As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered the restaurant standbys, best newcomers, 2013 in one word, and the best dining neighborhood. Now it's time for the year's best dining surprises. Readers, please leave your thoughts in the comments.
Want to chime in on your picks? Let us know in the comment section.
Q: What was the biggest dining surprise by 2014?
Matt Meltzer, Miami Editor of Thrillist
The balls restaurants have in how much they charge people. Like I saw a $58 risotto this year. That's rice, as in the stuff they airdrop onto famine-plagued war zones. Granted that stuff doesn't have truffles in it so maybe I'm off there. But seriously, do restaurants really think people have $200 to drop on 2 drinks, an appetizer and 2 main courses? I don't care if it's "locally sourced," that could mean you got your ingredients in the produce aisle at Winn Dixie.
Carla Torres, Miami New Times
I think Nina Compton leaving Scarpetta left a lot of people somewhat shocked, and very sad that they could no longer indulge in her gnocchi. But that means that 2015 will pave way for an even bigger surprise: what she'll do next.
Gio Gutierrez, Executive Producer, Chat Chow TV
Food writers turned restauranteurs. Ryan R. -> Mignonette; Katie S. -> Seven Dials; Javier R. -> Alter and Little Caesars' new "Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza with Cheddar Cheese Sauce." I kid you not...
Steven S. Editor-In-Chief of The Chowfather
Closing of Michy's. Hopefully it is temporary and they will return soon.
Gabe Urrutia, Grey Goose Assistant Brand Manager
The Arroz con Pollo at Matador at the Edition. Did we think someone can perfect "arroz con pollo"?
Olee Fowler, Eater Miami contributor
How Miami still doesn't have a proper donut shop. I thought they'd be on every other corner by now -- but how wrong I was. Not one has opened in Miami, only Ft. Lauderdale has gotten the donut love. Can we change this in 2015? Pretty please?
How amazing Oak Tavern's brunch is. Then again that shouldn't have surprised me…
Carissa Chesanek, Local Editor at Zagat Miami
The amount of restaurants that opened this year and closed almost immediately after.
Kathy Buccio, Eater Miami contributor
FINKA. Not because of the cuisine, I think more because diners were willing to make the long trek to sample the menu.