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Food Writers and Editors Pinpoint Their Best Meal of 2014

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.

Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Q. What was your single best meal in 2014?

Timmons Pettigrew, author of Charleston Beer and contributor to Eater Charleston:
"From the Kitchen" @ Indaco's chef's counter with my wife. Belt-bustingly awesome. La Barbecue/Home Team Brew & Cue @ COAST Brewing.

Eric Doksa, food and beer writer and restaurant critic for the Charleston City Paper:
I will never forget the Goat. Sheep. Cow cheese and charcuterie board my wife and I enjoyed in the hospital the day our son was born — simply incredible. Not far behind were the tasting menu with wine pairings at McCrady’s and the Beer, Wine + Cocktail Dinner with the guys from Animal and Micah Melton from The Aviary at Edmund’s Oast.

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
It's a tie. The first time a friend and I visited 167 Raw, they were out of Butcher & Bee buns for the lobster roll and didn't feel comfortable serving them on any other bread, so chef Sean Rieflin suggested a sampling of their other offerings. We ate oysters, tacos, tuna poke, and an impromptu lobster salad — it was perfect.

Another great meal was a recent solo trip to McCrady's for a Whitaker cocktail (gin, aquavit, whey, lime, wild fennel, pine) and a simple, yet super refined ham snack with popcorn mayo and house-made crackers. The drink and the plate worked perfectly together and were a welcome comfort on a cold, rainy day. The McCrady's bar snacks are always exciting.

Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier and author of Yelp Help: How to Write Great Online Restaurant Reviews:
It’s astounding how much great food I ate this year. But the meal experience that stands out is the Uncle Boon’s Wine + Food Festival dinner at Xiao Bao Biscuit (see my previous answers about noodles and Spring Street.) Not only was the food fantastic — and surprising in the very best ways — but the room felt exceptionally welcoming, and the assorted guests at my table (hi, Kinsey!) naturally fell into discussions of philosophy, art, and economics. It was a wonderful example of why we go to restaurants.

Brian Wilder, editor The Rakish Perspective and contributor to Eater Charleston:
Pickled shrimp from Edmund's Oast with a charcuterie board chaser. Simple, straightforward, and delicious

Marion Sullivan, Culinary Institute of Charleston, food editor Charleston Magazine, columnist Post & Courier:
Blue Crab Agnolotti, Lowcountry Pilau, and Applecake at The Grocery