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Bold global ingredients, flavorful small plates

Ethnic-inspired ingredients are stars of small plate and appetizer menus, and opportunities to expand on these popular offerings will continue in 2014, according to the “What’s Hot 2014 Culinary Forecast” compiled by the National Restaurant Association. The trend report finds that 67% of surveyed chefs indicate “grazing”—small plate sharing and snacking instead of traditional meals—to be a hot trend, as well as “street food-inspired main courses” (60%) and “regional ethnic cuisine” (56%). Here are some shining examples of how these palate-pleasing flavors are appearing on menus today.

Lake & Irving
St. Louis Ribs: Duroc pork, hoisin glaze, white sesame seeds, Asian slaw, green onion; $12
Lobster Tostada: Texas caviar, togarashi, wonton crisp, guacamole; $8

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with nashi pear; $12

Heritage Tavern
Madison, Wis.
Chili-Glazed Tempura: bacon-wrapped cheese curds, market vegetables, nori-wrapped shrimp, truffled fish sauce; $9

Grilled beef tongue with cipollini onion, currants and parsley; $10
Herbed white sausage with sage cherries and glazed shallot; $11

Tempura Shrimp: shredded cabbage, apple and jalapeño slaw with tonkatsu sauce; $11

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