As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions running the gamut from best dining neighborhood of the year to top restaurant newcomers, and we'll be rolling out their expert opinions all week long. Responses are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please share your survey answers in the comments.
Q: Describe the 2015 Portland restaurant scene in one word.
Andrea Damewood, restaurant critic, Portland Mercury
I'm gonna cheat and use a hashtag, but let's just say I'm #lookingforwardto2016.
Diane Morgan, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author
Frenetic. It is hard to keep up.
Michael Zusman, cookbook author, restaurant critic (and judge)
Braking. Increased rents and lots of restaurants per capita suggests a likely slowdown in new openings, even with a strengthening economy and increasing population. If I'm wrong about this—as likely as not—new openings are more likely than ever to be matched by new closings.
Ben Tepler, Associate Food Editor, Portland Monthly
Maturing. I think we obviously don't have a quantity problem. Now, let's see if the rising population can support it, and if service can keep up.
Gary Okazaki, professional glutton (aka Gary the Foodie)
Andy Kryza, senior editor, Thrillist Portland
Martin Cizmar, Arts & Culture Editor, Willamette Week
Kathleen Bauer, food writer and blogger, Good Stuff NW