As is tradition, Eater closes out the year by surveying local food writers on various restaurant-related topics. Readers, please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below.
What was the biggest Seattle dining surprise of 2018?
Jill Lightner, food writer:
That we haven’t yet had nationwide protests over food safety.
Chelsea Lin, dining/lifestyle editor, Seattle Magazine:
I expected to love Shake Shack more than I did (though how can someplace ever live up to that level of hype?!).
Allecia Vermillion, deputy editor, Seattle Met:
I walked into Ascend in Bellevue expecting to roll my eyes to the high heavens and both the food and service blew me away. In the broader realm of surprises, the Josh Henderson-Renee Erickson transaction was pretty unexpected.
Jackie Varriano, food writer:
The sheer number of openings despite rising rents, cook shortages, and more. I felt like every few weeks the Times had an article detailing dozens of openings and nominal closures.
Rosin Saez, associate food and drink editor, Seattle Met:
I’m still kind of lamenting Seven Beef’s pivot into Central Smoke and Bar, which is lovely and has a nice brunch and solid cocktails — but still. I was selfishly hoping to make cote de boeuf and Amaro Monenegro a birthday tradition.
Providence Cicero, food critic, The Seattle Times:
The rapid demise of two high-profile, well-regarded restaurants: Babirusa and Petite Galerie. There were so many closures — more than 60 by my informal count — although openings continue to outpace the shutdowns.
Naomi Tomky, food writer:
The wonderful surge of regional Chinese cuisine in Seattle. We’ve got more Xi’an and Hunan restaurants than I thought we’d get for the next decade.