As is the tradition at Eater, we're rounding up the year with a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers and others to get a feel for the highlights and lowlights of the last year in eating in New Orleans. We've discussed Top Restaurant Standbys, Favorite Newcomers, One Word Descriptions of 2013, Best Dining Neighborhoods, Single Best Meals, Biggest Dining Surprises, and Break-Ups. Now our panel predicts Dining World Headlines for 2014. Feel free to add your predictions to the comments. Cristina Quackenbush may very well rule NOLA's culinary scene in 2014 [Photo: Brasted]
Q. What are your dining world headline predictions for 2014?
Lorin Gaudin, NOLA Food Goddess, author of New Orleans Chef's Table: What the hell is going on in NOLA dining?
Anne Berry, cocktail whisperer, Where Yat contributor: I'm seeing bars use drinking vinegars, artisanal coffee and tea in cocktails, as well as create ice programs, all of which I've written about for Where Y'at. More bars are also barrel-aging cocktails and serving cocktails on tap; watch Abigail Gullo at SoBou and the bar team at Maurepas Foods for these and more trendy techniques. In 2014 we can look forward to SOFAB/MOTAC/Purloo opening in a new home; another hot launch will be Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's tiki bar.
I'm also eager to see what the new year has in store for bartending mega-talents Steve Yamada, Brian Adee and Scot Mattox. On the foodie front, I'm glad to see healthy restaurant meals becoming more mainstream - watch for local restaurants featuring Eat Fit NOLA cuisine, and I think we'll see more healthy plates for kids, too.
Kim Ranjbar, food writer for Suck The Heads and Where Yat: Things change so quickly that it would take a seasoned seer to predict the future of the restaurant industry in New Orleans, but I certainly have hopes for headlines like "Pete Vazquez opens an Asian-inspired restaurant on Oak Street" or "A slew of Indian restaurants invade the Crescent City."
Poppy Tooker, author, legend, host of Louisiana Eats: MORE, MORE, MORE and bring it ON!!!
Rene Louapre, Blackened Out blogger, cofounder of Hogs For The Cause: Too many restaurants, too few staff.
Doug Barry, writer for Jezebel and Eater NOLA: Expensive coffee places like Hivolt are going to be huge.
Gwendolyn Knapp, editor of Eater NOLA: Every member of the Brennan's family opens a new restaurant, except for Pip, who moves to Maui to do yoga, lots and lots of yoga. Cristina Quackenbush's rules the dining scene; Milkfish paves the way for an ethnic food invasion. Big name restaurateurs jump in the food truck game. Servers learn what's on the cheese plate. T-Fitz finds the last unknown bastion of calamari in Jefferson Parish. Ani DiFranco buys a plantation and opens the Little Plastic Castle moonshine distillery/goat farm. Arabi is the new Bywater. Musicians and their noise are placed in large go cups and sent floating down river by City Council on Mardi Gras day.
· All Year in Eater 2013 [-ENOLA-]