DC curveballs <em>not</em> thrown by Strasburg

While most area residents were surprised by the return of Rex Grossman the 3rd, we gathered up the District's top food and drink personalities to talk shop on what else caught them off-guard the most in 2012

Svetlana Legetic, at Brightest Young Things"That Ke$ha is still alive/not in rehab. Hurricane Sandy. These two may somehow be related in terms of dark cosmic forces.

Rob Yealu, Chief Mixologist at The Federalist"I have to say I'm pretty psyched and surprised by how quickly new local brands are popping up - Green Hat Gin, 3 Stars Brewing, DC Brau, etc. It's an exciting time to be working behind the bar in the DC area.

Will Artley, Executive Chef at Pizzeria Orso"I can't believe how big the gluten-free fad has become.

Jonathan Fain, Bar Manager at Bar Pilar"The world did not end. Bieber fever is still in. Hipsters still drink PBR. I was voted a ‘Style Setter’ [by Washingtonian Magazine].

Missy Frederick, Editor for Eater Washington DC"I thought the matchbox folks really did a great job on the design for the new 14th St place. It's nice to see a place that's expanding rapidly pay attention to detail. Restaurant design in general has really impressed me this year -- Farmers Fishers Bakers looks amazing, too.

Danny Bortnick, Executive Chef at Firefly"Cocktails/mixologists seem to be getting as much press as food/chefs. The second-fastest growing chain restaurant focuses on sustainable foods (Chipotle). Molecular gastronomy continues to exist/evolve -- thought this would have dissipated by now.

Dave Coleman, co-founder of 3 Stars Brewing Company"The unparalleled growth in craft beer sales, people's thirst for Growlers, and RGIII.

James Horn, General Manager at Daikaya"Jaleo getting 3.5 stars, the Beach Bar coming in and killing it, local DC breweries popping up everywhere."