As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food writers, bloggers, and industry experts. We posed eight questions, from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of 2015. Responses have been cut, pasted, and largely unedited. Readers, please add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What were the top restaurant newcomers of 2015?
Rachel Forrest, Seacoast Online:
The Wallingford Dram, Kittery. While they don't have a large menu, it's just right for the outstanding cocktails. They've really shaken up the drinks scene in the Southern Maine and Seacoast region. Pun always intended. Keep an eye on Nolka which just opened in S. Berwick, too. Very talented young chef in Nick Gratton.
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files blog, Eater Maine contributor:
Terlingua, The Honey Paw, Dutch's (opened late 2014, but it's a sleeper hit that grew on me in 2015).
Claire Jeffers, MaineToday:
Isa, Honey Paw, Roustabout.
Karen Watterson, Maine Magazine:
Honey Paw; Evo; Tempo Dulu.
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
I didn't make it out to quite enough new restaurants as I'd like to have, but I very much enjoyed the English-style fish and chips I had at Dudley's Refresher in Castine.
John Golden, The Golden Dish blog:
Terlingua, Roustabout, Tempo Dulu, Union, Isa.
Rob Schatz, Eating Portland Alive blog:
Isa, Mami food truck, Portland Patisserie, Union.
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
Isa Bistro, Custom Deluxe, Velveteen Habit, Tempo Dulu.
Kathy Gunst, cookbook author:
Louie's in Portsmouth, NH (I know it's not Maine but it's real close). The Wallingford in Kittery is a whole lot of fun. Very sexy cocktail scene.
Joe Ricchio, Dispatch Magazine:
Honey Paw is one of the top newcomers in the past 5 years.
Don Lindgren, Rabelais Books:
Honey Paw, Custom Deluxe.
Susan Axelrod, Portland Press Herald:
Evo, Dirigo in Yarmouth, the new East Ender, Tempo Dulu.
Paul Koenig, Old Port magazine:
Ramen Suzukiya. Mami food truck. (I feel stupid at this point for not trying Honey Paw yet.)