Three Trends I'm Ready to See Leave With 2007
Poached/fried eggs on everything
Saying the egg is over is like saying black is out of style—it’s a staple that makes so many other culinary wonders possible. And besides, eggs will always be delicious at breakfast. But if I see one more crock at dinner with hot gooey contents topped with a poached or fried egg, or hear another server say, “You break the egg over the dish and it makes its own sauce,” I just might scream. The trend is so huge right now that I wouldn't be surprised if TGIFridays started serving Poached Egg Topped Nachos. One instance where egg-as-a-topping is still acceptable: salad Lyonnaise (ok, David Chang, you can keep it in your ramen, too).
I love a good shortrib, with its melt-in-the mouth fat, but I can’t tell you how many times these past two summers, I perused the menu hoping for sprightly, fresh produce-laden dishes only to find shortribs, lamb shanks and other luscious, long-cooking cuts. Chefs try to throw in a nod or two to the season—pork belly with sour cherries, for example—tasty but a little like wearing a wool sweater with a bikini bottom. I know chefs look to these less expensive cuts to help keep food costs down, but couldn’t they just cut back on the amount of meat they serve? In the heat of the summer, I’d take a 3-ounce steak with plenty of local veggies over a Flintstone-sized lamb shank any day.
My coworker, the brilliant features editor Michelle Shih, recently said to me, “It’s almost as if, for some people, sushi and sashimi have become a food group. People expect to be able to get it everywhere.” She was talking about the proliferation of sushi restaurants in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but this reminded me of New York restaurant menus lately. Call it what you will—sashimi, crudo or simply, raw fish—but it seems that every restaurant, whether it's Lebanese, American or even German (ok, maybe not German) is serving some sort of sashimi. Is it to cater to the folks who don’t like shortribs? Is it simply because people like to say “hamachi?” Next year, I hope sashimi returns to, and stays at, the sushi bar.