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, and Biggest Dining Surprises. Now our panel of restaurant experts talk break-ups. Feel free to add your description to the comments. The shortlived Serendipity [Photo: Brasted]
Q. Which restaurants, if any, did you break up with in 2013? Why?
Lorin Gaudin, NOLA Food Goddess, author of New Orleans Chef's Table: No break-ups.
Anne Berry, cocktail whisperer and Where Yat contributor: I was sorry to see Serendipity go.
Doug Barry, Jezebel and Eater NOLA contributor: I stopped going to Surrey's only because the traffic getting off at the Tchoupitoulas exit is always horrendous.
Kim Ranjbar, food writer for Suck The Heads and Where Yat: It's more like avoiding a terrible ex as opposed to breaking up, but I likely won't ever visit Atchafalaya again. All I can say is that it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Poppy Tooker, author, legend, host of Lousiana Eats: I don't do that…
Rene Louapre, Blackened Out blogger, cofounder of Hogs For The Cause: I didnt really break up with any restaurants, I just stopped going out to eat as much. I have begun a trial separation with the beverage program every restaurant feels the need to have. There are basically only 8 cocktail variations (4 if you are really academic about booze). And while your bartender's "Ode to the Manhattan" is a clever way to get someone to try a housemade bitter of sassafras and leek, just make me a proper Manhattan. Finally, is it too much to ask for someone to try frying chicken instead of opening yet another unnecessary "elevated bar food/small plates/burger" restaurant.
Gwendolyn Knapp, editor of Eater NOLA: No break ups, but I can foresee Namese' banh mi putting a potential dent in the number of Juan's blackened redfish tacos I order as take-out in the coming months. I was very sad to see Sentiments go, but am happy to find Anne Churchill's Bhava above Feelings now. Everything she makes is so good, especially the mushroom pate, and they have kombucha.
· All Year in Eater 2013 [-ENOLA-]