As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. For our first question, friends of Eater weighed in on their top restaurant standbys. Now, it's time for top restaurant newcomers. And readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.
The raw bar at Eventide [Photo: Ted Axelrod]
Q: What are the top restaurant newcomers of 2012?
John Golden, The Golden Dish: I suppose the top restaurant newcomer &8212; even though it's been written about to death, including me &8212; is Eventide. I love everything there but always leave just a bit hungry.
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files: Silly's With a Twist (more seating at Silly's is always welcome!), Eventide Oyster Co., LFK.
Alex Steed, Bourbon. Beer. Portland. Politics: Pocket Brunch.
Natalie Ladd, columnist, The Portland Daily Sun: L.F.K. for the Meat & Cheese Combo Plate, Carmen's at the Danforth for everything top notch and schmoozie.
Nancy Heiser, freelance restaurant critic, food writer: Tao in Brunswick, where chef Cara Stadler is mixing flavors and textures into small plates like nothing else in Maine. Eventide in Portland.
Joe Ricchio, Food Coma TV: Eventide Oyster Company and Carmen at the Danforth.
Susan Axelrod, editor Eater Maine: In Portland, (I see I'm following the crowd here) Eventide; in the Boothbay region: Mine Oyster, which has fun shooters like the Lemony Snicket - chilled Stoli hot vodka and lemon oil - to pair with raw oysters.