As we put a cap on 2013, Eater surveyed a group of critics, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from Top Standbys to Top Newcomers, from Best Meals to Restaurants Broken Up With. All answers will be revealed—cut, pasted, unedited and unadulterated—by the time we pop the cork on 2014.
Could Next: Fried Chicken be on the horizon? [Photo: Barry Brecheisen]
Q: What are your headline predictions for 2014?
Chris LaMorte, Urban Daddy: Following the success of Eataly, Gordon Ramsay opens a British-themed restaurant/shopping destination in River North called: Great Eatain'. People line up for hours for artisanal bubble & squeak and haggis from humanely raised sheep all served by inhumanely treated staff.
Penny Pollack, Chicago Magazine: Keg-filling robots replace mixologists. Pigs declared an endangered species. Pop-up restaurants pop down with regular business hours.
Michael Nagrant, RedEye: One Off Hospitality opens a hot dog joint. Melman bros open a velvet rope fried chicken joint. Inaugural Trotter Awards launch at the Trotter house. McRib is back, baby.
Amy Cavanaugh, Time Out Chicago: Grant Achatz announces Next: Fried Chicken.
Chandra Ram, Plate: Randolph Street runs out of room for new restaurants; trendsetters wear black in mourning.
Mike Gebert, The Reader/Serious Eats: Massive Steakhouse Planned For Entire State of Indiana
Sean Cooley, Thrillist: Local Man Found Passed Out At Lagunitas Tap Room (that man is me)
Steve Dolinsky, ABC7: More regional cuisine from the nooks and crannies of SE Asia; more fried chicken, doughnuts and small-batch coffee roasters. German food that makes The Berghoff look like a theme park for tourists.
Carly Fisher, Food Fanatics: Restaurant Empires Begin Epic Real Estate Wars
Nick Kindelsperger, Serious Eats: Eventually there will be a bar/brewery/distillery for every man and woman living in Logan Square.
Lisa Shames, CS: Green Day: We're going to see more vegetable-focused dishes. Italian: You have seen the crowds at Eataly, right? And Fish Tale: I think we're going to see more lesser-known fish and seafood around town.
Audarshia Townsend, 312 Dining Diva: I am going to need for bars and restaurants to go back to the basics. They're just trying too much to impress each other and outdo each other. While the skills are there, the heart and soul is missing. Let's just get back to delicious food and drinks.