I’d be interested in what Seattle area chowhounds view as their top four winners (best meals or best new finds) and top four losers (bad experiences, disappointments, closings) during 2014. Here are my lists:
1. Joe Ritchie’s elegant, delicious food at Mkt.
2. Birria de chivo and tacos de cabeza at Taqueria El Taco Maestro in Renton.
3. Mana’eesh at Goodies Mediterranean Market on Lake City Way.
4. The extensive collection of amari and creative cocktails at Barnacle.
1. The inconsistent and often mediocre food at Westward. Waterfront location and vibe? Yes. Carefully prepared food? No. My wife and I ate here several times, and we can’t understand how bon appétit magazine picked Westward as one of its top 10 new restaurants of 2014.
2. Disappointing food, both in concept and execution, at The Whale Wins.
3. Gloppy, carelessly prepared noodles and horrible service at Trove (even though I’ve been a big fan of Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang and continue to like the food at Trove’s sibling, Revel, especially the corned lamb salad).
4. The closing of Four Swallows (Bainbridge Island) and Paseo. The Spanish-inflected mussels, butterscotch budino, and other treasures prepared by Chef Geraldine Ferraro will be profoundly missed, as will the roast pork and the shrimp sandwiches at Paseo. I have no information or opinion on the merits of the lawsuit brought by Paseo’s employees. I just know that I always looked forward to the delicious sandwiches there.