Q: What was your single best meal in 2014?
Penny Pollack, Chicago Magazine: So many.
Sarah Freeman, Zagat: Dinner at 42 Grams (the summer menu, to be specific, that featured an incredible interpretation of tacos al pastor) takes the prize this year — Jake's food is elegant yet approachable with an emphasis on un-muddled flavors.
Amy Cavanaugh, Time Out Chicago: In Chicago, 42 Grams was the right combination of delicious, surprising and fun. Out of Chicago, I adored Rose's Luxury in DC.
Chris LaMorte, UrbanDaddy: Elizabeth, spring menu.
Chandra Ram, Plate: In my fantasy life, I live next to Buvette's in the West Village, and eat their steak tartare and carrot salad daily.
Michael Nagrant, RedEye: Dinner in The Office at Aviary. I worked on the Alinea cookbook back in the day. I know Nick, Grant, Chris Gerber, Dave Beran Charles Joly, Brochu etc. They know me. That being said, I don't try to ask those guys for special treatment. That being said, these guys being the classiest restaurant concern around always take care of me whenever I drop by. It's the only place in Chicago this happens, and of course, I stopped writing about them professionally years ago as a result. So full disclosures and humblebragging aside, I arranged to drink with my best friend and his wife one night at Aviary, and apparently Achatz told Gerber and Chef Brochu to "bury me." Indeed, they left me 6 feet under with the whole kitchen table menu from Aviary in addition to the foie terrine, oysters and other stuff I ordered, including everything from an unbelievable cucumber and buttermilk salad to a seafood walking taco to the frozen foie gras snickers dessert, plus some punches and a cocktail inspired by Doc Brown's Cel Ray soda (one of my faves) from Joly. I have rarely eaten better.