Worst Dining Trends of the Decade Wednesday October 20, 2010
Foam: An annoying
Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune: Decades from now, when you reflect on what dining was like during the
fledgling years of the 21st century, on a good day you will picture a
heartening trend toward comfort food in the wake of Sept. 11 and a
well-meaning push toward locally sourced menus.
But on a bad day, when someone asks what the worst restaurant trends of
that first decade were, will you be able to shut up? One restaurant type
cracked: "As long as we're not naming names, I'll talk. Because now
that you ask this, specific chefs and self-important restaurants are
coming to mind."
Then there were those who, like It Boy and New York chef David Chang,
when asked to name the worst trends of the decade, simply blurted: "The
Cheesecake Factory. The Kobe beef movement was stupid -- it was never
meant to be a burger! Sliders are stupid too. Sorry, I mean to say 'a
trio of sliders' is stupid. What else? Walls of wine bottles as
decoration. The steakhouse craze -- why does there need to be more
than a couple of steakhouses in any metropolitan area?"
Then, when his outrage subsided, Chang made an excellent point: "Bad
trends were usually good trends. They just got watered down into a
really bad, overdone trend."
Which, in a way, is precisely how Tanya Steel, the editor-in-chief of
Epicurious (epicurious.com), saw the decade unfolding: "The beginning
and the middle were just the height of obnoxiousness, very reminiscent
of the 1980s -- you call ahead for a table and they tell you '5:30 or
10:30' though there are 10 empty tables at 8 p.m. There were
restaurants, especially here in New York, that refuse to list a phone
number or have the name of the place outside. I would say the second
part of the decade didn't begin until September 2008, when the economy
meant no one could afford to act like that now."
"Worst trend?" said Tim Zagat, co-founder of the Zagat restaurant
survey. "Buying wine to show off. It's not new but it got out of hand
with Wall Street types this decade. If you spend $100 on a bottle now,
you're exhibiting some degree of stupidity."
What follows are the 10 worst restaurant trends of the decade, culled
from interviews with chefs, consultants, even the owners of a food
bookstore in Maine. I couldn't include every gripe -- mache, water
sommeliers, organ-meat entrees, unisex bathrooms, bacon tattoos on
chefs, over-flaunted kitchen burns, chefs tables ("usually they're done
as an afterthought, and it shows") -- but here's what leaped out, in
order of annoyance:
Fried Onion blossoms
The $40 Entree
The Communal Table
Proudly Obnoxious Fast Food Options
Knee-jerk Online Reviews
The Menu as Book
The Chef as Media Whore
Deconstruction See descriptions of each at Chicago Tribune
13 December 2013
17 November 2013
15 November 2013
15 November 2013
11 October 2013
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