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2014 tasted good. We ate amazing food, drank amazing cocktails and dined in amazing spaces. But what about the other food writers? How was their year? Based on the following responses, 2014 tasted good for everyone else.

We asked some of our favorite food writers what they enjoyed putting in their mouth.

Holley Simmons – Dining Editor of Washington Post Express

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?


Best: There were a few new restaurants that focused on lesser-known international cuisines. See: Thip Khao (Laotian food), Ocopa (Peruvian Food), and Compass Rose (a conglomeration of street food from around the world, including the khachapuri cheese bread from Georgia).
Worst: Steakhouses. I’m ready for more veggies in 2015.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?


Most: Crane and Turtle. I’m a huge fan of pretty much anything that comes from restauranteur Paul Ruppert. (Room 11, Petworth Citizen, The Passenger.) The scallop dish in particular blew me away.
Good, but not my favorite: Bidwell in Union Market. The food is well done, and I respect chef Mooney’s commitment to fresh, local produce (some of which is grown right on the roof of the restaurant). But whenever I’m in Union Market, I find myself craving something different than what I can get at the restaurant.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?


Best: For the fall, Mintwood Place debuted a 5-grain pumpkin risotto that was nothing short of magical.
Not the greatest: I had a pickled shrimp dish at Boss Shepherd’s that I wasn’t a huge fan of. But one bite of chef Waybright’s southern fried chicken, and all was forgotten.

Best food event of 2014?


Emporiyum. It was a the first year the event was held in D.C., and people were beyond excited to try goodies from some of the best food producers in the United States.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?


Momofuku. I’ve never been to the one in New York, so this is great I don’t have to make the trip.

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?


Wish for more: More first-time restauranteurs. I support locally founded chains, but a little competition/diversity never hurt anyone. And more lady chefs, please!
Can stay away: Restaurants without vowels in the name.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?


Chef: Ettore Rusciano, who owns Menomale in Brookland with his wife Mariya. The pizzeria is hands down one of the best in the city.
Restaurant: Rose’s Luxury. I’M SORRY for such a boring answer, but it’s true.
Bartender: Megan Barnes, who works her ass off to make sure McClellan’s Retreat is adding something special to the D.C. cocktail scene.
Bar: Copycat Co. I could spend hours there, and feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of offerings.

Favorite food blog, web site or column?


Jessica Sidman at Washington City Paper does a really great job of unearthing local food stories and personalities. And Rebecca Cooper at Washington Business Journal is a ninja when it comes to new restaurant openings. Also, I tend to agree with all of Laura Hayes’s “Best [insert food here] in D.C.” round-ups for Thrillist.

 

Jessica Sidman – Food Editor of Washington City Paper

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?

Best: The rise of D.C.-made food and drink products. We now have artisans selling all sorts of things: chocolate, tonic, ice cream, hot sauce, pickles, cold brew coffee, cured meats, root beer, and much more. These upstarts are just as exciting as all the new restaurants.

Worst: People apparently still think D.C. needs more steakhouses.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?

The best restaurant openings were the Partisan, Crane & Turtle, Ocopa, and Thip Khao.

Unfortunately, I don’t think DBGB lived up to the hype. It’s not bad, but it’s not as good as I expected it to be with all the hoopla around its opening and the fact that it’s, you know, a Daniel Boulud restaurant.

The best dish you ate in 2014?

Best: It’s tough to pick one dish, but the best meal I had was at Rose’s Luxury’s roof garden. Among the 15 or so dishes was a perfect parmesan and black pepper gnocci; roasted asparagus with fried jalapeño, pineapple, pineapple aioli, and chive oil; and homemade sourdough topped with goat cheese, ramp ash, spring peas, basil, tarragon, onion, and ramp vinaigrette.

The one you wish you hadn’t?

A cold spicy ramen noodle salad from Chaplin’s Restaurant & Bar. It tasted like salty playdough and wasn’t cold or spicy. Needless to say, it’s not on the menu anymore.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

The Dabney coming to Blagden Alley from chef Jeremiah Langhorne, and the new Columbia Room, which it just so happens will be located right above it.

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise? 

I want a really good Korean barbecue restaurant in D.C. for those times when I’m too lazy to drive to Annandale. I’ll take some Chinese dim sum too.

