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 questions running the gamut from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers, and will be sharing their responses this week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What was your single best meal of 2014?
Hawk Krall, illustrator and sometimes food writer:
Vetri. First time; lived up to the hype and then some.
Brian Freedman, food and wine writer, critic at Philly Weekly:
The Fountain, for a final dinner there before they closed. It embodied everything that the team at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia does so well, and from beginning to end, it was amazing.
Danya Henninger, food and beer writer, editor of Zagat Philly:
Tossup between "Our Terroir" at Fork and dinner at Townsend.
Kristina Jenkins, editor at uwishunu:
I was super fortunate to eat many, many absolutely delicious meals this year, but chef Eli Kulp's Our Terroir tasting menu at Fork really knocked my socks off.
Drew Lazor, freelance writer:
In the Philly area — Zeppoli in Collingswood and Kim's in North Philly. Outside the city — Sushi Nakazawa in New York, Bar Isabel in Toronto, Birch in Providence, R.I.
Caroline Russock, food editor at Philadelphia City Paper:
A recent birthday celebration at Petruce. That place is magical.
Amanda Feifer, phickle.com:
I'm so biased, since I was peripherally involved, but the first dinner in the High Street Fermentation Dinner series (Eastern European) was the best meal I've ever eaten. Period. Those people are geniuses.
Marcos Espinoza, food blogger and co-owner of Side Project Jerky:
It was Laurel, but then Abe Fisher snuck in at the last minute and really hit a home run. Love the space, the lighting, the cocktails, and holy of holies with that smoked short rib.
Jamie Shanker, editor at Midtown Lunch Philly and food tour guide:
Serpico and Laurel.