Restaurants that moved me

Senior Editor Pat Cobe talks about how restaurants came to the rescue before, during and after a recent move from New York to Chicago, nourishing both body and soul.


Local sourcing tops chefs’ trend picks for 2014

Local sourcing will be the dominant influence on restaurant menus next year, according to an NRA survey of chefs. See what other trends ranked highest.

Executive Chef Johnny Anderes revels in matching his inventive Italian- and French-accented American fare with Sommelier Jeremy Quinn’s pours at Telegraph, a Chicago hotspot eatery with wine bar DNA. The results excite the imagination as well as the palate, ranging from Espelette-marinated quail with vintage-dated Basque cider to Cajun-style boudin noir dolma with fino sherry to artisanal cheeses with traditional French aperitifs.

Inspired by the diversity of Asian ingredients, Chef Alex Diestra has reinvented pan-Asian cuisine at Saucebox in Portland, Ore. Diestra infuses dishes with distinctive combinations of flavors from the Philippines, China, Thailand and Burma, in addition to other Asian countries.

"Bold" is becoming a boring mantra on menus; flavor-craving customers want more. To tempt their taste buds—and wallets—chefs and menu developers across all segments are experimenting with flavor enhancing cooking techniques, layering flavors for maximum effect and punching up dishes with housemade condiments.

Brooklyn has become a must-visit destination on the culinary map. Senior editor Pat Cobe, native New Yorker but Brooklyn neophyte, recently trekked through the borough on a tasting tour, sampling the fare at several buzzworthy restaurants and artisanal food producers.

Moms and dads surveyed recently by Restaurant.com claim that they enjoy going to restaurants as a family.

It seems breakfast can be the most important meal of the day—especially for restaurants. A recent Technomic MarketBriefing revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers surveyed eat brunch at a restaurant at least occasionally. What’s more, Mintel predicts breakfast sales will increase 22.1 percent between now and 2017.

Among the items listed within CNN’s American Food: The 50 Greatest Dishes, the American comfort food landscape is spelled out in popular food items, ranging from a full Thanksgiving dinner to a side of tater tots; from Delmonico’s Steak to California Roll; from Chicago-Style Pizza to Barbecue Ribs; and everything in between. It is obvious reading through this list that although health is on the mind of consumers everywhere, comfort is still king.

With all the emphasis on healthy eating, it would seem that consumers would be ordering more seafood at restaurants. Fish is generally lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than red meat and many species boast a generous dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

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