As the year in dining (and everything else wraps up), publications and individual writers like to take a look back at the year, often in list form. Eater Austin is collecting highlights and lowlights from critics, reporters, editors and bloggers. I contributed my thoughts this year, and while Eater is slowly rolling them out ( beginning with a list of top stand-by restaurants here), you can see my complete list below. Follow the restaurant links to my thoughts on them from the Austin360 Dining Guide.
What were your top restaurant standbys of 2017? In alphabetical order: Emmer & Rye, Fresa’s, Home Slice Pizza, Luke’s Inside Out, Mezze Me, Odd Duck, Olamaie, P. Terry’s and Veracruz All Natural
What were the top restaurant newcomers of 2017? Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, Pitchfork Pretty, Bonhomie
Sum up the 2017 restaurant world in one word. Fraught.
What was the best dining neighborhood of 2017? East Austin had of my Top 5 of my Top 11 in my Austin360.com/eats Dining Guide — Dai Due (#3), Juniper (#6), Kemuri Tatsu-Ya (#9), Franklin Barbecue (#10) and Pitchfork Pretty (#11), so I’ll say broadly say “East Austin.” (And L’Oca d’Oro, #8, and Kyoten Sushiko, #14, are kind of in East Austin, despite being in Mueller neighborhood.)
What was the biggest dining surprise of 2017?Pitchfork Pretty. I was worried that “Hill Country Cuisine” was marketing jargon run amok. I was wrong to worry.
What was your biggest dining grievance of 2017? Overpriced mediocrity.
What was your best restaurant meal of 2017? Dinner at Olamaie.
What are your headline predictions for 2018? Rebound year for Austin.