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 was your single best meal of 2015?
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
Lobster poutine at Gritty's, who knew?
Kathy Gunst, cookbook author:
Primo—a night of a multi-coursed meal that included amazing charcuterie, homemade pasta and a million other dishes.
Joe Ricchio, Dispatch magazine:
A random night at Piccolo in November...
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files blog, Eater Maine contributor:
Dinner in July at the Chebeague Island Inn, mostly for the experience of dining on an island — arriving by ferry and enjoying the view from the inn.
Susan Axelrod, Portland Press Herald:
An extraordinary late-summer dinner at Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport. Justin Walker's food is truly swoon-worthy. Those squid-ink chicken wings!
Claire Jeffers, MaineToday:
My 30th birthday meal and experience outside on Isa's patio celebrating with dear friends.
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
While technically it was our two-day French food extravaganza in Quebec City this fall, I would have to say the oceanside fried seafood picnic had with friends at the Bagaduce Lunch in Penobscot — fried scallops, fried haddock and lobster rolls, with onion rings and lemonade, sitting on a picnic table in the sunshine next to the reversing falls — was pretty exceptionally wonderful.
Karen Watterson, Maine magazine:
The Lost Kitchen.
Rob Schatz, Eating Portland Alive blog:
Whatever Fred Eliot put in front of me. Honorable mention to Piccolo's Star Wars dinner.
Don Lindgren, Rabelais Books:
Indonesian pop-up at Honey Paw.
Paul Koenig, Old Port magazine:
BaoBao's prix fixe, five-course Chinese Sunday dinner.
John Golden, The Golden Dish blog:
Peggy Grodinsky, Portland Press Herald:
The roast chicken I made the first full day I spent in my new home. I know this is not the answer you're looking for, but eating is about eating at home, too, right? Not simply dining out. No, I cannot cook roast chicken remotely as good as Fore Street can nor many other talented chefs in town. But the smell of a roasting chicken in my sweet little new home with its small but quite functional kitchen after an exhausting summer of buying and an equally exhausting month of moving meant more to me than any restaurant meal this last year. Want to guess what my single worst meal was? A Domino's pizza on move day (rather night) itself. That was the only thing nearby that seemed to be open, and we were so very very tired. That wretched pizza? They should be ashamed of themselves. And it wasn't even fast service.