As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. This year, before we flip the off switch on 2012, a select group will chime in on a handful of Eater questions ranging from the best dining neighborhood to their single best meal of the year. All will be answered before we ring in the New Year, but first, a list of 2012 Restaurant Standbys. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments. And check back often! We've got a few more writers who will be chiming in shortly.
La Bete [Photo: S. Pratt / ESEA]
Q: What are your top restaurant standbys of 2012—the restaurants you returned to most this year?
Hanna Raskin, restaurant critic, Seattle Weekly: I dine out every night for work (except on Sundays, when tradition demands I get take-out in the ID. The recent rainy weather has me rotating between King Noodle's spicy sichuan broth with roasted duck and QQ noodles; Gourmet Noodle Bowl's spicy beef noodle soup and Canton Wonton House's wonton and brisket soup.) And since my job pretty much prevents me from returning to a restaurant which I'm not reviewing for a print feature, it's usually desperation that drives me to the same place twice. Would you accept the Whole Foods hot bar? That said, if I had my druthers, I'd be a regular at LloydMartin.
Allecia Vermillion, food & drink editor, Seattle Metropolitan: I can't seem to stop taking visitors to Skillet Diner and Ba Bar. If I get to pick, it's La Bete, LloydMartin, or Blind Pig Bistro.
Jennifer Worick, author, Things I Want to Punch in the Face: Marjorie: The fried plantains are almost as appreciated as the warm welcome and great service. Moshi Moshi is great for reliable sushi in a nice atmosphere. And there's never a wait, which is amazing for Ballard Ave. Buddha Ruksa in West Seattle for crack chicken. Portage Bay Café for migas for brunch.
Kathleen Flinn, author, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Poppy (it's across the street from our house), Luc, Sitka & Spruce, Taylor Shellfish (for afternoon oysters), Olivar, and Kingfish Cafe.
Surly Gourmand, writer/curmudgeon: This never changes. Not for me at least: you can never go wrong with Le Pichet. In good times and bad, LePichet 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.
Linda Miller Nicholson, Salty Seattle: Bar del Corso, Canlis at the bar, Il Corvo Pasta.
Julien Perry, editor, Eater Seattle: I tend to frequent places that have really great bars (i.e. bar service and bartenders). Good food and wine doesn't hurt, either. Pretty consistently, my close friends and relatives know to contact the following establishments if there's an emergency and my phone is dead because I used up all the juice Instagramming my food and booze (yeah, I'm one of those people you hate): Rione XIII, Canlis, Marché, The Met, Place Pigalle and Locol in West Seattle.
Leslie Kelly, contributor, Seattle Magazine: Can't stay away from Brave Horse because the food is crazy-delicious and it's a steal. I love the steak tartare and the smorgasbord of bar snacks like teenage girls love Bieber.
Erin Thomas, editor, SIP NW: I have an unhealthy obsession with Revel, in a newer category, for its noodle bowls - crab, duck, tofu, prawns, put it in my mouth. Also, Momiji's opening and its late night happy hour has drug me in a few times to fulfill my new-age sushi cravings and I nosh on the spaetzle at Lecosho all day. On a revisited spot and considering the time of year, nothing can beat the French onion soup at either Le Pichet or Cafe Presse.
Scott Heimendinger, director of applied research, Modernist Cuisine: Spur and Coterie Room, La Carta de Oaxaca, Latona Pub, Via Tribunali. Honorable mention: Djan's Thai. I've never actually been inside, but you can order online for delivery, so their pad Thai and crab Rangoon fuels our lazy, antisocial evenings at home.