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Best New Restaurant

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Barrio was our pick for Best New Restaurant this year--it's an innovative concept, with a fun vibe, and tasty, consistently good food (something most new restaurants struggle with right out of the gate).

Readers picked Red Stag, which is another strong contender, though we didn't consider it eligible as it opened in 2007, as did The Strip Club. Several new notable restaurants won in other categories, including Moto-I for Best Japanese, Black Sheep for Best Pizza, Blue Door Pub for Best Burger. Most of the other new restaurants we considered have their pluses but were marred by inconsistency (Smalley's, Porter & Frye) or were great neighborhood places (Bali, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Rinata, Citizen Cafe, Lola's Lakehouse), but didn't quite have the broad, big-league appeal of Barrio.