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Experts Name the Top Restaurant Standbys of 2011

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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, from Meal of the Year to Top Newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut and pasted herein.

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[Photo: White Moustache]

Q: What were your top restaurant standbys in 2011?

Jessica Voelker, online dining editor, The Washingtonian (former lifestyle editor at Seattle Met): Definitely Revel and Quoin. Ba Bar and La Bete were becoming favorites when I left. Skillet Diner was my late-night standby. I love the Canlis bar and would have been there often except that I hate to drive. Walrus and Carpenter any day, any time. Sitka and Spruce. Nettletown (RIP). When on the Eastside, always Chantanee/Naga. Le Pichet. Place Pigalle. Cafe Campagne for happy hour--still the best HH I ever had. Il Bistro for Thursday night cocktails. Big Mario's for slices and fun.

Allecia Vermillion, food and drink editor, Seattle Met: Skillet Diner is so damn versatile: I've been for breakfast, lunch, dinner and beyond. Also, Madison Park Conservatory for both bar and dining purposes. If I had my own personal fleet of ferries, I'd want Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island to be one of my standbys as well.

Brad Foster, Seattle editor, Thrillist: Re:public, Primo, Still Liquor

Allison Scheff, food and dining editor, Seattle Magazine: Canon quickly became a favorite stop before moving on for dinner; the oyster bar at Elliott's for nothing but oysters and martinis; I've been to Sushi Kappo Tamura five times this year; it's the best sushi in the city: incredible fish and mellow, unpretentious sushi bar to sit at. I also have to say, Quinn's just keeps getting better. Pike Street Fish Fry's huge and awesome frito misto (mixed veggie) is the best $6 lunch I can think of (I get the lemon aioli). And a shoutout to the seaweed salad from the deli at Uwajimaya. Hits the spot and it's $5 for a heap.

Surly Gourmand: "You can never go wrong with Le Pichet. In good times and bad, Le Pichet will never let you down. If I had to testify in court I would prefer to swear on Le Pichet's ouefs plats instead of a Bible: this plate of ham and fried eggs, swaddled in a cloak of broiled gruyere, is way more awesome than the Bible. The Bible sucks."

Lisa Kennelly, There's a hipster in my latte: Skillet – every time I go I try to order something besides the fried chicken sandwich and fail miserably. Brave Horse Tavern became a habit for beer and pretzels. King Noodle in the ID for their stone pot rice. On a more embarrassing front, I ended up at Chungee’s on Capitol Hill with regularity for 3 reasons: 1. it’s great place to watch a game 2. the drinks are cheap and 3. Kevin the American-sports-loving Scottish bartender.

Naomi Bishop, The GastroGnome: Staple and Fancy, Spicy Talk, Il Corvo, Chiang’s Gourmet. A good noodle will always win me over.

Amy Pennington, author of Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening: Tavolata. That chef really hit his rhythm this year, and every meal has killed it. The servers are also on point. Educated and professional without getting too chatty and hovering. I love Dinette & Tilikum Place - they are my every day eateries, casual spots. And Bisato, hands down. I ate there a LOT in 2011 and was never disappointed.

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