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 the best dining neighborhood in 2014?
Mister Meatball, writer:
Rachel Forrest, Seacoast Online:
Kittery Foreside. Since The Black Birch opened three years ago, this two to three block area has become the little hamlet diners go to avoid Portsmouth (or go just "because"). Now, Anneke Jans has chef Lee Frank in the kitchen, Lil's opened with terrific pastries, Stella's with great soups and sandwiches. Anju, the new ramen noodle bar is there and Tulsi a street over. Loco Coco's is still hopping, too. A block from that is Tod Mott's new Tributary Brewing with Belle's on Wheels food truck outside. Kittery is becoming a model for nearby NH towns--open hip spots with great, yet inexpensive, food and a neighborhood feel. Like Brooklyn 10 or even 15 years ago!
John Golden, The Golden Dish:
Rob Schatz, Eating Portland Alive:
West End is the best end.
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
I live in Bangor, so neighborhoods don't really factor into it. In Portland, I feel like, for me, there's a cluster of places that I constantly frequent near One Longfellow Square (Boda, Pai Men, Hot Suppa). Everybody says Bayside is the big thing these days but who knows? Things come and go constantly.
Joe Ricchio, Maine Magazine:
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files:
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
The eatery upsurge on Preble Street.
Susan Axelrod, Maine Today:
The West End: from BaoBao to Bramhall to Salvage BBQ and Tandem Bakery, plus the standbys that have been there for a while, it's got it going on.
Michael Cain and Meredith Perdue, Map and Menu:
Portland's Longfellow Square has been and continues to be consistently delicious.