Welcome to Eater's annual year-end survey of friends, industry types, restaurateurs, chefs, media, and readers. This year, we asked the group seven questions, from Best Newcomers to Top Standbys. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Wednesday. So let's get this party started. The responses are in no particular order, cut, pasted and unedited:
The dinnertime rush at Sebo. [Photo: Flickr/kewlio]
Q: What was the meal of the year 2008?
Jan Newberry, San Francisco Magazine: The Kindai Bluefin tuna dinner at Sebo with guest chef Chris Cosentino
Jessica Boncutter, Bar Jules: Best meal we had a wonderful meal at SPQR when it first opened sitting at the bar.
Marcia Gagliardi, Tablehopper: Of course there isn’t just one! But the special tuna dinner at Sebo was pretty fantastic—I love that place. The OPENRestaurant events are also really memorable and unique.
Chris Cosentino, Incanto: Best meal was at Momofuku Ko; worst meal as always in an airport.
Brock Keeling, SFist: Fried pickles at Bender's
Lissa Doumani, Terra/Ame: Hagakure in Aoyama Tokyo and this is a very odd choice for me. I don’t eat chicken and this is a Yakitori joint. I should say I don’t eat the common parts of the chicken but give me all the offal or unusual and I am happy. At Hagakure you can order any part of the chicken you can think of and some that you can’t. Always have the grilled gizzards, liver, hearts but how about the tail, knees, veins or the oysters of the chicken and one of the best grill orders just the skin please. Then there are small stews of unborn egg and fallopian tube and rooster balls. This restaurant has a secret dish though (literally when we asked about it the waitress whispered it to us!), it is a bowl of raw chicken liver, gizzard, fallopian tube and rooster balls with a bit of soy sauce and egg yolk and chives. Whisk it all together and delish! [Bonus: the dish in question can be seen here —PL]
Anna Weinberg, South: Best bite was from the taco truck outside best buy on folsom/11th - harrowing xmas shopping day may have had something to do with it... also the chana marsala at dosa
Nish Nadaraja, Yelp: That’s hard for me to pin down since for me who I eat with is just as important (if not more so) as the meal itself. I’d have to go with a special tasting at Gary Danko, where really anytime there is a special occasion.
Joe Hargrave, Laiola: My girlfriend recently introduced me to the best torta in the city. La Torta Gorda Torta on 24th street, make sure to order the #28 pierna enchalada and an hecho in mexico coca cola. mmmm. Also had a really, really special meal at Meadowood; that Chris Kostow can cook his ass off.
Sarah Sung, UrbanDaddy: Good for me: Skate with brussels sprouts and turnips at Incanto (you can go the non-offal route and still have an incredible experience), or the off-the-menu steak at Spruce
Lucchesi: Springtime downstairs at Chez Panisse, the summer tasting menu at Aziza, lunch at Redd during the autumn crush. Honorable mention goes to the Taste & Tribute for the sheer unique nature of the evening.
And now, let's hear your nominations in the comments.