As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Thursday. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein:
Image of Tasty N Sons courtesy official site
Q: What are the top restaurant newcomers of 2010?
Tony Perez - Restaurant Critic, Portland Mercury: Is everyone going to say Gruner and Tasty & Sons? Yeah... Good answers. I work in publishing, so I'm thrilled to have Little Big Burger as a cheap dining option before Powell's readings. I also love Coava coffee, and I'm pretty excited to try Little Bird.
Mike Thelin - Writer, Brand Developer, Food-smart man about town: Bunk Bar and Olympic Provisions — both for the food and for opening up Portland's next great urban neighborhood — the Central Eastside.
Ben Waterhouse - Editor, Willamette Week: Tasty N Sons distills everything that's great about Portland brunch culture into one restaurant, sans the usual $12 hashbrowns. June is everything I love about eating in Oregon, plus handmade furniture. And Little Big Burger is a cheap dinner around the corner from Portland Center Stage, which will save me thousands.
Don Bourassa - Senior Community Manager, Yelp Portland: Tasty n’ Sons, Bunk Bar, Pine State (Alberta), Irving Street Kitchen, Gin Northern Thai (cart), Central (bar). I have yet to try the much-lauded Fin. Yeah I know. I’m slackin’.
Nick Zukin - Resident Fat-Ass Food Blogger & Restaurateur : June, Chiang Mai, Gruner, Fin, Cheese Bar, Little Bird.
Karen Brooks - Dining Editor, Portland Monthly: Tasty ‘n Sons repositioned John Gorham's finger on Portland’s pulse; Fin showed guts and a rare seafood vision; June helped define the great new bar – serious but cozy.
Peter Szymczak - Editor, Northwest Palate: June, Irving Street Kitchen, Roost, Tasty n Sons.
Byron Beck, Team Eater: Top restaurant newcomers: Little Bird, Gruner, Irving St. Kitchen. Top newcomer: Saucebox's Jason Neroni.
Allison Jones, Team Eater: Castagna and Tasty n' Sons changed the game this year. Spirit of '77 popped-a-shot over every sports bar in town, and then some. Thinking back to the beginning of the year, Foster Burger should get some credit for making 2010 the year of the kickass burger. Also love June and Irving St. Kitchen. It's been a great year.
Have a favorite? Feel free to opine in the comments below.