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Getting Piggy With It: 7x7's Eat + Drink Awards

Tonight is 7x7's Eat + Drink Awards, an event a bit like the Academy Awards of the SF restaurant industry (minus Botoxed actresses choked with tears). Unlike most events—where chefs are asked to cook very small bites of food on a bunson burner, plate it on paper and serve it to a herd of tipsy people—this is a night that chefs get to actually relax and celebrate themselves. As they well should.

The main difference is that instead of an Oscar, I get to hand out a bronze pig to the winners, which this year includes five editors' picks for Best New Restaurants opened in 2008 (the handwringing that went on to make these picks, I cannot fully express), not to mention the 28 Reader's Choice Awards. (Will Gary Danko win yet again? Who really has the best bathroom? The tension is palpable.) All of these picks will be released in the magazine's upcoming February issue, as well as right here at 7x7.com.

If you're feeling a bit excluded at this point, seeing as the Awards night guest list is limited to chefs and restaurant owners, do not dismay because the most exciting part of the celebration of the piggies is yet to come. In honor of the pig, 7x7 is sponsoring Monday night pig-centric dinners through the month of February at seven of my absolute favorite restaurants in town: Kokkari (only chef Erik Cosselmon would dare to offer half a pig head for four people--this is where I'd recommend the serious foodie go), La Folie (their prix-fixe will star a chestnut and apple-stuffed suckling pig), Delfina, Laïola, Slanted Door, Ozumo and Nopa. To think, every Monday of the month, you can try chef's interpretations of pig with a twist of Spain, Greece, Vietnam, France, Japan, Italy and Calfornia. The menus are not all in, but when they are, they'll be posted, as will the dinner dates. (Stay tuned for piggy blogs. Find out the story of the Slanted Door's pig source next.) Call the restaurants for reservations.

All hail the pig.

Wanna see who won last year?  Check out 2008's Winners.