What you hope stays away?

I hope there aren’t more restaurants that take themselves too seriously and create unnecessary rules for diners (like no photo policies). It’s a losing battle.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar? 

Aaron Silverman and Rose’s Luxury, 2 Birds 1 Stone

Favorite food blog, web site or column?

I’ve become a big fan with VICE’s new food blog, Munchies. They cover the weirdest, craziest stories, like the nice lady who runs the kitchen at Guantanamo Bay or zombie caterpillar fungus that costs ridiculous amounts of money in Hong Kong. They even have a marijuana cooking show called Bong Appetit that’s pretty amusing.

 

Nevin Martell, food writer & cookbook author

Nevin Martell Courtesy of Photographer Scott Suchman

photo courtesy of Scott Suchman

The best food trend on 2014

It’s been awesome to see so many craft coffee houses opening up. My new favorite spots to get a caffeine fix are Compass Coffee, Mockingbird Hill and the Wydown. 

The worst?


All the clueless out of town chefs, restaurateurs and franchise owners who soullessly plop down their eateries without a true love for or understanding of D.C. Please go away. We have plenty of homegrown talent already.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?
Best new restaurants of the year were The Partisan/Red Apron and Fiola Mare. I was less than impressed with America Eats Tavern. Though the chocolate cake was good, most of the meal was pure meh.

The best dish you ate in 2014?

The lemon delicious my mother made me when I visited her this summer. The sweet ‘n’ tart pudding was one of my favorite desserts as a child and it still wows me as an adult.
 
The one you wish you hadn’t?


The bloody, undercooked fried chicken at DC Harvest. That was a low, low point.


Best food event of 2014?

The March of Dimes Signature Chef Event at the Ritz-Carlton, which featured a slew of talented kitchen commanders — Mike Isabella, Kyle Bailey, Victor Albisu, Scott Drewno, Matt Adler, Kyoo Eom, Ethan McKee and many others.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Anything being opened by a guy with the last name of Chang.

Favorite Chef? 

Tarver King. The man is part culinary genius, part mad artist and part dimension-hopping wizard.

Favorite Restaurant?

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm.

Favorite Bar? 

The one I have set up in my living room. It carries all the liquors I love, there’s no pressure to talk to anyone and I don’t have to drive home.

Favorite food blog, web site or column?

It’s a tie. Washington City Paper’s Young & Hungry and anything Todd Kliman writes.

 

Dan SilvermanPrince of Petworth

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?
 Best: Biscuits Worst: Abrupt closings!

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?
It made it by a hair but the Laotian Thip Khoa in Columbia Heights is the real deal.  As is Crane & Turtle in Petworth.  Thank God.  But I was pretty disappointed with the long awaited Lunchbox from Bryan Voltaggio because I really like Range.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?
My memory is not that good but I had some terrific pasta at Osterini Morini on the Waterfront in Navy Yard and some very delicious Indian take out from Salt and Pepper Grill II.   And I swear to God few things make me happier than a slice from Wiseguy NY pizza.

Best food event of 2014?
I finally got to attend the Savor Craft Beer event at the National Building Museum – which I guess is more of a drinking event but I definitely ate some good oysters too – so I’m counting it as a food event.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?
Maketto on H Street and the new Filipino Restaurant, Bad Saint, coming to Columbia Heights

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?
I’d love to see some more reasonably priced delicious spots open up.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar? 
Along with everyone else on the face of the earth and I’m still hoping it turns out he’s a long lost relative of mine – Rose’s Luxury’s Aaron Silverman.  As far as consistency is concerned, my favorite restaurants remain Izakaya Seki and Pho Viet.  Favorite Bar(s) – Solly’s, Looking Glass Lounge, The Pug, Red Derby, Boundary Stone among several dozen others…  Wait also All Souls – ugh this is not a fair question.

Favorite food blog, web site or column?
Anything by the prolific Laura Hayes.

