Best Chef, 2014:
Lion Gardner worked at several excellent restaurants before joining the crew as executive chef at the iconic Blue Moon in 2006. Two years later, he became an owner. Fortunately for longtime fans, he didn’t change a thing, which means Blue Moon, with influences from Gardner’s travels around the world, remains on the culinary cutting edge.
The small, dedicated wait staff and the large, dedicated group of regulars have a unique rapport at the classic Blue Moon. The servers, many of whom are career servers, get to know guests, and the guests in turn get to know servers. In short time the servers know the guests’ favorite drinks, favorite tables and, sometimes, even things like birthdays and anniversaries. “They understand that the restaurant business is about a diner’s expectations,” says manager and co-owner Meghan Gardner. “And they know how to exceed those expectations.”
Blue Moon Restaurant goes beyond cantaloupe and waffles on its Sunday brunch menu. Customers go wild for its rich eggs Benedict made with jumbo lump crab and homemade English muffins. There’s an equally rich duck confit salad, and the house Bloody Marys and Mimosas (for $3) are to die for. When the weather is nice, they serve in the back, under a retractable awning that lets the sun shine in.