To close and celebrate 2009, we asked a collection of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers to weigh-in on top newcomers, standbys, neighborhoods, and meals of the year; plus their biggest dining surprises of 09, breakups, and 2009 in one word. On we go to Headlines for 2010.
A Baoguette is always coming soon [via EVG]
Q: Headline Predictions for 2010.
Steve Cuozzo, NYPost: Tavern on the Green reopens as extremely large bank branch offering 'synergy' with park.
Matt Rodbard, Metromix: Morimoto, Benno and Chang shoot for three. But to better results than the Knicks? Fatty Cue opens, proving smoked pork pairs better with Vietnamese mint than anything else previously known to man (Brooklynites at least). Southeast Asian barbecue trend stories hit hard and fast.
Peter Meehan, cookbook author, Chang collaborator: Lockhart Steele Takes Ownership of 30% of Michael "Bao" Hyunh's Empire When It Is Proven He Used Eater's Zak-O-Matic to Generate Restaurant Proposals."
Steve Plotnicki, Opinionated About Dining: Rabbis Still Refuse to Sanction Pork
Steve Shaw, eGullet: Death of Print, Finally
Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News: Celebrity chef doesn't open burger joint.
Gabriella Gershenson, Food Editor TONY: Celebrity chefs make a comeback.
Ryan Patrick Sutton, restaurant critic Bloomberg: Casual walk-in restaurants create demand and manage their own food inventories more efficiently by requiring reservations specifically for popular items (i.e. Momofuku Fried chicken), much to the chagrin of diners who thought you only needed to battle the phone lines at French Laundry; Thomas Keller realizes he needs to give New York the Balthazar-sized Bouchon it deserves so we don't have to spend two hours waiting for a Balthazar brunch table.
Chris Stang & Andrew Steinthal of Immaculate Infatuation: David Chang elected governor; Elliot Spitzer opens gastropub on Ludlow.
Jeff Zalaznick, founder of Always Hungry: Welcome to New York: LA Restaurants (Bazaar, Animal, Kogi Truck); Lamb Belly is the new Pork Belly; Mexican Sandwich Craze
Kate Krader, restaurant editor Food & Wine: VEGETABLES. And maybe maybe more healthy dishes. Chefs, like Mario, are making meat the side dish for health and environmental reasons (his Otto cookbook coming out in April 2010 is all about that). Even the chefs at Animal in LA - Animal! - say they're getting sick of all the pork belly in their staff meals and going towards more fish and vegetable dishes. David Chang has talked vegetables since before last year. Also, more southern (at an upcoming place there's word of barbecue spaghetti!!). And more regional American, yippee. And I think/hope there's a new tier being established above the comfort food mob. Eleven Madison's 4th star was so huge - also Marea's success - I hope that things like Fabio at the Four Seasons and Jonathan Benno at Lincoln Center means food that's nicely ambitious, and of course delicious, in a not-too-refined setting.
Zach Brooks, mayor of Midtown: Ma Peche Officially Opens; 14 Bloggers Killed in Opening Day Stampede
Danyelle Freeman, Restaurant Girl: South East Asian food is going to get even more popular this year. Fish sauce and chili paste are about to become common condiments. I'm most excited about Peruvian dishes and ingredients -- like corn and peppers. It might be wishful thinking, but I think New York is finally going to get some standout Mexican joints with cactus dishes, regional moles, and tamales.
Josh Ozersky, meat man, future multi-media food maven: Author Foer Fingered in Calf-Slay Case: 'I couldn't help myself' says gaunt author; Chang Backlash Postponed Another Year; Pig, Knife Tattoos No Longer Guarantee of Popularity, Say Teens; Ozersky First Man to 300/300 club (Cholesterol, Q-Rating; Poll Shows 100% of Americans Sick of Warm Chocolate Cake.
Jay Cheshes, restaurant critic for TONY: Manhattan annexed by Italy.
Foster Kamer, Blackbook and Gawker scribe: Various opinions about eating at the bar, most of them incorrect. Michael Bao opens franchise on International Space Station; Steve Cuozzo hired by Diner's Journal; Hit job on Pete Wells paid for by restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow; Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Vegetables announced for publication in 2011; David Chang & Alan Richman's Sheepshead Bay 'steak bar' finally named: I Told You This Would Suck, Motherfucker.
Robert Sietsema, Village Voice critic: Former Top Chef contestant commits suicide, Tom Colicchio shills for Red Lobster, Padma gives birth to Rosemary's baby.
Merri Lee Kinglsy, publisher of Saveur: All about the real deal?Authenticity and heritage is hip.
Aaron Ginsberg, Always Eating: Del Posto nabs 4-stars from the Times; Spending on the rise, but it's the rustic, simple cooking that diner's crave; Ethnic eats such as Korean and Peruvian become more mainstream; Michael (Bao) Huynh, is he spreading himself too thin?; More and more restaurants forced to utilize social media to keep up with the rest of the industry; Shake Shack continues world domination!
Leventhal: San Fransisco Chefs Storm NY; East Coast Goes Farm to Table.
Solish: Bao chain is really just a ponzi scheme; Bottle service back with a vengeance; Todd English and Gordon Ramsay tram up to open the Comeback Inn; The Beatrice returns!
Kludt: Momofuku Makes the Long Awaited Move to LA; In & Out, Threatened by Shake Shack's National Expansion, Finally Hits NYC; Michael Bao Beats English, Chodorow, and Batali to the Punch, Opens a Food Court of his own.
Have a prescient or witty headline? Throw it in the comments.