As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends and food writers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. We'll be posting their answers each day until we ring in the new year. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein. Readers, please add your survey answers in the comments.
Mai Pham, food critic for Houston Press and freelance writer for My Table magazine, 002 Houston and Forbes Travel Guide: The Galleria. So many impressive dining options in and around the Galleria area this year: Caracol, Etoile, Ristorante Cavour, Songkran Thai Kitchen, Kiran's, RDG, Table, Masraff's, Ciao Bello, Adair Kitchen, Chama Gaucha, Argentine Cafe, Kenny & Ziggy's.
Ellie Sharp, Eater Houston contributor and freelance writer for Bayou City magazine: Montrose
Jodie Eisenhardt, Eater Houston contributor, freelance writer and marketing consultant at Two Chicks Communications:Heights
Dutch Small, proprietor of Forma Revivo and marketing consultant/publicist at Immersioncy Public Relations: Montrose
Hank Lewis, food blogger at Hank on Food: It is hard to beat the Inner Loop dining hubs of the Heights, River Oaks, Montrose and Rice Village, with good reason. Between well established eateries like Hay Merchant, Uchi, Thai Spice, Kiran's, Smith and Wollensky and UP, to the new openings such as Coppa Osteria, Happy Fatz, Nara, 60 Degrees Mastercrafted and Doc's Motorworks, those places offer everything except for ample, non-valet parking.
Anthony Calleo, proprietor and chef of Pi Pizza Truck: I dont get to leave my tiny apartment- prep kitchen-truck triangle very often but I'm very excited about what's going on in the Greater Heights area. 2015 should be super interesting for that part of town.
Chris Frankel, food enthusiast and bartender at Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar: Bellaire Chinatown continues to offer much of the best food in Houston. I give it the nod over Hillcroft's Little India because Bellaire had a lot of quiet openings that added new culinary options to the scene this year. These new places included multiple Hunan restaurants and a Uyghur restaurant (Xinjiang BBQ). And let's not forget the many great Vietnamese options Bellaire has on both sides of Beltway 8.
Eric Sandler, former Eater Houston editor, food writer for CultureMap, monthly contributor to Houston Matters and The Cleverley Show: Asiatown
Shepard Ross, restauranteur (Glass Wall, Brooklyn Athletic Club, Pax Americana and forthcoming The Dell): Montrose followed by The Heights.