Here are the 10 dining trends Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) thinks will move from the cutting edge into the mainstream in the year ahead.
1. Sour gets its day. The American dining scene will explore additional parts of the flavor spectrum beyond sweet, salty and fatty, says SRG. “Next year we’ll have a plethora of tart, acidic and bitter flavors to choose from as menus feature flavors like fermented cherry juice, varietal vinegars, even sour beer.”
2. Chefs watch your weight. Healthful dining is a perennial entrant on most trend lists, but will we actually see healthful dining manifest itself on menus this year? “Butter, bacon, and cream have been chefs’ best friends since the beginning of time,” notes SRG. “But in 2013, chefs will be working quietly behind the scenes to make your dishes better for you with ingredients like brown rice, high-fiber grains and vitamin-rich veggie broths.”
3. Asian infiltrates American comfort food. The spicy and fresh flavors of Thailand, Vietnam and Korea take comfort food in a new direction, and this could be the year more restaurant operators position these cuisines as such. “Expect to walk into a classic American diner and see options like Vietnamese chicken sandwiches, Sriracha mayo and Korean-glazed pork ribs.”
4. Veggies take over the plate. No longer prepared as just a side or salad, vegetables will get their chance to star as the main dish this year. SRG points to entrees like the Kohlrabi Bourguignon at AQ in San Francisco and the Cauliflower T-bone at Superba Snack Bar in L.A. We know restaurant owners will love the food cost on items like these.