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 seven questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. Meals of the Year, Biggest Dining Surprises and Neighborhoods of the year dropped yesterday. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Wednesday. The answers here are in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited:
10 Downing, the 'safe' 'neighborhood' West Village restaurant, where 'over-porked', 'self-righteous' chef Jason Neroni presides; seen in October, before it opened 16 years late.
Q: Describe 2008 in one word.
Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appetit: Safe
William Tigertt, Freemans: Over-porked
Matt Rodbard, Metromix: 9:58 a.m.
Kate Krader, Food & Wine: Neighborhood
Danyelle Freeman, Restaurant Girl: Fusion-free, thankfully. Unfortunately, I think we're in for more imaginary amalgams of cuisines in 2009.
Ed Levine, Missionary of the Delicious: Chastising or humbling.
Ryan Sutton, Bloomberg: European. (think of all the French and Italian gems we had: Convivio, Bar Boulud, Allegretti, Corton, Terroir, Bar Milano (RIP), the wine bar at Adour).
Rachelle Hruska, Guest of a Guest: Bhurta and oysters (not together though).
Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch: Offal (but you have to pronounce it "Awful").
Ken Friedman, The John Dory: Fish
Adam Kuban, Serious Eats: Governmentcheese
Steve Shaw, eGullet: Convergence. It's what happens when the self consciousness of fusion gives way to the true spirit of cooking without borders.
Gabriella Gershenson, TONY: Pork
Alexis Loinaz, Metromix: “Refresh button.” Ko should have an on-site physician to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Steve Kamali, Kamali International Liquidators: Exceptional
Mary Rambin, NonSociety: Stuffed
Noa Taffet, Stilettos on Cobblestone: Green
Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News: Self-righteous
Robert Sietsema, Village Voice: Scrumptious
Steve Plotnicki, Opinionated About Dining: Fucked
Brooks of Sheffield, Lost City: Absinthemania; Overextension (in every sense: too many restaurants opening, many of them far too big or too expensive, too many new cocktail joints, too many trends, too many specialized places, celebrity chefs extending themselves too far, just too much of everything leading up to the crash).
Staff, Eat Me Daily: Burger-y
The Cutty, The Dash Feedbag: Rococo
Do feel free to add your own answers to the comments.