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): Soho Bay. Hands down. The quail egg-topped scallop lightly drizzled with truffle oil is pure umami magic. The duck breast sizzling on a salt slab was juicy perfection. All of that coupled with a killer view of the bay and causeway and...why isn't anybody talking about this place?!
Carla Torres (Ocean Drive): That's like asking me to choose my best date of 2015: too many to remember. The single best was outside of the MIA in Napa Valley at Meadowood but if we're keeping it local the ones that come to mind are Vagabond, Byblos, Alter, La Mar, Bazaar, Lure, Celler De Can Roca Yacht dinner, and Lucali. Every single time.
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought Miami): Anywhere: Saison. Holy fuck. Locally: I've got a four-way tie between a spur-of-the-moment solo dinner at Alter back in July, and a few Cobaya dinners that stood out for me among a great year for us: Chef Patrick Rebholz at Quality Meats, Chef Alex Chang at Vagabond, and Chefs Justin Flit and Matt DePante at Proof.
Andrea Becerra (The Hungry Post): Cypress Tavern: French Onion Soup, Leeks Gratin, Wood Roasted Short Rib, Wood Grilled Giant Prawn, The Cypress Burger, the brunch—basically the whole menu. We could also eat Crab Fried Rice and Red Curry Crispy Duck from Cake Thai Kitchen all day long. Oh and in our recent expansion of The Hungry Post NYC we did the Omakase tasting menu at Sushi Seki. BOMB. Great way to end the year.
Laine Doss (Miami New Times): E'Divino on the island of Capri. You eat in a house -- still furnished as if a family lived there (complete with beds and sofas to sit on instead of chairs). There are only about four choices on the menu daily. I had a pasta with Sunday gravy that was otherworldly with a bottle of wine that probably cost about ten bucks. Our server spoke little English but by the end of the night, she had joined our table as a friend. An enchanting experience.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami Contributor): Got 5 for ya: The Bourbon Brunch at 27 Restaurant & Bar, Diego Oka’s Art Basel Dinner at La Mar, Harry’s Pizza Zahav PopUp, & Cobaya Experiment #55 at Edge. Outside the 305, our tasting menu only dinner at Central in Lima, Estela in NYC was really fresh and innovative & The NoMad Restaurant (also in NYC) is perfection.
Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): Had to be the "Orgy of food and wine" that Klime and Anita made for me and four of my friends at Crust. It’s always great when you can get together with friends in an atmosphere that feels like a family dining room and gorge yourself on pizza and pasta. And it’s even more fun when other diners surreptitiously take pictures of your group and send them out in a giant trash-talking group text. It was almost like being a celebrity!
John Dangaran (Eater Miami Contributor): Macchialina
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): I got a chance to dine at Central in Lima this year and it was freaking incredible. I was tired, slightly hungover and had eaten roughly six times already that day and it was still one of the best meals of my life. Locally, I also have to go Peruvian, and it is when we dined off the cuff one night at La Mar and let Diego cook us whatever we wanted. Best. Decision. Ever. Who knew some of the most delicious fried chicken in town would be coming from a Peruvian restaurant?