When the producers from Bravo TV’s new competition series, Best New Restaurant, contacted us to gauge our interest in being a part of a new reality television series we were excited to say the least! When we learned our roles would be that of “undercover diners” we knew we would be a perfect fit. After all, it’s exactly what we do when we cover restaurants for Urban Swank, right? Fast forward to now, we are happy to announce we were selected and look forward to seeing Tom Colicchio do his thing and crown the best new restaurant!
About The Show
Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio dines across the U.S. as host, judge, and executive producer, taking a look at the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant. The series is also executive produced by restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay.
The majority of the series takes place on location in the restaurants themselves to highlight each establishment’s unique point of view. In the end, only one will be crowned Best New Restaurant and win an editorial feature in Bon Appétit, a featured spot at America’s number one global food festival, Vegas Un cork’d by Bon Appétit 2015, and $100,000.
The 16 restaurants hail from four cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Austin and Miami, and were chosen to compete based on an extensive search in conjunction with the editors at Bon Appétit as well as executive producers Tom Colicchio and Gordon Ramsay. 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. Best New Restaurant premieres on Wednesday, January 21 at 10pm ET/PT.
* Urban Swank is scheduled to appear in the episodes in bold below:
- Episode 1 airing Wednesday, January 21: Italian Cuisine – Miami’s Dolce Italian vs. Los Angeles’ Doma
- Episode 2 airing Wednesday, January 28: Shared Plates – Miami’s The Federal vs. Austin’s Swift’s Attic
- Episode 3 airing Wedn esday, February 4: New Service Concepts – Los Angeles’ The Church Key vs. Austin’s Restaurant Jezebel
- Episode 4 airing Wednesday, February 11: Operated By Couples – Miami’s R House vs. Austin’s Barlata Tapas Bar
- Episode 5 airing Wednesday, February 18: Battle of the Burger – Austin’s Porter Ale House and Gastropub vs. Miami’s Tongue & Cheek
- Episode 6 airing Wednesday, February 25: European Inspired – New York’s L’Apicio vs. Orange County’s Little Sparrow
- Episode 7 airing Wednesday, March 4: Fast Casual Dining – Miami’s Buns & Buns vs. New York’s Morgan’s BBQ
- Episode 8 airing Wednesday, March 11: Seasonal Menus – Los Angeles’ Union Restaurant vs. New York’s The Pines
- Episode 9, Episode 10 and Episode 11: Semi-finals and Finals
We hope that you will tune in live or set your DVR’s to check out the show! You can also check out our exclusive interview with CultureMap here.