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The Restaurant Experts Name Their Best Meals of the Year

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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, and all survey questions will be answered by the time we turn off the lights tomorrow. On we go, in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited.


Image of Le Pigeon courtesy roboppy via Flickr

Q: What and where was your single best meal in 2010?

Karen Brooks - Dining Editor, Portland Monthly: In November, I needed to pull out something big for two food-savvy friends from Philly — and Le Pigeon delivered big. From the jaw-rattling feast: sturgeon in a haze of hot chiles and date jam; calamari transformed by mid-east moves; an installation of pigeon, claw and all, surfing on foie-gras-buttered brioche.

Tony Perez - Restaurant Critic, Portland Mercury: I'll go with poached scallops with pickled strawberries at Biwa. There was a lot of other great stuff on the table that night, but that shit casts a long shadow.

Ben Waterhouse - Editor, Willamette Week: I had the best fried skate wing of my life at Beaker & Flask in February.

Nick Zukin - Resident Fat-Ass Food Blogger & Restaurateur: Izote in Mexico City highlighted by Poblano chile stuffed with chicharron prensado atop cream of black beans. Locally: Ten-01 highlighted by a "strawberry shortcake" dish that was a wonderful pairing of strawberries with foie gras in various forms each.

Peter Szymczak - Editor, Northwest Palate: The Genoa alumni dinner [featuring courses by Cathy Whims, Tommy Habetz, Jerry Huisinga, John Toboada, and David Anderson].

Mike Thelin - Writer, Brand Developer, Food-smart man about town: At Mugaritz in San Sebastian. 20 courses. It was one part meal, one part opera. Unforgettable. [Ed to Mike: Picking a place in Spain is totally cheating, dude.]

Don Bourassa - Senior Community Manager, Yelp Portland: My first brunch at Tasty n Sons was simply sublime. The paradigm-redefining shakshuka, the oh-so-tender bacon-wrapped dates, and those cumin-heavy maple glazed yams completely dismantled, then rebuilt my perceptions of what a satisfying brunch meal could look, smell, taste and feel like, and of course how it’s served (family-style FTW!).

Byron Beck, Team Eater: D.O.C.: service, food, experience was all top notch. The first meal I had at Irving St. Kitchen was amazing too.

Allison Jones, Team Eater: Ordering every last item off the Metrovino happy hour menu was a VERY good choice. Adding a few custom aquavit cocktails from Kyle Webster and Jacob Grier? Even better. From the classic seafood chowder and roman-style tripe gratin to the killer cheeseburger, Metrovino's kitchen is putting out some truly amazing flavors.

What was your best meal of the year? Post it in the comments; there will be a reader round-up and quiz at the end of the week.
· All Previous Year in Eater 2010 Coverage [Eater PDX]