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[MCF Fuku Fingers]
[MCF Fuku Fingers]
Nick Solares

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Restaurant Experts Sum Up the Year in Dining in One Word

The words that define the year in restaurants

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions running the gamut from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. Their answers will appear throughout the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Yesterday we heard about the top standbys and best newcomers. Now it's time for the words of the year. Please add your answers in the comments.

Question: What word best describes 2015?

Levi Dalton, Eater wine editor/host of I'll Drink to That — Chains. Chains connected to chains

Hillary Dixler, Eater's senior reports editor — ​Boring

Foster Kamer, Mental Floss executive editor — #Lifestyle. Or #Balls

Helen Rosner, Eater features editor/co-host of The Eater Upsell — Zero-gratuity.

Erik Torkells, editor/publisher of Tribeca Citizen — Bowl

Serena Dai, Eater NY reporter — Cazh

Kat Kinsman, Tasting Table editor-at-large — Grainy. So many, many grains. I'm not complaining.

Mimi Sheraton, former Times restaurant critic and author of 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You DieEncouraging

Devra Ferst, Tasting Table senior editor —Instagram

Matt Duckor, Epicurious senior editor — Influencer

Jordana Rothman, NYC-based food writer — AF. It counts

Kat Odell, Eater Drinks editor — Vegan

Charlotte Druckman, NYC-based food writer — Just the TIP.

Kenzi Wilbur, Food 52 managing editor — Ethnic. New York is paying more attention to the places that have always been here. It is lifting them up, and it is copying them—forcing them to buy a new suit, giving them linen napkins. None of this is a bad thing.

Matt Rodbard, NYC-based food writer — Tipped

Matt Buchanan, editor at The Awl — Gilded

Robert Sietsema, Eater NY senior critic — Vegetarian

Joe DiStefano, editor/publisher of Chopsticks + Marrow — FUKUPOCALYPSE

Dan Saltzstein, editor at the NYT Travel section — Underrated

Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief — MajorFood

Lockhart Steele, Vox Editorial Director and Eater co-founder — Setbreak

Ryan Sutton, Eater NY critic/data lead — Tie: Hospitality-Included + Fast Casual. The movement to end tipping and the rise of venues like Fuku and Superiority Burger are both a product of our era of rising minimum wages. So perhaps the one word that ties it all together is LABOR, and it's heartwarming that diners are increasingly passionate about learning more about why the restaurant industry ranks among the lowest paying sectors of the U.S. economy, and what we can do to change that reality. And here I should give credit where credit is due: I didn't pay as much attention to this beat as I should have until I saw Kat Kinsman writing about the importance of pursuing labor stories in the 2012 edition of the Year in Eater

Nick Solares, Eater NY senior editor — Spendy

Daniela Galarza, Eater news editor — Average

Greg Morabito, Eater NY editor and co-host of The Eater Upsell — Monochromatic [see here, here, here, here, and here]

A.M. Intel

Resy Founder Gets $24 Million From Amex, Others for New Restaurant App

NYC Restaurant Openings

A Fine Dining Restaurant Opens in a Midtown Subway Station

NYC Restaurant Openings

One of the Country’s First Michelin-Starred Indian Restaurants Opens a Follow-Up