The panel of restaurant-industry pros that judged this year’s Clean Plate Awards eats for a living. They scout places as diverse as food trucks, airport kiosks, taco joints and four-star restaurants. Our 12 judges work in different segments and have unique palates, but their favorite meals of 2014 share similar threads. More vegetable preps were among the winning dishes than in years past. Raw seafood, roasted duck and one-pot meals also emerged on top. Here are our tastemakers’ picks for the dishes that made them clean their plates.
Ahi Yakusugi, Momotaro, Chicago
Hamachi crudo, qui, Austin, Texas
Peking duck, Decoy, New York City
Omakase Menu, Zuma at Epic Hotel, Miami
Preserved vegetables, buckwheat, marrow and dried beef, Bar Tartine, San Francisco
Oysters, Rappahannock Oyster Co., Washington, D.C.
Artisan Cheese Plate with Castelfranco radicchio “ham,” Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
Bologna sandwich on rye with onions, Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, New York City
Tortillas, Cosme, New York City
Tiradito, Matsuhisa, Los Angeles
Wise Guy Pizza, Freds at Barneys, New York City
Uovo in Raviolo, SD26, New York City
Cauliflower T-Bone, Superba Snack Bar, Venice, Calif.
Portobello Fries, Bottega Louie, Los Angeles
Japanese Red, Snapper Sashimi
Burger and frozen custard, Shake Shack at JFK Airport, New York City
Coconut rose water cake, Lantern, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Seasonal pizza, Napolese, Indianapolis
Meatloaf sandwich on brioche, Gjelina Take Away, Long Beach, Calif.
Chicken and dumplings, Reserve Wine & Food, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Biscuits, Sweet Cheeks Q, Boston
Eggplant and Ricotta Casoncelli with veal ragu, Lula Cafe, Chicago
Pozole Rojo, Dove’s Luncheonette, Chicago
Kimchee Bokkum, Ban Po Jung, Chicago
Beef on tasting menu, Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Eel Pie with broccoli ice cream, radish and grilled broccoli, Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore.
Mapo Dofou, Xiao Bao Biscuit, Charleston, S.C.
Fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, Elizabeth Restaurant, Chicago
Boudin Noir, Parachute, Chicago
Fried Brussels sprouts, The Radler, Chicago
Mini Wafels, Wafels & Dinges, New York City
Spinach Chickpea Cazuela with cumin and roasted garlic, Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant, Atlanta
Maple-Bacon Doughnut, Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, Cumming, Ga.
Filet of beef steak, Quality Meats, New York City