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 biggest restaurant grievance of 2015?
Kathy Gunst, cookbook author:
Over-wordy waiters, waitresses and food descriptors on menus.
Rachel Forrest, Seacoast Online:
Do we have to even say "small plates" on menus anymore? At this point the menus are more "graduated" listings from lower price point to higher or smaller dish to larger. It's not so much a grievance as not wanting to see the term "small plates" anymore.
Joe Ricchio, Dispatch magazine:
The McChicken went from $0.99 to $1.29. Dude what the fuck?
Karen Watterson, Maine magazine:
No reservations at Central Provisions.
Kate McCarty, The Blueberry Files blog, Eater Maine contributor:
That many of the restaurants that opened in 2015 are pricey.
Peggy Grodinsky, Portland Press Herald:
Places that don't take reservations. I get it, sort of, from a professional point of view. Personally, I can't stand it. I have a busy life. Everyone I know has a busy life. Why can't I make a reservation and be assured of getting in to a restaurant when I want to dine out? Reservations policies favor young people with no other obligations or tourists with lots of free time and make me feel the restaurant doesn't care about my business. When I am eating with my 80-plus-year-old parents, am I supposed to drag them around to wait in lines on a wing and a prayer? Have restaurants that refuse to take reservations forgotten they are in the SERVICE industry? When I am feeling cranky, I think this is what comes of chefs believing that they are movie stars, god help us.
Claire Jeffers, MaineToday:
Graham cracker rim martini. Please stop.
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
Design and price point as a substitute for actual technique.
Rob Schatz, Eating Portland Alive blog:
The "expresso" window decal at Pockets, not to mention that whole wage theft thing....
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
Too many beards in the kitchen. Where are all the female chefs at?
Don Lindgren, Rabelais Books:
New restaurants with good food, but with service of the "hi, I'm Cindy and I'm your server" style (this is not the servers' fault).
Susan Axelrod, Portland Press Herald:
Too many servers are still replying "no problem" to every request. Sigh...
Paul Koenig, Old Port magazine:
Tourists discovering Eventide in full force last summer.
John Golden, The Golden Dish blog:
Enough of the craft cocktails and return to well made classic cocktails; one exception is Trevin Hutchins (Tempo Dulu) whose cocktail creativity is amazing.