Last Chef Standing

What a finish! Semifinal in Houston's best restaurant challenge decided by three votes: Your finalists are . . .

What a finish! Semifinal in Houston's best restaurant challenge decided by three votes: Your finalists are . . .

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It's down to two finalists in Last Chef Standing. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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The tasting event April 9 will include dishes from 16-plus restaurants and drink pairings.
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Alto's inventive pizzas helped land it in the championship round. Photo by Sarah Rufca
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The NCAA Tournament was marked by some close games and late comebacks, and CultureMap's Last Chef Standing bracket restaurant competition is no different.

In the Final Four round, Monarch rode a late surge of support and edged out Liberty Kitchen by a mere three votes out of more than 2,000 cast, making it the slimmest victory in the Last Chef Standing competition so far. Now that's what I call an exciting race.

On the other side of the bracket, Alto Pizzeria triumphed over Cinderella story Roots Bistro in another tight vote.

 In the Final Four round, Monarch rode a late surge of support and edged out Liberty Kitchen by a mere three votes out of more than 2,000 cast. 

The two finalists are now going head to head to be named the Whole Foods People's Choice Champion. Voting in the final round will continue through Monday at noon — don't forget to vote every day to see your favorite restaurant crowned — one vote can be the difference between victory and defeat.

All 16 restaurants that were part of the bracket challenge have a chance for redemption at the Last Chef Standing tasting event on Monday, April 9 at Hotel ZaZa, when both a panel of judges and regular guests will vote to determine the event winners.

Tickets (which include dishes from 16-plus restaurants and drink pairings) are $45 in advance and available here.