Missy Frederick – EATER

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 The best food trend of 2014/The worst?
I’m all about seeing more single-specialty shops like Donburi open up. I have no interest in the proliferation of cat cafes.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?
I think Compass Rose was my favorite opening of 2014, and Soi 38 was the most pleasant surprise. DBGB Kitchen + Bar was a disappointment in a lot of ways – it’s fine, but I experienced inexperienced service and so/so execution on many of the dishes, and thought the menu was a letdown.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?
I was glad to check off some bucket-list dishes this year, like Marcel’s boudin blanc, Uncle Liu’s hot pot and Bourbon Steak’s hamburger. But my favorite dish of 2014 was Peter Chang’s bamboo fish. As for worst dish, can we all agree that we’re happy the long national nightmare of Shake Shack’s fresh cut fries is over?

Best food event of 2014?
I’ll take the Eater Awards out of consideration out of bias. Beyond that, I’d say Chefs for Equality for big ticket event, and Osteria Morini’s one year anniversary for smaller dinners.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?
Beyond having Peter Chang’s closer, I’m excited about Liam LaCivita’s new place, Jonah Kim’s new restaurant and Convivial from the Mintwood team.

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?
I’d love to see some sort of interesting Israeli restaurant here like the kind of places Michael Solomov has been opening in Philly. I hope that DC bars don’t follow in the footsteps of the ones I’ve seen on our National site lately offering tasteless stuff like a “Roofie Colada,” because I don’t want to write those sorts of stories.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar? 
I’m a huge Tarver King fan, and I’ve been really impressed with what Tim Ma has been up to this year. Johnny Spero’s also making himself known as a real talent. Favorite restaurants this year included Mintwood Place, Rose’s Luxury, Compass Rose, Le Diplomate, Bombay Club, Maneki Neko (our neighborhood Japanese joint), Red Hen and Daikaya. Favorite bars: Spacebar, Barmini, Daikaya’s upstairs, Iron Gate, Room 11 and Jack Rose. Also, RIP Passenger. And I’m glad B-Side opened up in my neighborhood, though I’ve only been once.

Favorite food blog, web site or column?
I love reading all my colleagues and competitors! The hilarious Maura Judkis was my favorite food writer to read this year, I’d say.

Maura Judkis – Reporter – Washington Post

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?

I liked that this year wasn’t as 14th Street-focused as 2013 was. It’s great that we’re spreading some of that excitement all around.

Though it’s been waning for a little while, this seems to have been the year that the small-plates trend officially began to reverse itself. I hope we continue on that trajectory. I like sharing, but I can’t help but feel that sometimes it’s just a way to manipulate people to spend more. I’m also glad that we’re all starting to chill out with the foraging/reclaimed barnwood/trying to one-up each other with manufactured authenticity.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014

There were so many big-name openings this year, but the new restaurants that made me the happiest weren’t fancy. I love weeknight neighborhood spots like the Partisan, Pop’s Seabar, and Compass Rose. I got a great first impression of both Gypsy Soul and Copycat Co., too.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

When Compass Rose opened, I wrote that I wished there were a person-sized khachapuri that I could nestle into as if it were a sleeping bag. I stand by that assessment.

Things I wish I hadn’t put in my mouth: Anything from the Arcane Supper Club’s “Gluttony” party, which is the only assignment I’ve ever walked out on because I was SO ANGRY. The room was covered in actual garbage. The drinks were, I’m fairly certain, Mad Dog 20/20. The food was dry rice noodles coated in sriracha and tacos that tasted like feet. Pretty sure I will hold a grudge against the people who threw this party until the day I die.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

I’m really looking forward to seeing what The Dabney has in store for D.C. And Momofuku, of course. And Peter Chang’s!

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?

I’m glad that our selection of ethnic food in D.C. proper is expanding, with Laotian from Thip Khao and Filipino food from the upcoming Bad Saint. I hope 2015 brings even more diversity.

Josh Novikoff – DCist

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The best food trend on 2014?
Best: Pork as steak. Typically pork shoulder is cooked for a long time to break it down, stewing or pulling that part of the pig. I’ve lately been seeing great meat centric restaurants giving cuts of the shoulder the ribeye treatment, featuring the dish as it were beef at a top steakhouse. I had a pork shoulder cut at Partisan, tender as the finest prime rib. Harriman’s at the Salamander in Middleburg even does this with black iberico pigs.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?
Rural Society in the Lowes Madison hotel was a great opening. Their properties that I’ve been to always have such great style to them, and this is no exception with a classy bar and homey dining room. And the chance to start a meal with Argentinian pizzas, sweetbreads, and sausages as you work up to the wood grilled steaks are a culinary treat. You can make it super expensive by going for the chef’s tasting parrilla menu or cheap by taking advantage of the happy hour.

