The best restaurant dishes of 2015 were not necessarily the most adventurous, according to the industry luminaries who chose this year’s Clean Plate Award winners. Indeed, their selections included such familiar standards as filet mignon and even a latte, albeit done a little differently.
Here are some of the items that earned a place on the list of the year’s standout eats because of the way they were executed and presented, even if their novelty score was low.
Deconstructed Latte, Indaba Coffee, Spokane, Wash.
The coffee drink comes in three glasses; one holds espresso, a second, steamed milk and a third, the two combined, says Kent. Indaba’s coffee beans are single-origin Ethiopian and roasted in-house. “The espresso was eerily fruity with no clear acidity,” says Kent.
BBQ Shrimp, W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, Ponce City Market, Atlanta
5&10, The National and Empire State South
“A perfect rendition of this classic New Orleans dish.” At the W.H. Stiles location in Ponce City Market, Atlanta’s new food hall, the Louisiana-sourced shrimp are cooked in tomato, Worcestershire and spices, and served with spoonbread to mop up the tangy sauce. “Very NOLA style.”
Tortilla Soup, Fearing's Restaurant at The Ritz Carlton, Dallas
President and CEO
Women's Foodservice Forum
“I’m just a huge, huge fan of Dean’s Tortilla Soup. I’m a spice person, and you can taste all his spices,” says Hill, of Fearing’s “bold flavors, no borders” style.