As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of restaurant industry folks. We've already covered the restaurant standbys, top newcomers, 2014 in one word, best dining neighborhood, and the biggest dining surprises. Now it's time for the single best meal of the year. Readers, please leave your thoughts in the comments.
What was your single best meal in 2014?
Krista Miller, Atlanta Eats director of content
The "Hired Gun" dinner at Gunshow with Jeremiah Bacon was just flawless from beginning to end. I was genuinely sad when I had to wave away dishes.
Joshua Charles, Flags of Origin owner/designer (Bocado Burger, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall)
Better Half's tasting menu.
Jason Santamaria, Second Self Beer Company co-founder
Earlier this month, I went to a "Game and Whiskey" dinner at Ration & Dram. It was such a creative meal, starting with a dill cocktail and pickled quail egg and ending with an outstanding whiskey and rich, but simple, duck crème anglaise. The rabbit terrine was the best I've had, and I was thrilled to see it on the menu on our next visit.
Zach Meloy, Better Half chef/owner
A staggering 14 courses at Bacchanalia.
E.J. Hodgkinson, King + Duke executive chef
BoccaLupo (two times in a row).
Craig Richards, St. Cecilia executive chef
"The King" at King + Duke.
Todd Richards, The Pig & The Pearl and The Shed at Glenwood chef/partner
Toss up between The Rabbit Tasting at Two Burroughs Larder (Charleston) or the Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus, smoked paprika, Yukon gold potato puree) at Curate (Ashville, N.C.). I would drive back to either city in heartbeat just to eat either one of those dishes.
Linton Hopkins, chef/restaurateur/empire builder
Vegan tasting menu at the Georgian Room at The Cloister.
Alex Brounstein, Grindhouse Killer Burgers owner
5 & 10 in Athens is just stupid good. Everyone, do yourself a favor and take the pilgrimage to Five Points. You will not be disappointed.
Julian Goglia, The Pinewood owner/bartender
Zach Meloy's tasting at Better Half. Add an order of silk handkerchief pasta if you like to party.
Zeb Stevenson, Parish executive chef/soon moving to Watershed on Peachtree
In Atlanta? An impromptu "light-bite turned pig-out" and The General Muir stands out as the most delicious food I've eaten in a long time.
Jarrett Stieber, Eat Me Speak Me chef
Eli Kirshtein, The Luminary chef/owner
Hog & Hominy in Memphis and ABC Kitchen in NYC.