Top 5 2009 Food and Wine Trends
By Lauren Dickinson
My predictions for the coming year…
#1 Eating in: being short on cash will probably encourage a lot of people to start cooking again, which is not a bad thing- it’s a great feeling to make a nice dinner for your friends and family, and no one is going to rush you out of your table. The New York Times‘ Mark Bittman has some great suggestions on what should be in your pantry (one of my New Years resolutions is to make my own chicken stock, which we had to do almost every day in culinary school and yet hasn’t happened once since I graduated- kind of embarrassing.)
#2 Small restaurants: Alan Richman’s recent article in Departures Magazine listing his favorite small restaurants in New York, some famous, some more of the hole in the wall variety, will likely strike a cord with readers. Small restaurants are often less expensive, more casual, and cozier, all of which have an appeal in a recession. Anonymous feeling, grand restaurants will probably suffer more.
#3 Searching for wine values: check out Argentina, whose Torrontes and Malbec are still amazing values, lesser known areas in France (ie not Bordeaux and Burgundy), Spain. Also note- the upside to consumers not buying such expensive bottles in restaurants may mean that some hard to find wines will be available in wine shops, and without the restaurant markup you can enjoy something much nicer than you could at a dinner out.
#4 Comfort food: two reasons for this- people crave comfort food in tough times, and fortunately for restaurants, comfort food is usually cheaper to make. If that sounds boring, remember- it doesn’t all have to be mac and cheese and brisket- Asian style noodle shops are also opening- in San Francisco the chef of Slanted Door is opening Heaven’s Dog, and in New York cult restaurant Momofuku now has a noodle bar as well.
#5 More beer focused restaurants: the American version of gastropubs has caught on, with restaurants providing extensive lists to choose from and food prepared for pairing. And yes, again, it’s a less expensive choice. Some of the leaders in the pack: The Alembic in San Francisco, The Village Idiot in Los Angeles, and The Publican in Chicago.
Filed under: epicurean, Los Angeles, New York, TOP 5's | 1 Comment
Tags: 2009 food, 2009 wine, gastropub, Los Angeles, Mark Bittman, San Francisco, The Alembic, The Publican, The Village Idiot, trends