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 Top Restaurant Standbys to the city's Best Dining Neighborhoods. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein.
[Photo via Pubbelly]
Q: What and where was your single best meal in 2012?
Chelsea Olson, Miami Editor, Eater Miami: 2012 isn't over yet but I'm anticipating my dinner at Naoe this week to be it. Best meal so far, Le Bernardin in NYC.
Frodnesor, of Food For Thought: A Miami Food Blog: In Miami? This dinner Brad Kilgore cooked at Azul in September:
The caviar & cauliflower dish and the "Anatomy of a Suckling Pig" done about a dozen different ways were some of the best things I ate all year.
Sara, Editor for Urbandaddy Miami: Bourbon Steak's special five-year anniversary menu. Already demolished by the complimentary duck-fat fries, then came five dishes of the restaurant's greatest hits - caviar parfait, tuna tartar, lobster pot pie.
Ryan Roman, of Miami's Restaurant Power Rankings: I usually don't have the patience for tasting menus but Saison in San Francisco exceeded all expectations. One of the highlights was a dish of aged tuna, and we're not talking Starkist. I would like to see our local chefs start playing around with aged meats (other than beef) and fish, but I also don't want to be poisoned and die. Pros and cons.
Cari, of Fatgirl Hedonist: This is a tough question to answer! It's a tie between Pubbelly and Makoto. At Pubbelly I had a full on feast that included their heirloom tomatoes, pan con tomate, porkbelly & scallion dumplings, mofongo, duck and pumpkin dumpling, porkbelly, goat butter toast, shortrib and corn dumplings, fried snapper salad, kimchee fried rice and dates avec chorizo. At Makoto, I had chu-toro, spicy tuna cripsy rice, kobe beef carpaccio, tea crusted tuna tataki, dynamite hand roll and chef's combination of the sashimi sampler.
Steven, of Chowfather: Very tough call since I was fortunate to have some very special meals this year. In the mix, Brad Kilgore's "Anatomy of a Suckling Pig" dinner, The Popup dinner series at Harry's Pizzeria with a slight nod to Jonathan Waxman's, "omakase" with Jeffrey Brana at Tuyo, the Billecart Salmon Seafood dinner and a Cobaya dinner both via Chef Aaron Brooks, Burgundy dinner with Daniel Boulud, and a rapid fire tasting with Jose Andres BUT the Cobaya Dinner at The Dutch with Andrew Carmellini, Conor Hanlon & Josh Gripper was a fantastic dining experience from start to finish and my meal of the year.
Liz, Editor for Thrillist Miami: This is almost impossible to answer, since this was arguably my best eating year yet in Miami. So, I'll just list my top "holy s*it" moments: the carbonara eggs benedict at Eating House, Blue Collar's lemon ricotta pancakes and bread pudding, Yardbird's fried green tomato BLT, Florida Cookery's banana/bacon skillet French Toast, the lavender blondies (and about every piece of bread I sampled) from Acme, Taqueria's pastor burrito, Macchialina's short rib lasagna, Reggae Tacos' curry goat taco, and pretty much every bowl of ramen at Momi Ramen.
Aleksandra Marcotte, Eater Contributor: (Had a lot of trouble with this one as my best meal this year was without question a black pudding, pork belly, homemade gingerbread tower and chick liver terrine at the Hayfield Manor in Cork, Ireland.) BUT in Miami - Sushi Deli. Chef Michio is a consummate maestro in his matchbox sushi bar. Each and every item served is a gift, executed with deft precision. The creamy monkfish liver is sublime, made personally by Chef Michio. The sweet shrimp tails are delightful and their fried heads counterpart sizzle with crispy, salty guilt. The scallops, ornamented with a single shiso leaf, jalapeno round and swipe of ume (pickled plum), tickle down your throat. The rice is heavenly, prepared with a mist of vinegar and served perfectly warm.