Another year of eating is over — and it was a good year. The bathroom scale doesn’t lie. A year of patties and pates, surf and turf, luscious desserts and even a salad now and then. Time to look back at all those indulgences and select the drinks and dishes that really curled our toes in 2018. — Phil Vettel

Individual sausage deep dish at Beatrix

While eating around downtown for my ultimate guide to lunch in the Loop, I happened upon an outlet of Beatrix Market, a concept best known for its healthy options. And there, right in the front, I set my eyes upon a spread of mini deep dish pizzas. Not only that, but the pizzas sported an incredible gold-brown crust that was crispy on the outside, soft within. Instead of a deluge of molten cheese, a judicious amount is used, which allows you to appreciate the chunky tomato sauce. It’s the last place I thought to look for deep dish pizza, and it’s some of the very best in the city right now. $7.69. Beatrix Market (23 E. Jackson Blvd.) — Nick Kindelsperger (Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune)

Mrs. Hsing’s Wonderful Lemon Meringue Napoleon

I dig this dish almost as much for its back story as I do for its terrific flavor. The dessert itself is a modern, layered take on lemon meringue pie. The soft meringue on top is torched, a nod to the famous baked Alaska at the Pump Room (the iconic restaurant whose space Booth One now occupies). The name recalls the fanciful wordplay that was a signature of Lettuce Entertain You restaurants in the 1970s. And “Mrs. Hsing” refers to executive chef Doug Psaltis’ wife, Hsing Chen, who came up with the idea. 1301 N. State Parkway, 312-649-0535 — Phil Vettel (Phil Vettel/Chicago Tribune)