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 courtesy of Taste of Park City]
Q: What was the biggest dining surprise of 2012?
Chelsea Olson, Miami Editor, Eater Miami: The very quick closing of Georgia's Union.
Frodnesor, of Food For Thought: A Miami Food Blog: My prediction from last year ("Jewish Delis Return from the Dead") actually panned out!
Sara, Editor for Urbandaddy Miami: That a place like Tosca could still open with those insane prices.
Ryan Roman, of Miami's Restaurant Power Rankings: Based upon the success of Eating House, Broken Shaker, and Phuc Yea!, I would have thought there would be a million pop-ups by now. You know, like the food truck explosion of 2011. Speaking of which, I'm selling a food truck on Craigslist if anyone is interested.
Cari, of Fatgirl Hedonist: I've been surprised by how quickly some restaurants have come and gone, it seemed as though they were shutting their doors at about the same time the paint on the walls was drying. Examples of this are MB Brewhouse, Hogzilla, Lolita's Cocina & Tequila Bar, Georgia's Union and Crumb on Parchment's South Beach location. I was also very surprised by the closure of Sustain earlier in the year. #RIP
Steven, of Chowfather: Sudden and sad closings of Sustain and Sra Martinez.
Liz, Editor for Thrillist Miami: How many local chefs are killing it. Miami is finally moving away from the idea it needs to throw a flashy name on everything, and just getting to the root of really delicious food. This year has proven that more than ever.
Aleksandra Marcotte, Eater Contributor: Red Light's demise. Words can't express the forlorn reminiscence of sitting riverside with a tray of sticky BBQ shrimp and dip bread, a pot of red smoked fishdip, lemon-braised local grouper with pink and green lentils, intoxicating absinthe oyster stew, and the thick hand-rubbed river-smoked ribs with apple slaw. The complete restaurant experience, from food to service to ambiance, was a spectacle of backcountry Florida river dining navigated flawlessly by New Orleans native Kris Wessel. Most importantly, in a city saturated with foodie flair, Red Light rose above as the epitome of gastronomy in its purest form.