Experiential dining and eatertainment might be buzzwords that have some RB editors rolling their eyes, but they are simply impossible to ignore. This month, when our eyes aren’t rolling around in our heads, they are on the menu trends that deliver familiar, approachable flavors in thrilling formats, creating new experiences for diners.
2. New-school salt
Beyond the Salty Dog cocktail, sodium-rich beverages are dashing their way onto menus. But it’s not all about coarse salt. The Savory Hunter drink at Midnight Rambler in Dallas adds fish sauce to cream of coconut, cilantro, and lemongrass- and lime-infused gin, for a salty umami flavor. Foreign Cinema in San Francisco offers a whiskey distilled from rice with umeboshi gastrique—made from Japanese pickled plums known for their salinity—lemon, egg white and yuzu bitters.
3. Meat-on-meat action
Perhaps Arby’s blazed some trail by unabashedly slinging indulgent meats. Now, restaurants are upping the ante with a number of meat-on-meat concoctions. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s last week rolled out The Bacon 3-Way Thickburger, which features a beef patty with bacon strips, bacon crumbles and bacon jam, while New York City’s Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken serves a fried chicken patty topped with a grilled all-beef hot dog and french fries.