In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q: What was 2013's biggest dining surprise?
Angela Hanyak, writer and restaurant critic for City Paper:
The Green Door. From its prologue as an under the radar must-eat experience to its messy exodus from Big Johns, it played out like a classic Greek tragedy.
Timmons Pettigrew, Eater Charleston contributor and author of Charleston Beer:
Execution at the opening night of Indaco being impeccable (at my table, at least). Not a surprise from the restaurant group, I suppose, but a surprise for an opening night in general, after such a short timeline running up to it.
Also, the sudden closing of The Green Door seemed to shock everyone on every side of the fence, except for Ryan "Anti-Kimchee" Condon.
Robert Moss, author of Going Lardcore and restaurant critic for City Paper:
The fried shrimp at Hyman's—they're really quite good.
Jeff Allen, restaurant critic for Charleston Magazine:
The Lot. Who would have thought that such a concept would make it? Yet they excel and do it the right way.
Caroline Nuttall, Publisher CHARLIE:
For the first 34 years of my life, I never thought I liked Asian cuisine. And this year, Xiao Bao Biscuit proved me dead wrong.
Eric Doksa, writer and restaurant critic for City Paper:
The food at The Warehouse. It was a shame to see Eva Keilty go.
Charles Powell, author of Foodmancing The Girl:
Closing of The Green Door.
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
People seemed really shocked that the downtown Andolini's shuttered, but I was most entertained by the Jestine's Kitchen's "remolding" project.
Rémy Thurston, Eater Charleston contributor and photographer:
Brooks Reitz leaving The Ordinary.
[Photo: The Green Door]