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Restaurant Experts Sum up 2016 in One Word

These are the terms that defined the year in dining

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, writers, and experts. 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. We've heard about the top standbys, hot newcomers, and best dining neighborhoods. Now it's time for the words of the year. Please add your answers in the comments.


Question: What word best describes 2016?

Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief: Pokesanity

Ryan Sutton, Eater critic/data lead: I’m tempted to say Delivery-only, but we have yet to see whether Ando and Maple can really scale (or serve compelling food), and I’m also tempted to say Fine Casual, but we haven’t been completely overrun (yet) by the high-concept, waiterless, Chipotle-like restaurants that are supposed to be a hallmark of an era of sky-high rents and labor costs. So for a word of the year, let me pick something a bit more pedestrian: Brooklyn: After a few not so great years, Kings County came back in a big way with Olmsted, Aska, Lilia, Emmy Squared, Llama Inn, Insa, Sauvage, etc.

Matt Rodbard, TASTE editor-in-chief/Koreatown co-author: Cynical: Los Angeles. Non-cynical: Shakshuka

Helen Rosner, Eater executive editor: Haut-bourgeois

Devra Ferst, senior editor at Tasting Table: LA > NYC

Daniela Galarza, Eater news editor: Cha-ching.

Foster Kamer, Mashable managing editor: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jordana Rothman, restaurant editor at Food & Wine: Slay

Joe DiStefano, Chopsticks + Marrow blogger/food tour guide: Pokemongrel

Bret Thorn, NRN senior food & beverage editor: Fermented

Robert Sietsema, Eater senior critic: Tipless

Kat Odell, author of Day Drinking: Fermented

Melissa McCart, Eater NY editor: Polarized

Lockhart Steele, Eater co-founder/Vox Media editorial director: "Cou-cou!" (in the sing-songy voice of the endlessly repeated ditty from the Le Coucou bathroom.)

Laurie Woolever, food writer/Appetites co-author: Dynamic

Charlotte Druckman, food writer/cookbook author: Flaccid. Alternate: Democracy Sausage.

Matt Buchanan, Eater features editor: $$$$$

Nick Solares, Eater NY restaurant editor: Hotel

Patty Diez, Eater NY associate editor: ​Sigh​ (also applicable to 2016 in gen)

Serena Dai, Eater NY news editor: Poke

Greg Morabito, Eater Upsell co-host: Chains! New York City, home to the greatest collection of independent restaurants in America, is becoming a destination for moderately priced and upscale chains, as well as fast food places. New for 2016: Wagamama, Ichiran, Cut, TsuruTonTan, Sugarfish, Sushi Ginza Onodera, Teremok, Panda Express, Cheesecake Factory, and sweet, sweet Tim Ho Wan.

Top photo: Pokeworks in Midtown by Nick Solares

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