As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food critics, writers, and bloggers. This year 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 2014. Responses have been cut, pasted, and unedited, for the most part. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What was your single best meal of 2014?
Lesley Chesterman, The Gazette fine dining critic:
A dinner shared with a food writer friend at Bouillon Bilk, a night where every second word during the meal was either "wow" or "delicious."
Ève Dumas, La Presse food writer:
A super fresh midsummer meal of razor clams, white asparagus, radish salad, with perfect cocktails and perfect wines at Hôtel Herman.
Andrée Harvey, ex-Voir food critic:
Chez Lili Co. : un onglet de boeuf tendre et savoureux servi avec escargots, rapini, crème de chaat masala et aligoté aux crottes de fromage.
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse restaurant critic:
That's a really difficult question because my best meals were often the best because I was with great people, at the best moment, with good wines... I loved the meal that Mauro Colagreco cooked at Toqué ! in the fall. I loved an amazing aioli I had with Daniel Boulud at his restaurant Maison Boulud here in Montréal when I interviewed him for La Presse last summer. I always adore going to Cabane du Pied de cochon with my family and to watch them enjoy the food. And I absolutely adore Gabrielle Hiller's desserts. So I had a fantastic meal there in October.
Outside of Montreal, I think my favorite meal was at Osteria Francescana in Modena in September. But I also had a totally crazily outstanding meal at Eleven Madison Park in New York in April. I also adored a simple meal -- with lots of truffles -- I had at La Piola in Alba in Italy recently. (I won't say Noma because I will sound like a caricature of myself, plus there was a grumpy diner at my table, but I did have a de-li-cious meal there in August. Live langoustine anyone ?) I can't say what was the single best. Impossible !
Sarah Musgrave, The Gazette casual dining critic, enRoute magazine editor:
Have to hand it to a high end night out at Le Serpent. Like Italy went on vacation to Japan and came back deeply moved by the experience.