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. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What was your single best meal of 2014?
Mister Meatball, writer:
Housemade porchetta at Enio's.
Rachel Forrest, Seacoast Online:
Lacquered duck breast, sweet potato puree, gingered snow peas and sweet chili sauce at The Black Birch. Lobster Mac-n-Cheese with Cavatappi, Crunchy Garlic, Parmesan and Cheddar at Thistle Pig.
John Golden, The Golden Dish:
Earth at Hidden Pond.
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
I've eaten at Long Grain in Camden three times this year and each time it is heaven on a plate. Their Spicy Night Market Soup makes me nearly weep with joy. Though Lolita in Portland was also superb, for a completely different reason. And The Lost Kitchen is like visiting restaurant fairyland. Just beautiful. The best mussels I've ever had in my life.
Joe Ricchio, Maine Magazine:
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files:
Eventide Oyster Co. with This American Life's Ira Glass.
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
Bangs Island mussels at Back Bay Grill followed by a lobster roll at Pine Tree Seafood and Produce in Scarborough, completed with an Ilma Lopez creation at Piccolo for dessert.
Susan Axelrod, Maine Today:
Our good friend William was visiting from Maui, and we took him to Empire with a group of people—I think we ordered everything on the menu, and it was all spectacular. We can't do much to top life on Maui, but that dinner had William almost making plans to move to Portland. Three months later he still talks about the Lobster Longevity Noodles.
Michael Cain and Meredith Perdue, Map and Menu:
Central Provisions might seem like the popular choice for this one, but never before have we, time and time again, had meals where every bite of every dish is its own fantastic experience.