We’ve had our eye on the city for 11 years now and feel we have a good sense of what makes or breaks a restaurant. This year, rather than relying on just one restaurant critic, we took a team approach. Two critics and three editors gathered together to compare dining notes, discuss the ins and outs of the scene, and to ultimately hash out the good, the bad, and the ugly. What you’ll find here is the compilation of options from many, many meals out.
If pressed, we’d characterize this year as a changing of the guard. Since last year’s restaurant roundup, former Tamayo chef Sean Yontz opened Vega; Ian Klienman of Hilltop Cafe is now working the burners at Indigo; Duy Pham left Tante Louise to cook at Opal before leaving there to head up the kitchen at Flow (and he’s since left that); the Beehive closed and will reopen as Table 6 shouldered by the talent at Adega; and Jamey Fader left Jax Fish House to open up the wildly popular Lola. Some of these chefs made successful moves and have strengthened the metro area’s dining scene, while others have had a harder time making their restaurants work.