Lasagna: It’s only a matter of time before this multilayered wonder becomes the comfort food della giornata. Mark Ladner debuted his hundred-layer lasagna at Del Posto earlier this year.
From upscale childhood favorites to bread and butter pairings, these restaurants around the country are setting the trends for food in 2011.
Only show places...
Tartare: Though a battered Wall Street is making timid gains, the chopped meat that fueled the booming eighties is returning in full force. The tartare trio at Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern was some of the earliest evidence of the revived trend.
Tartare: we’ve also seen a real uptick of tartare on recent Beard House menus, which have featured nearly every uncooked meat imaginable, from veal cheek and elk to Anna Sortun’s kingfish nayeh, a traditional Lebanese preparation usually prepared with lamb.
Local oils: At a meeting about sustainability in the foodservice industry this summer, we were proudly served a local, cold-pressed rapeseed (Canola) oil from Maine Natural Oils at Portland, Maine’s Fore Street. Save for region-designated olive oils, it’s been near impossible to find a cooking oil with any particular provenance. Can the first truly local fry shop be that far away?
Bread-and-butter pairings: James Beard was onto something when he declared the greatest of feasts to be good bread with fresh butter. Lately we’ve noticed that chefs are trying to raise the sublime match to even greater heights. When Stephanie Izard hosted a Friends of James Beard Benefit at the Girl and the Goat, we enjoyed one of in-house baker Greg Wade’s baskets of intricate loaves with coordinated condiments: fried pumpkin seed–studded chocolate sourdough paired with guajillo pepper–cinnamon butter and pumpkin purée; stecca (a no-knead baguette) matched with roasted garlic–white anchovy butter.
Sweeping of the floors: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about NOMA’s René Redzepi and his breathtaking interpretations of Nordic landscapes that evoke in look and taste everything from the forest to the oceanbed, prepared with locally foraged ingredients. Meanwhile, Portland’s Matthew Lightner, a Redzepi protégé, plucks indigenous herbs, roots, and other flora from the Willamette Valley to recreate his local terroir on a plate at Castagna.