Several Bay Area restaurants and chefs are in the running for the highly coveted James Beard award — the Oscars of the food world.

The James Beard Foundation chose its semi-finalists Wednesday from more than 57,000 online entries. San Francisco’s AQ, Park Tavern, and Monterey’s Restaurant 1833 made the cut for the Best New Restaurant category.

Marcia Gagliardi is founder and publisher of Tablehopper, a San Francisco food online column.

“These are new places so I think its exciting. It’s cool to see these newcomers that are hot on the scene being noted,” Gagliardi said.

San Francisco’s Boulevard and Foreign Cinema are up for outstanding restaurant.

View a complete list of nominees, including those for the Outstanding Bar Program (hello Beretta and Bar Agricole) at

There are still two more rounds of cuts before winners are revealed in May.

Bay Area Boasts Lots of James Beard Semi-Finalists 23 February,2012Amanda Stupi

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