The best dish you ate in 2014?
The poached carpaccio of lobster at Corduroy with a drawn butter and fish roe sauce. That’s luxury.

Best food event of 2014?
I had a grand time volunteering at Sips and Suppers this year. Lots of the time volunteer events don’t really come with work to do. At my Supper meal I was in a beautiful home kitchen helping to plate, wash dishes, shoot the shit, and taste what was being sent out by Todd Gray and Tiffany MacIsaac. Plus I landed at the after-after party with Daniel O’Brien whipping up ramen for an exclusive late night crew. Great night!

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?
I’m certainly excited to see David Chang stand things up in CityCenter DC. But I may be most focused about Beefsteak, the vegetable focused—but not exclusively vegetarian—fast-casual concept that Jose Andrés is opening. He obviously wields a lot of influence in the food world and what he does there can send an important message about sustainability and deliciousness.

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?
More gluten free awareness at Asian restaurants. My wife has Celiac disease, so I am grateful for gluten free craze that’s swept up the nation and the awareness of gluten free dietary needs. Gluten free should theoretically be really easy at Chinese and other Asian cuisines because rice is king and there’s not a lot of wheat flour. But regular soy sauce has wheat in it for whatever reason and the stuff and other problem sauces find their way into lots of dishes. Restaurants like Thip Kao, Beau Thai, and Four Sisters label gluten free items. That’s great, but it can also be confounding because there seem to be other dishes that seem like they could be gluten free or easily made that way by using gluten free tamari, an easy substitute for soy sauce. We brought a bottle to Peter Chang’s and he was happy to use it in the dishes he sent us, which really opened up the menu options, and is not hard to do.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar? 
Andrew Markert is a chef that’s really put together a really playful, enticing, family farm sourced menu at Beuchert’s Saloon. He’s really thoughtful about his food, plus friendly, soft-spoken, and tall.
Blue Duck Tavern remains a favorite of mine with a fantastic menu, service, and setting. And they continually go extra miles, like letting an assistant pastry chef create a new gluten free breakfast menu, special wine and Champagne by the glass events, and intriguing events through a Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine series.
I like popping into the cozy Bar Charley in the quieter part of Adams Morgan for their very overwhelming Manhattan menu, good food, and the opportunity to buy a cocktail that’s $9, not $14.

Alejandra Owens

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?

Best food trend would be DC chefs collaborating and having so much fun together. Mike Isabella’s Industry Night and Danny Lee’s Anju are just two examples of how well DC chefs work and play together. I don’t have a worst trend, but I will say this was a kind of boring year in dc dining. Maybe next year will be more interesting?

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up? Best opening wasn’t a restaurant, it was The Wydown coffee shop and bakery. One sip of coffee or a bite of their delicious pastries says it all. For me, Lupo Verde didn’t hit the spot. They do a few things well but by and large I’m not aching to go there.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

Best dish was the squid ink pasta from Red Hen! Pretty much any dish from Red Hen was the best thing I ate this year. Worst dish was a very sad pasta carbonara from Lupo Verde. The eggs were basically scrambled in the pasta.
Best food event of 2014? I didn’t go to any this year but the best buzz came out of Chefs For Equality!

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Whatever Eric Ziebold or Jonah Kim do will be something to watch.

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?

I wish more bakeries focused on bread and savories rather than cupcakes and macarons would open. The cronut can stay in New York, thank you very much.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar? 

Mikey Friedman of Red Hen. Red Hen. Red Hen. Seriously, 2014 was the year of going steady with my favorite joints. A very close second is Cashions which is my neighborhood local and just kills it every time.

Favorite food blog, web site or column?

I love to hate read the New York Times articles about DC. But who doesn’t?!

 

Jenna GoldenEatMore DrinkMore

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The best food trend in 2014/The worst?

