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Remembering the Biggest Dining Surprises of 2015

What shocked us all

Vagabond

As we put a cap on 2015, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from Top Standbys to Top Newcomers, from Best Meals to Restaurants Broken Up With. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2015. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.

Jackie Gutierrez-Jones (UrbanDaddy Miami): All of that crazy drama surrounding Piripi. I still don't know what to believe.

Carla Torres (Ocean Drive): Nothing shocks me anymore, except maybe Alinea coming to Miami. Our group of food obsessed friends decided to forgo Christmas gifts for 18 courses of friendship instead. #gangbangers #allwedoiseat

David Rosendorf (Food For Thought Miami): The rapid closing of Richard Hales' Centro Taco. Maybe it wasn't  a complete surprise: the downtown market is a tough nut to crack, and people have stereotypical assumptions about Mexican food (i.e., that it should be cheap). But the food was really exciting and some things I had there were just excellent. The last thing I thought Miami needed in 2015 was another taqueria, but that's one I really wish had stuck around. I hope it comes back somewhere else at some point.

Andrea Becerra (The Hungry Post): jugofesh massive expansion!

Ashley Brozic (Racked Miami Editor/Eater Miami Contributor): That Miami can pull a concept like El Tucan off. It's every bit of glamour you'd hope for in a cabaret, and although I have yet to sit down for the full dining experience, I'm perfectly happy watching the show unfold from the second floor.... for now.

Laine Doss (Miami New Times): Chefs embracing veganism.

Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami Contributor): Alex Chang at Vagabond is our biggest surprise this year. He’s always toying around, doing something different and bold that we can’t get enough of.

Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): Tongue and Cheek closing down. I thought they’d finally kicked the curse of that Tuscan Steak/Kane Steakhouse/El Scorpio spot, but no. At this point I think the only thing that’ll ever work there is an Applebee’s full of Beach High memorabilia.

John Dangaran (Eater Miami Contributor): Vagabond

Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): The biggest shock for me has been all these 'imported' restaurants coming into Miami and finally giving a damn about their Miami outpost. I feel for a long time when these big name restauranteurs would open a spot down here and it would feel as almost an after thought, but I think places like Byblos, Talde and Beachcraft have shown that isn't in the case anymore.

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