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What Surprised D.C. Food Writers the Most in 2018

Mike Isabella, José Andrés, and new bagels all play a part

The rapid fall of chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella, left, following sexual harassment allegations surprised multiple D.C. food writers.
Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Following an Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Their answers to the annual “Year in Eater” survey will be revealed in several posts this week.

Next up, the experts weigh in on the biggest dining surprises of 2018.

Nevin Martell, food writer and co-author of Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Watching Mike Isabella’s swift and brutal self-immolation.

Tim Carman, Washington Post food writer: I don’t think anyone could have predicted the total collapse of the Mike Isabella empire. Its fall was an epic of Hollywood proportions.

Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian food editor: José Andrés being turned away from a party at Cafe Milano. Who turns away José?!

Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic: On a national scale, the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Gold, taste-makers who died far too young but whose impact will continue for a very long time.

Lori Gardner, Been There, Eaten That blogger: Call Your Mother consistently attracting huge crowds of patrons from all over the D.C. area. The bagels are phenomenal, but who could anticipate that a “Jew-ish” deli in a very non-Jewish area would do so well?

More from the Year in Eater:

Call Your Mother

3428 O Street Northwest, , DC 20007 Visit Website