Fall Preview: Eat, Drink, and Be Worried

Our fall predictions about the future of New York City dining

Chefs will continue to incorporate ethnic recipes from all over the world into their oeuvres. This is a very good thing. At the same time, ethnic restaurateurs will try their hands at attracting a more upmarket clientele. The Senegalese mini-chain Les Ambassades is pleasing evidence of this on a small scale.

New regional Chinese cuisines that have popped up in the city's five Chinatowns will gradually work their way into the mainstream, and someday lamb will cease to be a rarity in Chinese restaurants.

Owners of street carts selling halal curries and kebabs will gradually move into storefronts and become restaurateurs.

Turkish food is on the increase in parts of Brooklyn—especially Midwood and Bath Beach—and this trend will spread throughout the five boroughs.

The fall will continue the year of the Eastern European eatery. In the East Village, Kafana introduced us to Serbian fare for the first time, via grilled ground meats and a delicious variation on the burek called grebinica. Meanwhile, Sutra in Sunset Park is slinging Croatian bureks (just make sure you don't put them in the same bag with the Serbian food). Further south in Sunset Park, Eurotrip—a psychedelic name for a new watering hole—is serving a slew of Czech and Hungarian recipes. There's a new Bulgarian tavern on the Lower East Side, too—Mehanata—as new Polish restaurants in Greenpoint struggle to elevate the cuisine to bistro status at places like Karczma and Krolewski Jadlo.

Ultimately, the biggest influence on the future of New York dining may be the world's dwindling food supply, as well as the monoculture of corn and soy railed against in The Omnivore's Dilemma. Will we be sitting on our landscaped terraces next year eating soyburgers and drinking cocktails of fermented corn syrup? Will we look at the sushi bar and see only farm-raised, salmonella-laced salmon? Will the meat eaters among us end up babbling and then falling over from mad-cow disease? Stay tuned to find out . . .

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