Friday, September 14, 2007

Fall Restaurant Trends


by Lourdes Castro

Here in New York early September marks more than just a shift in our wardrobes; it also denotes a shift in our eating habits.  Just like many of my fashion minded friends who view the day after Labor Day with as much promise as they do New Year’s Day, I also see September full of hope.  Except my anticipation revolves around food.

This is the time of the year when chefs return from vacation (some anyway), menus are revamped, and new restaurants start popping up all over town. Houseguests bid us good-bye and we get back in the habit of preparing dinner the New York way ... by making reservations. 

New Yorkers tend to have a short restaurant attention span. Why that is – I don’t know. While the rest of the world relishes in their habitual routine, we are always on the hunt for the latest and greatest ... always moving on to the next best thing. 

Of course most of us have our trusty neighborhood joint – the old pair of shoes that we count on to make us feel comfortable.  But lets face it, sometimes we want more than comfort – we want a new taste sensation, novel presentation, and a fresh scene. We want to wear our Manolo’s.

And so as this new restaurant season is upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a trend tracking list – a cheat sheet if you will – to help you avoid a dining faux pas.  Here is a glimpse of what you will see out there:
In

Dining at the bar
Small plates
Tap water
Fancy burgers
Local meats
Casual dining
Cocktail pairings
Gelatin
Food Blogs
Pork belly
Wine bars
Come as you are
Pork fat
Being a regular
Chilewich mats
Infused oil
Out

Table for 2
Family style
Bottled water
Large steaks
Imported meats
Fine dining
Wine pairings
Foam
Food Network
Short ribs     
Dive bars
Dress codes
Trans fat
Being difficult
Table linens
Truffle oil
IN (Clockwise from top left): Pork Belly; Bar at Atelier; Infused oil; Chilewich's vintage checks; Fancy db burger.