The fight was fierce this year, with three area favorites—Duval’s, Louies Modern and Indigenous—all tying for third runner-up, but it was last year’s “Best New Restaurant” Gecko’s Grill & Pub and its compelling combo of community involvement, beefy burgers and “Brad’s chicken” that came down with the crown. Jpan makes a strong showing for its spectacular sushi and service, claiming first runner-up, with Michael’s On East nailing second runner-up.—PL

Bridget Harry (on Gecko’s): Not only does Gecko’s have delicious food, great atmosphere and top-notch service, the owners and employees make a tremendous impact in our community through their continuous philanthropic efforts. Also, best Blue Cheese Chips in town. Tina Blowers (on Jpan Restaurant): When you walk into Jpan, it’s like family. Everyone greets you with a big hello. The food is always fresh. You can have sushi or something hot from the kitchen. I have been going to Jpan since the doors opened and I still need my fix at least once a week. Bill Roy (on Michael’s on East): Consistently high-quality food prepared exceptionally, the best steaks and seafood in the area, fantastic service, great ambiance with Joe on the piano and Michael’s gives back to the community.