Bravo’s new reality-competition TV show “Best New Restaurant” will premiere on January 21 at 9 p.m. The show features 16 restaurants from New York City, Los Angeles, Austin and Miami competing for the title. The participating Austin restaurants are Swift’s Attic, Porter Ale House and Gastropub, Barlata Tapas Bar, and Restaurant Jezebel.
“Top Chef” star chef Tom Colicchio will host the show, and the winner will receive an editorial feature in Bon Appétit, a featured spot at Vegas Uncork’d food festival, and $100,000.
A press release describes the show’s format:
“In the first round of competition, the restaurants are divided into pairs based around a common theme reflected in their concepts or culinary influences. All are challenged to the same three tasks testing their overall performance, the strength of their staff, and the clarity of their concept. First, the restaurants are subjected to a “Pressure Test,” in which 30 hungry diners descend on the restaurants without notice to see how the businesses handle the stress of a packed house. Next, Tom sends in two “Undercover Diners” wired with hidden cameras in order to get a patron’s perspective when the restaurants do not know they are being judged. Finally, the two paired-up restaurants come together in a neutral location and serve dinner for 30 VIP diners. At the end of each of the first eight episodes, Tom declares one restaurant the victor, and the establishments move on to the semifinals.
The semifinal rounds will feature the restaurants battling in two groups to open a pop-up restaurant based around what the eateries see as the next evolution of their current concepts. The grand finale pits the final two restaurants against each other in a head-to-head contest to put forward their best service possible for a group of 50 VIP diners at Tom’s restaurant Riverpark in New York City.”
The restaurant pairings featured on the show are:
Shared Plates – The Federal vs. Swift’s Attic
Italian Cuisine – Dolce Italian vs. Doma Beverly Hills
New Service Concepts – The Church Key vs. Restaurant Jezebel
Operated by Couples – R House vs. Barlata Tapas Bar
Battle of the Burger – Porter Ale House and Gastropub vs. Tongue & Cheek
European Inspired – L’Apicio vs. Little Sparrow
Fast Casual Dining – Morgan’s Barbecue vs. Buns & Buns
Seasonal Menus – Union Restaurant vs. The Pines