As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. Here's last year's run-down for the nostalgic. Earlier today we talked restaurant standbys. Now Eater wants to know: what was 2013's top newcomer? Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.
Qui. [Photo: Adrienne Breaux/EATX]
Q: What was 2013's top newcomer?
Melody Fury, Serious Eats contributor and blogger at Gourmet Fury
Qui - Without surprise, Paul Qui launched the most progressive and exciting eatery in Austin. I love their innovative cocktail program too.
Megan Giller, editor of Zagat Austin
Dan Gentile, staff writer at Thrillist
Quickie Pickie. At first some of the pricing was off-putting ($20 for a rotisserie chicken!?), but this quickly became a daily destination for everything from a low key beer to breakfast tacos.
Jane Ko, editor at A Taste of Koko and food photographer
Arro. Casual French dining at it's finest. I like to indulge in a three-course menu for just $25.
Addie Broyles, Statesman columnist and editor of Relish Austin
Qui, can't top that, but Barlata is a close second, and if I had $200 to blow on a dinner for me and a few friends, I'll pick tapas and paella any day.
Meredith Bethune, CultureMap and Serious Eats contributor
The ramen craze hit New York several years ago while I was living there, and I didn't really 'get' it then. I thought: "It's just noodle soup!" Ramen Tatsu-ya's Tonkatsu Special and that milky broth has completely converted me.
Tom Thornton, Eater Austin contributor and freelance food writer
Qui and Barlata for fine dining; John Mueller for trailers. Sway is great, too, but they opened right before the new year.
Paula Forbes, deputy editor of Eater National and Eater Austin editor emeritus
Qui is the obvious answer to this, but I'm also a big fan of Bufalina. As an East Sider, the bar boom on Manor has been welcome (and I dig the fries especially at School House Pub). I wish I lived closer to ABGB.
Andrea Grimes, Eater Austin editor emeritus and senior political reporter at RH Reality Check
There is no appropriate answer to this question that is not Qui. I think what Paul and his team do so well at all their spots, but particularly at Qui, embodies the best of what makes Austin such a great place to eat and live - they're excited about what they make and they genuinely want to make it accessible, but they don't sacrifice quality or overdo the pretension just to produce an image. That attitude, to me, is what makes Austin a special place and what makes Paul the perfect chef for the city.
Meghan McCarron, editor, Eater Austin
Will anyone say anywhere besides Qui? Do I need to be some kind of contrarian? Well, I won't. Qui. It's by far the most exciting place to eat, and drink, in Austin at the moment. Their ambitious and playful approach is the perfect fit for Austin fine dining. Bufalina is a great addition too, with an entirely different ethos - tiny, casual, hyper-specific. While I haven't had the experience I want to have at Arro yet, I've enjoyed my visits there enough that I'm rooting for them to absolutely nail their casual French concept.
· All Year in Eater 2013 [EATX]