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Popular new offerings from the Top 100 independent restaurants run the gamut from high-end to casual, with operators listing drinks, seafood, steaks and more as popular new items.
The specialty platter from Acme Feed & Seed (No. 31) includes orange chicken, pork gyoza, half of a California roll and rice.
The Crab Rangoon—jumbo lump crab and sweet Thai chili pearls on a crispy crab cracker—was added to the “Jewels on Toast” section of the menu at Beauty & Essex (No. 50).
Boa Steakhouse (No. 78) names far-from-steakhouse-fare vegan options, such as the Mediterranean chick pea panelle with smoked carrots, summer squash and tsatkiki (shown here), among its most successful new menu additions.
The Tartufo pizza at Bottega Louie (No. 18) is topped w ith mozzarella, fontina, truffle pecorino, creme fraiche, black truffle mushroom and eggs.
Founding Farmers (No. 92) replaced the waffles in a classic pairing with its signature Jefferson donut.
Komodo (No. 51) has added salmon tacos, with avocado, spicy may, truffle oil and eel sauce, and they’re found on the sushi section of the menu.
Lavo Las Vegas (No. 55) names it bone-in filet mignon, which comes in at 14 ounces, as a menu success.
This dish on Le Diplomate’s (No. 49) hors d’oeuvres menu features San Marzano tomatoes, nicoise olives, garlic and lemon.
Makoto (No 97) offers a private label sake, one of almost 30 menued.
Portland City Grill (No. 68) cites aged steaks like the double ribeye pictured here as new menu successes.
Prime 112 (No. 13) offers plenty of steaks, chops and racks, but calls its 50-oz. prime dry-aged tomahawk ribeye a successful new menu addition.
The Southern Burger at The Southern Steak & Oyster (No. 62) boasts Bear Creek beef, topped with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno bacon, pimento cheese and fried onions, served with sweet potato fries.
Tavern on Rush (No. 93) tops its avocado toast with ripe tomatoes, baby greens and poached eggs.
Look for FABI Awardees throughout the Show and at the Foodamental Studio (Booth #2389) on Monday starting at 10:00 a.m.
Here are some takeaways gleaned from a behind-the-scenes dine-around in Chicago.
Here’s what had attendees on the show floor buzzing—and lining up for more.
The longtime casual-dining veteran was chosen for the Gold Plate Award from among eight leaders named as the best within their respective market segments.
Up-and-coming restaurant chains and what’s propelling their growth
Food trends and recipes to keep menus fresh
New restaurants and soon-to-open concepts worth monitoring
RB’s exclusive ranking of the highest-grossing independent restaurants
Peter Romeo highlights the moments restaurateurs miss at their own peril
Ideas from the field you may want to borrow