Best trend: It seems we’re finally starting to recognize the importance of bakeries. I can’t get enough of the amazing homemade scones at The Wydown, and I also love Mark Furstenberg’s concept at Bread Furst which includes coffee, baked goods, and other substantial bites. Room 11 is another example of a great restaurant in town who is now offering a bakery concept in addition to their regular menu. Worst trend: I honestly don’t think DC saw a ton of trendy things in the restaurant space this year.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?

Lupo Verde is one of my favorite new spots that opened in the past year. It’s warm and inviting, and the food is rustic and comforting. Red Light on 14th Street is one that totally misses the mark in my opinion. The cocktails are too intense for my liking, and the concept of a dessert only menu isn’t one that I see thriving in DC.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

The best dish I ate this year was the pear and cheese ravioli at Coquinarius in Florence, Italy. However, in DC I’d say it was the classic cacio e pepe at Fiola. It’s always phenomenal. The worst was pizza from Piola. Never again.

Best food event of 2014?

A tie between the RAMMY’s and the DBGB opening party. Both were very fun and festive.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

I am excited to see what Jonah Kim brings to us with Yona. It might actually entice me to go to Virginia. I also am looking forward to David Chang’s Momofuku.
What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?

More wine bars, please. No more steakhouses in hotels. We should be done with that.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?

Favorite chef: Massimo Fabbri of Posto. Posto is my go-to spot in the neighborhood, and he consistently delivers delicious food in an authentic way. I also love The Red Hen and Mintwood Place. Favorite bar: 2 Birds 1 Stone.

Favorite food blog, web site or column? Laura Hayes does a great job with Best Thing on the Menu.

Laura Hayes –Freelance food writer & photographer
@BTMenu

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The best food trend of 2014/The worst?

Best food trend: There are two! 1. Restaurants doing their damnedest to make everything in house. They’re baking, pickling, curing, aging, canning, etc.  In case you don’t think we appreciate it, we do! 2. Chef collaborations like Jonah Kim and Danny Lee’s Anju.

Worst food trend: Waiting for Maketto.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?

Best Opening: The Partisan. It’s where Nathan Anda and Ed Witt do their best work, paired with an unmatched bar program.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

Best: The scallop entrée at Crane & Turtle. Perfectly cooked scallops swim in coconut foam studded with cute little chorizo stuffed tapioca dumplings. It looks like they recently changed up the preparation, but I trust it’s just as satisfying.

Wish I hadn’t: Deep fried duck tongues at New Big Wong. I’m sobbing thinking about it.

Best food event of 2014?

Sugar & Champagne for the win. You can bring your pup as your +1 and chow down on desserts from the city’s top pastry chefs.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Momofuku!

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?

Wish for: I’m loving the city’s collective lean toward global street food and hope that chefs continue to push the boundaries in 2015. Street food for street food prices would also be nice…

Please god no: This might be in direct conflict with the above statement, but I’m over offal.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?

Favorite Chef: Tarver King—Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Favorite Restaurant—Rose’s Luxury
Favorite Bar—Mockingbird Hill

Favorite food blog, web site or column? Too many are my bosses so….no comment 🙂

Jeff DuFour – Urban Daddy

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?

BEST: SERIOUS BBQ. WORST: EXPENSE-ACCOUNT STEAKHOUSES FOR LAWYERS/CONVENTION-GOERS. LOOK FORWARD TO EVEN MORE OF THAT IN 2015.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?

BEST: FIOLA MARE. DIDN’T LIVE UP: BIDWELL

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

POT PIE FRITTERS AT BOSS SHEPHERD’S / VINEGAR-CURED MACKEREL AT IZAKAYA SEKI

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

THE DABNEY

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?

CHEF: FABIO TRABOCCHI / RESTAURANT: PEARL DIVE / BAR: SOUTHERN EFFICIENCY

Favorite food blog, web site or column?

TIM CARMAN’S $20 DINER

SO YEAH, FEEL FREE TO LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS TOO, BTW…

Michael Birchenall – FoodService Monthly

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The best food trend of 2014

They call it a hyper-local sub-trend with all the hyphens to add to its pretentious moniker but I would rather like to say it’s chefs being chefs … making good ingredients taste wonderful: canning, preserving, adding the farmer as a recognized brand, pickling, diving into smoking meats and seafood, making bacon, ice creams … they are all techniques and tools used by the innovators in their own kitchens to keep in tune with the history of food when it came from our back yards, our neighbors, our farms, the watermen.

