As a mid year round up, here are some restaurant and dining trends the Miami Dining Examiner has noticed popping up in 2014.
This protein, eaten widely in the Mediterranean, was rarely seen in the states until recently. It's served grilled, in salads or carpaccio, so much so that a fellow food writer said at a recent dinner- "What's with all the octopus on menus lately?"
It's not just beef anymore, but anything that is sliced thin, served cold and drizzled with olive oil is eligible. Octopus, scallops, fish and even vegetables can be carpaccio-ed.
While the Miami Dining Examiner noted in January that more exotic fare is becoming common to diners everywhere, Peruvian food seems to be inching ahead of the competition. While Peru has always been known for its ceviche, Americans are now becoming familiar with Lomo Saltado, yellow pepper sauce and Tacu Tacu.
While ceviche has been around forever (see Peruvian food), this dish is not necessarily the traditional citrus marinated fish dish diners are familiar with. A variety of seafood- scallops, shrimp, tuna or salmon, served with a variety of sauces and add ins, like fresh herbs, is making ceviche fresh and fun.
Dishtowels as napkins
Although this trend began in gastro pubs (such as Bread and Butter), it has crept into finer dining establishments as well, probably because it makes prefect sense. What better way to clean your fingers than a dishcloth? As long as it's not the Miami Dining Examiner's husband wiping his hands on the dishcloth at home, she's all for this trend.
School's out for summer! But they forgot to tell the restaurants. Although chalkboards have always had their place in certain restaurants (think French bistros), it's getting hard to find one now that's not embracing this trend. Specials, Happy Hour offerings, different types of craft beers- this is just some of the information that can be displayed on this old school tool.
This seasonal bean seems to be the new edamame. One of the oldest plants to be cultivated, this bean (actually a pea) was eaten in ancient Greece and Rome. While primarily eaten in Mediterranean cuisine, the bean and dishes celebrating its peak in July, has been making frequent appearances on menus lately.
Why any restaurant would want to associate a food dish with the word airline, is beyond the Miami Dining Examiner, a former flight attendant. But, at any rate, this cut of chicken (essentially a boneless chicken breast with drummette) has been making menu appearances lately, served with a variety of sauces. Perhaps it is the petite portion, selected to fit into an airline tray, which appeals to diet conscious diners.
While the name is off-putting (it reminds one of dirt) the Miami Dining Examiner first tasted this smoked prosciutto at Bottega la Dolce Vita, an Italian market in Coral Gables. Since then, she's noticed it more and more on menus, most recently wrapped around prawns. Could Speck be the new bacon?
Brunch is back. Not that it ever left, but this isn't the typical eggs benedict and waffles brunch anymore. Think beet tartare, eggs over smoked pulled pork and Captain Crunch pancakes with condensed milk syrup. Brunch is becoming more creative and a reflection of the restaurant serving it. So grab a Tang mimosa and dive in.
* The Miami Dining Examiner will have a future article of Coral Gables brunch spots.