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 are your headline predictions for 2016?
Paul Koenig, Old Port magazine:
"All-You-Can-Eat Chicken And Waffles Returns To Portland" (I hope).
Rachel Forrest, Seacoast Online:
I'm lobbying for aquavit to be the new absinthe (or St. Germain) so I hope to see "Nordic — it's now in your glass" soon. Italian cuisine was last year and this year so I think we'll see more Eastern European food. So "Goulash — it's what's for dinner."
Claire Jeffers, MaineToday:
"Longtime Grumpy Portland Resident Condemns Restaurant Trend, Dines Out Nightly."
"Surge of Maine Visitors Sport Island Clothes Thinking 'Tiki' Bars Denote Warmer Temps."
"Portland Housing Crisis Spurs 'Restaurant Industry'-only Apartment Complex."
"Restaurant Champions Buddhist Cooking Practices, $200 Per Person."
Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News:
I think we see a slowing-down of the restaurant explosion in Portland, as more buildings become occupied and real estate prices continue to go up. Though we might also see places begin to close as overhead becomes too high. Other places in Maine continue to produce exceptional food, under the radar.
Rob Schatz, Eating Portland Alive blog:
Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News:
Rhum makes drinking barefoot a hot winter trend in Maine.
Sam Hayward and Dana Street finally open on the pier. Harding Lee Smith says "brang it."
Food and Wine magazine declares Portlyn the new Portland. Nine out of 10 hipsters agree.
Don Lindgren, Rabelais Books:
"North Yarmouth Becomes Dining Destination with Opening of the Purple House."
"Michelin Three-Star Chef Opens Restaurant in Maine."
Karen Watterson, Maine magazine:
"Petite Jacqueline Takes Over Portland Patisserie Space." (Just a thought....)
Kathy Gunst, cookbook author:
Maine will continue to be a world class eating destination.
Farm-raised food will prevail.
It will continue to matter where your food came from.
Flavors borrowed from all over the world will meld with New England cuisine.
Susan Axelrod, Portland Press Herald:
More Portland bar owners turn to tiki.
Seaweed goes from exotic to mainstream on Maine restaurant menus.
Otto further expands empire with hot dog eatery.
John Golden, The Golden Dish blog:
"Bayside will see the biggest surge in new restaurants in 2016."
Joe Ricchio, Dispatch magazine:
Probably something that will piss me off, can't wait!