What was your single best meal in 2015?
Jeff Ruby, Chicago Magazine: In terms of pure pleasure, catching up with old friends over cold beers and perfect tilapia ceviche with homemade tortilla chips at Ixcateco Grill was pretty hard to beat.
Amy Cavanaugh, Time Out Chicago: Picking up Honey 1 BBQ from its new location in Bronzeville and eating it beside the lake—it was such a mess, but reminded me that where you are and who you're with is just as important as what you're eating.
Michael Gebert, Fooditor: The Blanchard. I like classic French food, don't worship it, but some of that is because it's on autopilot much of the time—steak frites is the cheeseburger and fries of France. From the moment the meal began at The Blanchard, admittedly aided by a beautiful vintage champagne a table-mate brought in, French food felt vital and magical again.
Penny Pollack, Chicago Magazine: Having it tonight at Moon Palace: hot and sour soup, pot stickers, scrambled eggs with shrimp, complimentary almond cookie.
Michael Nagrant, RedEye: Boeufhaus. I'd finally welcome more steakhouses if they had spirit and execution like this.
Sean Cooley, Thrillist: Girl & The Goat, had a 12-course feast there including confit goat belly, chickpea fritters and a sneaky peak at possible Duck Duck Goat dishes. I was warned not to fill up on bread (bacon and gouda), I did anyway, I regret nothing.
Chandra Ram, Plate: I'm torn between Intro under Aaron Martinez, which renewed my hope in tasting menus, and Central Provisions in Portland, Maine, where we ordered and ate almost the entire menu because we just couldn't stop eating Chris Gould's incredible food.
Peter Frost, Crain's: The Bistro menu at Next. Not one bad bite. Not one bad drink. Perfect pacing. Expert service.
Sarah Freeman, Zagat: Jason Paskewitz, with the Alba white truffle, for the win.
Anthony Todd, Chicagoist: I have to admit (and this makes me the least trendy food writer in Chicago) that my single best meal in 2015 wasn't in Chicago—it was on the Disney Cruise Line at their fabulous Italian spot, Palo. Between the antipasto carts filled with aged parm and antique balsamic, the bottled water menu (filled with sparkling gems from around the world) and the perfect service, it was a (forgive me) magical dinner. If i had to stick to Chicago, a memorable, decadent night at the Cherry Circle Room in the first blizzard of the year which started with caviar and ended with cocktails on a rooftop balcony is certainly my pick.
Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune: Momotaro. Surprises and delights at every turn.
Chris LaMorte, UrbanDaddy: The Blanchard.