MC Slim JB, restaurant critic for The Improper Bostonian: "A tasting menu at Giulia in Cambridge. Gorgeous, ravishing yet subtle from start to finish, notably in the house-made pastas that were rolled out earlier in the day on the very table at which we dined. Just a fantastic, traditionally-centered, chef-owned Italian indie, with evident love and long-honed finesse in the cooking. Mike Pagliarini is another original who toiled for years in service to more-famous owners (I long admired his work running Michael Schlow’s Via Matta) that I’m really gratified got the chance to helm his own place."
BosGuy, blogger: "Singling out one meal would not be possible; many deserve a mention."
Luke O'Neil, freelance writer: "One of the best meals I can remember from the year was at the Barrel House in Beverly, a place I would return to a lot more often if it were closer, as well as Sichuan Garden out in Woburn, but that's probably no secret to Eater readers."
Marc H., founder of Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk: "Can I have two? Great, thanks! In the Boston area, the pork cutlet curry udon noodle soup I had at Tampopo in Cambridge was *spectacular,* and a perfect meal for a cold winter night. And as far as best meal of the year, period, the small plates I had at El Colmado in New York (lamb meatballs, spicy potatoes with aioli, serrano ham finger sandwiches) was a meal for the ages, and the sangria didn't hurt, either."
Damien Smith, community manager for Yelp Boston: "My first meal at Alden & Harlow stands out. From the brown butternut squash and burrata to the corn cakes with shishito and the secret burger (and oh those dranks!), Chef Scelfo and team have panned solid gold."
Scott Kearnan, editor of Zagat Boston: "Ooh. There were some really great meals this year, from food trucks to fine dining. But if I had to choose one comprehensive meal… My first dinner at La Brasa was a showstopper. Dinner at Liquid Art House nipped at its heels. I know there were many memorable meals at old favorites too, but the newcomers are front-of-mind right now!"
Rachel Leah Blumenthal, editor of Eater Boston: "I've already written of my love of all things Alden & Harlow, and there are a few other dishes around town that always take me to another level: hand-pulled noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, pizza at A4, the biscuits at Sweet Cheeks. But one meal that really stands out in my mind this year was the excellent and reasonably-priced omakase at Cafe Sushi, an outstanding restaurant that shockingly manages to fly somewhat under the radar."