Ally

Does anyone else get super giddy when they get their monthly magazines in the mail? I get really excited...but then again, in all honesty, I get excited over any mail that's not a bill or marked, "Resident" or "Occupant." I have subscriptions to some of my favorite food magazines like Saveur, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Sunset and each month, I enjoy settling down with a nice cup of coffee and indulging in some leisure reading.  Anyhow, my July issue of Food and Wine just arrived this weekend and I've really enjoyed reading their article entitled, "Food Trends: Good or Evil," where they ask Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert their thoughts on various food trends. The eight they listed and discussed were:

1. Food Trends (in general)
2. Pop-Up Restaurants
3. Fancy Chefs Making Burgers
4. No-Reservation Restaurants
5. Chefs Creating Cross-Cultural Cuisine
6. TV Chefs
7. Death of Fine Dining
8. Chefs as Sex Symbols

I'd like to add a few of my own as well as what I think of them:

1. Communal Table Dining in Restaurants: In theory this idea sounds great - you get to meet new interesting people and expand your social circle. However, more often than not, in reality, you end up sitting next to some loud, brash guy who's radiating BO and elbowing you every time you try to take a bite of food or a drunk lady who chews with her mouth open and continually kicks you under the table while interjecting comments in your conversation with your dining companion.

2. Small plates: I can go either way on this one. Done right, it's a fab way to share various dishes with your tablemates but done wrong...well, there's nothing worse then going out to dinner, dropping a C-note on a skimpy meal and going home still hungry.

3. Withholding Water: Many upscale restaurants have taken to not providing you with water at your table and then advising you can purchase bottled or sparking water. Yeah, that chaps my hide too.

4. Bacon: Now I like bacon as much as the next person, but seriously I think we've taken it a bit too far. I don't need bacon in my martini, sushi or milkshake. Moderation, people, moderation.

5. Loud Music & Excessive Noise: In a club it's fine, but having to yell when your chatting with your friend, who's sitting 2 feet away from you, is ridiculous. Keep the music low and insulate the damn restaurant so it doesn't sound like Grand Central Station in there.

6. Charging for bread: It's tacky. If it's going to be an economic burden on the restaurant to serve it, then just do away with it.

7. Riding the "Farm to Table" Train: I'm all for chef's utilizing local ingredients but I really don't need to to be handed a menu that lists where EVERY little ingredient comes from down to the parsley garnishing my fish.

What's your take?
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3 Responses
  1. sporkgasm Says:

    The only restaurant trend I wish would go away are televisions. They are appropriate in sports bars. They are not appropriate when I'm trying to have dinner.

    I love small plates done well. Unfortunately very few local places do them well. Most charge 12 bucks for three teeny fish tacos and it's so ridiculous I have to laugh out loud about it.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    The first time we were in Europe we started scarfing the bread and butter at the table, like we Americans are prone to do. Oops, you have to pay for that? It isn't my right to stuff my face before I even order? How rude!


  3. Ally Says:

    Anon,

    Hopefully at the time of ordering the server would inform the guest of the bread charge. However, many places have started just placing a stealth charge on the guest's bill without giving a heads up beforehand. That's what annoys me the most.

    And on a sidenote: if a restaurant insists on charging for bread---that bread better be superb and not a mediocre carb vessel.


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