As we put a cap on 2015, Eater Atlanta surveyed a group of dining scene experts for their takes on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to biggest grievances. All answers will be revealed — unedited and unadulterated — by the time we pop the cork on 2016.
What were your top restaurant standbys of 2015?
Ligaya Figueras, Atlanta Journal-Constitution food editor: If, by "standbys," you mean restaurants that have been around for a while, that I enjoyed going to, I really enjoy eating at Miller Union. Steven Satterfield and his team have a way with vegetables. It's thoughtful food, often prepared simply, that tastes terrific. They have a noticeable reverence for ingredients.
Grant Goggans, Marie, Let's Eat! editor: Twin Smokers BBQ is the closest good quick walk from my real-world job, so I was there a few times. Man Chun Hong is always a reliable place to meet friends for dinner, and any lunchtime that I had free because I was home in the suburbs and had to see a kid's teacher or take them to the doctor, I found time to go by Brandi's World Famous Hot Dogs.
Angela Hansberger, Creative Loafing contributor: BoccaLupo is my go-to. I have a love affair with the meat gravy. I go to Pinewood at least once a week for a cocktail show. Kimball House for unparalleled selection and impeccable shucking of oysters, The General Muir because I love the burger so, and my favorites along Buford Highway — Nam Phuong, Good Luck Gourmet, and Northern China. Meehan's Downtown is a weekly spot too with my Liverpool club — a perfect Irish breakfast.
Evan Mah, Atlanta Magazine food editor: I spent the last year researching for our 50 Best Restaurants package (out this month) and during that process, there were inevitably some deflating meals that really spoiled the night. After particularly bad meals, I'd drive to Aria and order three or four desserts. A round of cheesecake, lemon pound cake, and sorbets really does the soul good.
Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta contributor: BoccaLupo. Many amazing meals and cocktails have been had there this past year. Shout out to the Swing Low cocktail. H. Harper Station. For cocktails like the 1890 Manhattan and a solid menu where you can eat heartily or lightly but always seasonally. Nam Phuong for my pho and hot tea fix.
Laura Scholz, Eater Atlanta contributor: Always and forever, Kimball House. The food, the cocktails, the service — everything there is always top notch. Others in my regular rotation: Cooks & Soldiers, Empire State South, BoccaLupo, H. Harper Station, Superica, Wrecking Bar, O4W Pizza, and Taqueria del Sol for my cheese dip fix. It was also nice to welcome Victory back to Inman Park and Little Trouble to the Westside. We needed a good cocktail bar on this side of town.
Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributor: Once again, the place I spent the most time and money was the the Wrecking Bar, because of its combo of proximity, value, variety and goodness. BoccaLupo is another one close to home that I tend to revisit and enjoy as a go-to. Oh, and O4W Pizza, what can I say?