgio, vice president of operations, Steak 44; Jeff Baumberger, head chef, Steak 44; Pam Bernardi, sales manager, The Wasserstrom Co.; Steve Drerup, dealer sales rep, The Wasserstrom Co.; and Marc Lupino, executive chef, Steak 44 Dinnerware: Bauscher (Bonn Flat), BIA, Diversified, Vertex and World Tableware

Glassware: Cardinal (Cabernet), Libbey (Trumpet, Palace), Steelite, Stolzle (Classic)

Flatware: Bon Chef, Cardinal (Renzo) and World Tableware Accessories: American Metalcraf Tablecraft and Ten Strawberry St.

Worth Mentioning: This tabletop features a nice intersection of the contemporary and the rustic. The black in the cast iron serving pieces connects well with the napkin, creating a cohesive appearance.