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The Best Music, Film, and Food of 2011

Pete Springer/OPB

There’s only a week and a half left of 2011, so we’re taking a look back at what music, movies, and food defined the year. What songs were you most likely to be found singing along to in the car? What movies did you see twice in the theaters? What restaurant did you take out-of-town visitors to?

Adele had the most critically and commercial successful year of anyone. Her album, 21, and song, “Rolling in the Deep,” topped Rolingstone’s year-end lists. The album sold 13 million copies — that’s 5 million more than Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.

And Oregon bands did well on the national scene. The Decemberists’ new album, The King is Dead, reached number one on the Billboard charts. And Wild Flag (made up of two of the three members of the former Sleater-Kinney), Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, and Typhoon all gained some national attention with network TV appearances.

Oregon also had some movies that gained national acclaim. How to Die in Oregon won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and AIDS documentary We Were Here, directed by Portland’s David Weissman, is nominated for a Spirit Award. Those two quiet documentaries, however, were exceptions to the ongoing trend of sequels and comic book movies that continued their reign at the box office.

In the culinary world, some new restaurants came on the scene in Portland in the latter half of the year. Wafu, a ramen house on Division, opened in August. And Nostrana’s Cathy Whims opened pizza-and-cocktails joint Oven and Shaker last month. And hometown celebrity chef Tony Demes returned to Portland by way of New York to try to bring white-linen fine dining to Portland with Noisette, which opened in NW Portland last month.

What was your favorite album, song, movie, or restaurant this year? What are you looking forward to in 2012


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