Top indie trends
Restaurants in this year’s Top 100 Independents ranking brought in a combined $1.8 billion last year.
Avocado toast with salmon belly
San Francisco restaurant Cliff House (No. 75) put an upscale twist on the still-popular avocado toast. The seafood-focused concept named its avocado toast with mesquite charred salmon belly its most successful menu addition of 2018.
Girl & the Goat (No. 91) named its wood-fired lamb skewers as its most successful menu addition of 2018. The dish is served with rhubarb relish, cilantro-yuzu vinaigrette and a garlic crunch. The Chicago concept from chef Stephanie Izard has never been shy about its use of lesser-known meats. As its name implies, the restaurant has a full section of the menu devoted to dishes made with goat, including goat empanadas and confit goat belly.
Urban Farmer (No. 100) in Portland, Ore., wants to make sure its guests have as much information about their food as possible. Instead of simply putting “beef tartare” on the menu, the tartare listing specifies that it is grass-fed tenderloin tartare. For its steaks, not only does the menu list the ranch and state each cut was sourced from, but it also lists the animals’ feed. Some descriptions indicate grass-fed, while others list corn-fed or grain-finished.