In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. To kick it off in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
What were the best newcomers of 2015?
Jess Fleming (Dining critic for the Pioneer Press):
Saint Dinette has quickly become my go-to spot. It's great for a cocktail and a nosh or a full meal. And there's something on the menu for everyone.
Nancy Ngo (Food reporter for the Pioneer Press):
Saint Dinette, The Commodore Bar and Restaurant, and Parella.
Mecca Bos (Food Blogger and Dining Critic for City Pages):
I’ve got a big crush on Il Foro for its stunning space but even moreso for always spot-on fresh pastas and inventive takes on old Italian classics by Joe Rolle and Jack Reibel. Parella is a close runner up for my affections— every time I go I can’t believe how good it is. Revival is a no-brainer, and Ramen Kazama is probably the best thing to happen to Minneapolis since Prince. Nighthawks and Birdie are so great and so exponentially better than so many things in their class it’s almost redundant to even mention them— it’s like saying Idris Elba is handsome. Duh.
Jason DeRusha (Co-Anchor WCCO This Morning, MidMorning, resident food reporter with DeRusha Eats and newly named critic for Minnesota Monthly):
Saint Dinette, Revival, and Surly Tap Room.
Honorable mentions : Eastside, Il Foro, Monello, Nighthawks, 4 Bells, and Parella
Joy Summers (Eater Minneapolis Editor):
We waited so long for Revival and Saint Dinette and both over-delivered on the awesome. High expectations were surpassed in terms of food, service and vibe. As the menus evolve, they only seem to continue to be better. I adore them so much. Also, Nighthawks and Birdie are just incredible - totally separate sides of Landon Schoenefeld's personality, style and talents and both are divine.