Now that we’ve established the essential restaurants to eat at in 2017, let’s take a look at the restaurant gimmicks we hope to leave in 2016.
Ticketed Restaurant Reservations
I’m all for restaurateurs attempting to drum up a sense of occasion, but are we having a casual dinner here or are we seeing a Broadway show?
Char (or Embers, or Volcanic Ash) on Everything
Here are the ground rules going forward: Yes to steak, barbecue, and bourbon. No to garden produce, ice cream, certain cheeses, and pretty much everything else.
Sea-Urchin Pasta on Every Italian Menu
This ubiquitous (and, yes, mostly delicious) dish has officially become the fettuccine Alfredo of our postmillennial dining age.
Absurdist Cocktail Names
Most of the good ones are taken, it’s true, but like much of the endlessly booming mixology culture, the florid names (“Bandit Queen,” “the Fall,” “Upset the Apple Cart”) have gotten out of hand.
Rampant Sommelier Creep
Your friendly wine sommelier has been supplemented, recently, by too many extraneous experts opining on too many esoteric food groups, including hot sauce, water, and tea.
“Are There Any Allergies the Chef Should Be Aware Of?”
We understand the concern; we’re just weary of this endlessly repeated phrase. And as far as water goes, the answer is always “tap.”
Another de rigueur wait-staff topic, and if you click on the “About” section of your friendly restaurant website, you’ll see that everybody has to have one, from the mixologist to the owner to the house forager.
Newfangled Beef Tartare
I love this noble dish. I even penned a lengthy listicle on where to find the best examples of it in town. I’m just tired of seeing it on every single menu.
*This article appears in the December 26, 2016, issue of New York Magazine.