As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. Top Newcomers, Top Standbys, 2009 in One Word and Biggest Dining Surprises dropped earlier, and all will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Thursday. On we go, in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited.
Talula, the site of the very first experimental, underground Cobaya dinner.
Q: What was your single best meal in 2009?
Lee Klein, restaurant critic/Miami New Times: Lobster, conch, snapper, etc. at Little Ochi Seafood on Jamaica’s south coast. Locally, Eos, Naoe, and Palme d’Or served the best meals I had while reviewing. I think.
Michael Schwartz, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink: Prune in New York City.
Frodnesor, blogger: Lots to choose from, but if I had to say one, it would be this first Cobaya dinner with Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo and her Sous Chef Kyle Foster of Talula.
The Chowfather, blogger: Cobaya dinner at Talula.
Seth High, executive chef/da Campo Osteria: My girlfriend, Jessica, won an Eater.com contest this fall, and the prize was a table at the SWEET Event at the NY Food & Wine Festival. Afterward, she, my sister, Ashley, and I went to Pastis at 1:30 in the morning for dinner & drinks. I had steak tartare & Macaroni gratin, along with Sazeracs. Great company and exactly the food I wanted after a long, tiring day.
Chef Jeremiah, gastroPod: Arzak!
Jonathan Wright, The Setai: All day feasting on soft shell crab po-boys, crawfish bread, and fried oysters at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Jacquelynn D. Powers, foodie: It was one I cooked, actually. I had the honor of making dinner for Emeril Lagasse at my home in February, along with some family and friends. I made crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, shrimp marsala, homemade pasta with pesto and a lemon ricotta tart. Emeril said they were the best stuffed mushrooms he has ever had.