Friday Saturday Sunday Wins 2023 James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award

The Philadelphia-based restaurant Friday Saturday Sunday has won the 2023 James Beard outstanding restaurant award. The ceremony, held at the Lyric Opera in Chicago and live streamed by Eater, was a big night for the City of Brotherly Love. Fellow Philly-based winners included Ellen Yin for outstanding restaurateur and Chutatip "Nok" Suntaranon of Kalaya for best chef: mid-Atlantic.

It was a diverse showing for awards that have, in recent years, come under scrutiny for their voting rules and lack of diversity in nominees. These negative components were glossed over in the opening of the ceremony, when, according to Eater, co-host Gail Simmons said, "Tonight is not about the negative. It's about celebrating chefs and the industry we love so much." Simmons' fellow hosts were Eric Adjepong, Esther Choi, and Andrew Zimmern.

The James Beard Awards, created by theĀ James Beard Foundation, have been held annually since 1991. They are considered to be one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the American food industry. They honor chefs, restaurants, food-related media, and industry leaders from across the country, and the organization has a commitment to setting a standard of "good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability." Friday Saturday Sunday's win is a perfect example of the foundation's commitment to maintaining that standard.

A unique seasonal menu

Husband-and-wife duo Chad and Hanna Williams, both Philadelphia natives, purchased Friday Saturday Sunday in 2014. The restaurant had been one of the city's longest-running establishments, having been a Rittenhouse Square staple for over 40 years. When the couple bought the restaurant, it was showing its age. So they gutted it, got married in the restaurant's kitchen, and began their new fine dining adventure when they opened in 2016.

The updated and upscale Friday Saturday Sunday, which is open Wednesday through Sunday, features unique American cuisine focused on seasonality. The food is served as a complete tasting menu that costs $155 per person, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $95 per person. Menu items include the Friday Saturday Sunday signature dish of sweetbreads, as well as New York strip, fish, crudo, and grilled quail. It's this approach to classic American flavors with a creative twist that won the outstanding restaurant award.

In his acceptance speech, via Eater's live stream, Chad Williams addressed his team: "I am eternally grateful for everything you bring to the restaurant every day. You bring our vision to life, and you have changed our world, and it means everything to the guests that come in and make this place their second home." The award serves as recognition from the food industry for the Williamses' vision and risk.