Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Jim Pardini as Restaurateur of the Year. That honor was won by his son, Jimmy Pardini.
A pair of Pardinis received top honors in this year’s Best of the Valley Restaurant Awards.
Jimmy Pardini was named Restaurateur of the Year at a ceremony held Monday at the Fresno Convention Center. His father, longtime restaurant owner Jim Pardini, also received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Annex Kitchen, where Jimmy Pardini serves as chef and which he co-owns with brother Jeff, was honored as best Italian restaurant. The elder Pardini's establishment, Pardini’s Catering and Banquets, won the Best Catering award.
The 26th annual awards, hosted by the Fresno chapter of the California Restaurant Association, were based on votes by local industry peers.
“Jim has created thousands of jobs through his business over the years,” chapter president Haley Wagner said in a statement. “He has also worked with the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and many other nonprofit organizations.”
Here are the winners:
▪ Restaurateur of the Year: Jimmy Pardini
▪ Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Pardini
▪ Beverage Purveyor/Supplier of the Year: Valley Wide Beverage Company
▪ Purveyor/Supplier of the Year: Challenge Dairy
▪ Best Breakfast: Batter Up Pancakes
▪ Best Fast Food: In-n-Out Burgers
▪ Best Fast Casual Restaurant: The Habit Burger
▪ Best Asian Restaurant: Wassabi
▪ Best Mexican Restaurant: Casa Corona
▪ Best Family Dining: Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co.
▪ Best Fine Dining: Cracked Pepper Bistro
▪ Best Pizza: Me-n-Ed’s
▪ Best Sushi: Wassabi
▪ Best Winery: Engelmann Cellars
▪ Best Sports Bar: Dog House Grill
▪ Best Hotel/Casino Dining: Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino
▪ Best Italian Restaurant: The Annex Kitchen
▪ Best Newcomer: Riley’s Brew Pub
▪ Best Kept Secret: Chef Paul’s Cafe
▪ Friendliest Service: Starving Artists Bistro
▪ Best Watering Hole: The Mad Duck Craft Brewery
▪ Most Romantic Restaurant: Parma Ristorante
▪ Best Steak House: Ruth’s Chris Steak House
▪ Best Banquet: Love & Garlic
▪ Best Catering: Pardini’s Catering & Banquets
▪ Best Burger: House of Juju
▪ Best Sandwich: Sam’s Italian Deli & Market
▪ Best Craft Brewery: Sequoia Brewing Co.
▪ Best Country Club Dining: Copper River Country Club
▪ Best Indian Restaurant: Elephant Lounge
▪ Best Bakery: La Boulangerie
▪ Best Seafood: Pismo’s Coastal Grill
▪ Best Mediterranean: Mediterranean Grill & Cafe
▪ Best Barbeque: Dog House Grill