The worst: Farm-to-Table … I almost cringe when I see it on every menu, in every concept, on all the trend reports. It’s as if to quantify a trend we have to bludgeon the conversation with buzz words, empty phrases and quasi-commitment until there is no meaning … but it is Farm-to-Table and that should sell, today.

The best DC restaurant opening in 2014

Fiola Mare by Fabio Trabocchi: I am an admitted Trabocchi-phile and he hasn’t let me down. But I didn’t think he could surprise me and Fiola Mare did with its ability to be so many restaurants … a place for tourists and to bring folks from out of town; a fancy pants high quality seafood restaurant; a sophisticated dining experience or even a hangout. I like to slide in to the bar on the left, out of the way and enjoy a small dish, usually pasta along with a negroni to start and then a glass of wine. And then I am gone … and happy.

The best dish of 2014

French Onion Soup at City Perch Kitchen + Bar

It’s been a comfort food kind of year for me (no, not a hot trend) and I found an old favorite at the new City Perch where Matt Baker is showing off his skills. It’s hard to find this classic dish but Baker has added a new dimension with braised short rib. He adds copious amounts of bread, Gruyere and a white cheddar gratin to make this a savory express to heaven. Don’t forget the two glasses of red wine it will take to wash this down. I’m full for $9 so I can splurge of the wine for another check with the beverage $ more than the food.

Best food event of 2014?

I still like the RAMMYS … any time to celebrate the folks who work so hard to make the food world of DC/MD/VA so much fun deserve a night like this.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Eric Ziebold has left the Mandarin and CityZen has closed. I anticipate his new restaurant will set a new standard for the DC dining experience … and if you can only remember the Parker House rolls, he hasn’t totally committed to include them on the menu. The discussion goes on with his team and the rolls are still on the table so to speak. Don’t get hung up there as Eric will surely dazzle us with a complete experience. I want to see the touches his wife Celia brings.

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?

Forget the food trends … I’ll be happy with some good food, a well-made cocktail (something with Lyon rum from St. Michaels will be fine), a thoughtful wine list, decent service and friends and family to share the good times. And what the hell, a decadent dessert or two. Is that specific enough?

Lauren De Santis – Capital Cooking

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The best food trend on 2014/The worst?
Best:  Local ingredients.  Bidwell has a super cool rooftop garden.  You can’t get much fresher than that!
Worst:  Gluten-free everywhere.  I get it if you have Celiac disease, but gluten-free has now gone beyond that and is just trendy.

The most anticipated or best DC restaurant opening in 2014/The one that didn’t quite live up?
My favorite new restaurant was Compass Rose.  I like the variety of menu items and the portion sizes are much larger than your typical small plates restaurant.  Make sure to try the Georgian khachapuri.
Tico didn’t live up to the hype for me.  Another overpriced small plate restaurant with subpar cocktails.

The best dish you ate in 2014?/ The one you wish you hadn’t?

Best dish of 2014 was Rialto’s Tortelli pasta filled with pumpkin in a brown butter and sage sauce topped with almonds. So good!

Best food event of 2014?
My favorite food event of 2014 was the Heritage BBQ event.  It was more casual than the traditional Cochon 555 and it was awesome to see the creativity of the chefs in a  more casual setting.

What opening are you most looking forward to in 2015?
I’m looking forward to Chef David Chang’s new DC restaurant.  I’m obsessed with his Crack Pie!

What you wish for DC in 2015 food trend wise?/ What you hope stays away?
Looking forward to seeing more gourmet food options for kids in 2015.

Favorite Chef? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite Bar?
My favorite chef is John Mooney!  He’s awesome in the kitchen and an all around great person. My favorite restaurant is Rasika.  I’ve never had a bad meal there and I always walk away delighted by the creative dishes. My favorite bar is Jack Rose.  It is always a fun scene and they make delicious cocktails.

Favorite food blog, web site or column?
I’m a big fan of Eater, Dining Bisnow and Washingtonian

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