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An elite eight: The second round winners in the Restaurant Challenge are ...
Another day, another round of nailbiters in The Big Dance Restaurant Challenge. The restaurant challenge started with 32 contenders and now after the buzzer sounded on the second round Monday afternoon, the field is down to eight.
Four of these eight will earn the right to cater The Big Dance concert series in Discovery Green during Houston's extended Final Four weekend, but only one will be crowned the champion, as voted by the people. Getting into this elite eight was crucial because the Houston Local Organizing Committee Restaurant Commitee will select three of the remaining seven from these final eight to join the champion on-site, serving food to the masses who turn out for the A-List concert series that accompanies the Final Four.
Coasting to an easy spot among the eight was Ninfa's on Navigation with a 20-percentage-point win over Niko Niko's. It'll face off against Quattro, which ended up on top of Maggiano's by a hair in a tight, back-and-forth fight of what Italian would reign supreme.
On the same side of the bracket, Sullivan's Steakhouse pulled off a convincing 10-point win over Ouisie's Table in the River Oaks face off, and Max's Wine Dive spanked neighbor Molina's Cantina 60 percent to 40 percent to move on.
The tightest race was between Arturo's Uptown Italiano, which squeaked by with a win over Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen by less than 100 votes in a matchup in which more than 10,000 votes were cast. Arturo's will now go up against Del Frisco's, which walked to victory over Chili's 57-43.
The means the last chain restaurant standing is House of Blues (really!) which defeated neighborhood fave Mockingbird Bistro 56 percent to 44 percent. Blues' third-round match is against The Tasting Room, which won in a tight race against against Gigi's Asian Bistro 52 to 48 percent.
Did your team survive to make the Elite Eight? Who are you rooting for to go all the way?