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Industry Experts on Their 2014 Restaurant Grievances

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What went wrong for Atlanta's restaurant scene over the past 12 months?

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of restaurant industry folks. We've already covered the restaurant standbystop newcomers2014 in one wordbest dining neighborhoodbiggest dining surprises, and the single best meal of the year. Now, it's time for restaurant grievances. Readers, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

What was the biggest restaurant grievance of 2014?

Krista Miller, Atlanta Eats director of content

Not taking reservations. I generally sit at the bar, so it doesn't affect me too often. But, when I'm really excited to introduce out-of-town friends to a place, or just get together with a few girlfriends, I don't want to spend an hour and a half balancing my things and looking hopefully at the host stand.

Joshua Charles, Flags of Origin owner/designer (Bocado Burger, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall)

It seems like the trend is to bring back vintage Americana, but too much, so it has become an exhausting trend. We have such great local craftsmen here in Georgia, and I'd prefer we highlight that rather than the past. Though I would like to bring Etta James with us!

Zach Meloy, Better Half chef/owner

People referring to their restaurants as "concepts" or "projects." How far away can you get from "hospitality"?

E.J. Hodgkinson, King + Duke executive chef

Pretension, by both chefs and restaurants.

Craig Richards, St. Cecilia executive chef

Great food with poor service.

Todd Richards, The Pig & The Pearl and The Shed at Glenwood chef/partner

Food critics. The system is outdated and lacks integrity. Star systems change every week, there seems to be no real direction that they are giving the dining public nor restaurants they are writing about, and not very honest about the way they created experiences themselves (example: showing up 30 minutes late for a reservation, not telling of food allergies prior to ordering, no basic knowledge of food techniques). The system needs more transparency and honesty.

Alex Brounstein, Grindhouse Killer Burgers owner

They took away my favorite dish in Atlanta, the tuna tartare on Sardinian flatbread at Top Flr. Darren Carr, bring it back!!!

Julian Goglia, The Pinewood owner/bartender

It turns out, sea urchin isn't my thing.

Zeb Stevenson, Parish executive chef/soon moving to Watershed on Peachtree

Enough with the flowers. I'm just as guilty, but seriously ... enough.

Jarrett Stieber, Eat Me Speak Me chef

People opening more big, safe restaurants.

Eli Kirshtein, The Luminary chef/owner

Bad beverage programs that aren't really thought out with any care.