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Year in Eater 2008: Headlines for 2009

To close and celebrate 2008, we asked a collection of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers to weigh-in on top Meals, Neighborhoods, Standbys, and Newcomers of the year; plus, their Biggest Dining Surprises in 08 and One Word to Define the Year. Now, let's tie a bow on this shindig and call it for 2008, the group makes Headline Predictions for 2009.

Ninja, sweet, sweet Ninja

Q: Headline predictions for 2009?

Kate Krader, Food & Wine: NYC Drowns in Sandwiches

The Cutty, The Dash Feedbag: Tot-Slay Suspect Booted From 'Top Chef'

Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appetit: Reports of Restaurants' Demise Greatly Exaggerated

William Tigertt, Freemans: Over 40% of NYC Restaurants Close as Economic Crisis Deepens.

Ed Levine, Serious Eats: No headlines, just a prayer for all the ridiculously hard-working chefs and restaurateurs, both in NYC and the rest of the country.

Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News: Times Square Restaurants Suffer Amid Crime Wave

Adam Kuban, Slice: Hemlines Long, Soup Lines Longer

Danyelle Freeman, Restaurant Girl: Simple, sophisticated cooking that's easy on on the wallet. If 2008 was the year of head-to toe-cooking for the love of swine then 2009, might be the year for head-to-toe cooking for vegetables, herbs and fruit. It's no longer just fennel at places like The John Dory or Rouge Tomate. It's fennel franz, fennel bulb, seeds. Fennel is also one of the main ingredients in absinthe. I also think we'll see more and more ceviche bars with extensive tequila lists and obscure selections.

Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch: NYC Restauranteurs Realize That Street Carts Are the Only Way to Make Money; Vendys Replace the Beards

Rachelle Hruska, Guest of a Guest: Momofuku Opens in Brooklyn; El Bano replaces the Eldridge

Matt Rodbard, Metromix: The Return of Zak Pelaccio, Asian BBQ Don; In-N-Out Arrives (yawn); Shake Shack Tompkins Square Park

Ryan Sutton, Bloomberg: Death of the $40 Entrée

Steve Shaw, eGullet: Despite Recession, Millions of Stupid People Continue to Pay 300% Wine Markups

Gabriella Gershenson, TONY:The recession finally hits New York City's restaurant scene. Its response? More casual eateries, family-style dining, better value.

Noa Taffet, Stilettos on Cobblestone: Le Cirque, Per Se to Offer Discreet Delivery Service (or similar move toward inconspicuous consumption)

Robert Sietsema, Village Voice: Many restaurant closings and those that remain will offer prix fixe specials, fewer European tourists, smaller restaurants, return to traditional cocktails and value in alcoholic beverages.

Steve Plotnicki, Opinionated About Dining: The financial crisis will cause more chefs to abandon the formal restaurant model and open counter-seating restaurants where they will serve you the food directly.

Brooks of Sheffield, Lost City: A shakedown of the surplus of artisinal cocktail emporia that have opened in the last 12 months, with quite a few of the under-performing or un-special or too ridiculous ones closing.

Steve Kamali, Kamali & Madoff, LLC: Only the strong will survive!

Staff, Eat Me Daily: Trouble. Right here in River City

Kludt: Shake Shack Announces Plans for Nationwide Domination; Momofuku Milk Truck Hits the Streets; Tired of Cooking, Colicchio Ends Tuesday Dinner Experiment, Launches New Reality Show

BL: In Last Review of Bruni Era, Ninja Gets the Tres

LS: Eater Reinstates Deathwatch for Entire NYC Restaurant Industry; Only Balthazar, Dunkin' Donuts Spared

Do feel free to add your own answers to the comments. Thanks to all for playing.