More miscellaneous trends: There are many more trends I won't bore you with, including the return of the French bistro to prominence; the rise of the cuisines of northeastern China in Flushing; the penetration of wine bars into many of the city's more obscure neighborhoods; the popularity of invented cocktails; the general migration of the city's higher-end food scene from Midtown to Downtown; the coffee-bar wars; the rise and fall of Japanese cream puffs; the continuing diversification of our ethnic food scene driven by new immigrant groups; and our continuing obsession with hamburgers and cupcakes.

And in conclusion: But one trend has proven to be more salutary than all the rest: the rising public concern with the sources and purity of our foods, and the formation of activist organizations to address problems like overfishing, global warming, sustainment of local agriculture, and both citywide and global hunger, reflected by individual actions as well as participation in organizations like Slow Food and Share Our Strength. It has lately dawned on us that food is more than just a hedonistic pursuit—as if we'd been snoozing for a decade, and just woke up.

Molly Brooks

For more of out restaurant coverage, check out our food blog, Fork in the Road

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