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

First Place: Butcher and the Brewer, Cleveland, Ohio

1502tabletop21Butcher and Brewer, photographs courtesy of Brandon L. Jones,

1502tabletop22 Butcher and Brewer

Specifying Team: Eric Anderson, brewer, Butcher and Brewer; Doug Binzel, sales manager, The Wasserstrom Co.; Brian Klopp, dealer sales rep, The Wasserstrom Co.; Jeff Leonard, owner, Butcher and Brewer; Chris Lieb, owner, Butcher and Brewer; and Jason Workman, owner, Butcher and Brewer

Dinnerware: World Tableware (Farmhouse), American Metalcraft (Prestige)

Glassware: Libbey (Altitude, Embassy, Inverness, Munique and Perception)

Flatware: World Tableware (Farmhouse)

Accessories: American Metalcraft, Libbey, Lodge Manufacturing, San Jamar, Update International and World Tableware

Why it Won: The overall setup including the use of creative vessels and custom pieces, helps create a well-matched tabletop installation that suits this atmosphere well. The china suits the food well and the glassware makes the beer and other beverages very inviting.

Honorable Mention: Skinny Rita’s Grille in the Heights, Houston, Texas

1502tabletop18Skinny Rita's

1502tabletop19Skinny Rita'sSpecifying Team: Marcela Perez, executive chef/co-owner Skinny Rita’s Grille in the Heights; Archie Patterson, founder/co-owner Skinny Rita’s Grille in the Heights; Mark Sass, principal, Preferred Source; Scott Miller, district manager, Libbey Inc; Rusty Gilmore, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Diversified Ceramics; Michael Cotsilis, IMCO category manager, Edward Don & Co; Debbie Fanelli, dealer sales rep, Edward Don & Co

Dinnerware: Diversified Ceramics (Carpaccio), IMCO and Steelite (Anfora and Varick)

Glassware: Libbey (Aruba, Embassy and Wine Lover’s) and Steelite (Bodega)

Flatware: IMCO Edward Don (Royal Don)

Accessories: Front of the House and GET

Why it Won: When it comes to fitting a theme, Skinny Rita’s tabletop does just that. From the blue plates to the blue-rimmed glasses to the painted furniture: everything ties together nicely, creating a sense of being in Mexico without being too kitschy. From the tabletop to the dining room, everything flows together creating an elegant atmosphere.

Honorable mention: Flower Child, Phoenix, Ariz.

1502tabletop17Flower ChildSpecifying Team: Pam Bernardi, sales manager, The Wasserstrom Co.; Debbie Burke, dealer sales rep, The Wasserstrom Co.; Jason Frandsen, director of culinary, Fox Restaurant Concepts; Amber Haddad, director of operations, Fox Restaurant Concepts; and Clint Woods, director of culinary, Fox Restaurant Concepts

Dinnerware: Bamboo Studio

Glassware: Cardinal (Cooler) Libbey and Steelite

Flatware: Oneida (Prime) and World Tableware (Classic Rim and Huron)

Accessories: Chef Specialties and Sertodo Copper

Worth Mentioning: This restaurant’s 1960’s theme is on full display with this fresh, eye-catching tabletop. Everything flows consistently together, including the fresh and simple plating and presentation of the food.