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 are your headline predictions for 2015?
Mister Meatball, writer:
That new place opening in the Marriott on Commercial won't make it to 2016.
Rachel Forrest, Seacoast Online:
I see plenty of whole animal projects, Japanese snacking and bar food, chef's counters, and Southern food in our future. And arancini is the new deviled egg.
John Golden, The Golden Dish:
Asian restaurants will continue to shine with new ones coming on in 2015 at the Danforth, and the forthcoming Press Hotel restaurant under Mark and Clark will be a pivotal moment in Portland dining.
Rob Schatz, Eating Portland Alive:
Nothing specific, but I'm pretty excited to see what happens to East Ender with the Small Axe dudes in charge!
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
More restaurants keep opening and closing in Portland, though a handful of truly exceptional places continue to be exceptional (Fore Street, Miyake, Lolita, David's, Five Fifty-Five). More longtime favorites get squeezed out because of skyrocketing rents. Bangor continues to quietly grow as a food town and people keep ignoring it. The Midcoast continues to be the best place to eat in the state (Primo, The Lost Kitchen, Francine Bistro, Chase's Daily, Long Grain, Suzuki's Sushi Bar, on and on).
Joe Ricchio, Maine Magazine:
"Every other building in Portland is now a restaurant."
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files:
Craft spirits, continued flurry of restaurant openings outside the Old Port.
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
Biscuits are back. Donuts are dead. Crudo is the new sushi. Marijuana-infused cocktail bar opens on Congress Street.
Susan Axelrod, Maine Today:
Bill Murray finally shows up to Portland Beer Week.
Michael Cain and Meredith Perdue, Map and Menu:
With Small Axe taking over the East Ender and The Honey Paw opening from the team behind Hugo's and Eventide, on a street already stacked with heavyweights, that single block of Middle will be one of the most delicious in Maine.