Not surprisingly, one of the Top Trends this year is Recession Dining. Many restaurants in San Francisco are offering recession deals such as Prix Fixe options and the like. Some good money-saving examples are - Laiola in the Marina was offering a deal called Pink Slip Sundays where if you brought in a friend who was recently laid off, they comped their Meal. Not sure if it is still ongoing, but considering the vast amount of layoffs that are happening, it may not be the best idea in spite of how generous an offer it may be. Epic Roasthouse offers a lunch deal called the 3 B's - Burger, Beer and Brownie for $20. Dine About Town seemed to be more popular than ever this year which was also a big indicator of the state of the economy. So much so that a lot of restaurants extended their DAT Prix Fixe deals through the following weeks and months.
One trend that I am loving and have been dying to tell you about is the 'Italian as the new French' trend. I got to thinking this after assessing my Top Meals of the past years and realizing that a lot of my Favorite Meals were Italian, more specifically Regional Italian where the Pasta is made fresh on the premises. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am a big fan of Rustic Food which you will see below is one of the Epicurious predictions for 2009. My Favorite Meal of 2008 was my Meal at Osteria Mozza in LA, which I will be posting very soon. But I was pumped to read something to the same effect in an article by Alan Richman in this past December's GQ magazine where he pretty much proved my sentiments to be correct and proclaimed 'Italian as the new French'. In that same issue, GQ named Vetri restaurant in Philly as the current best Italian Restaurant in America. Next time I am in Philly, I have to go...
The following links discuss the Past Trends of 2008:
Top Ten Food Trends Time by Meredith Brody, SFWeekly - which references the following trend list in Time magazine, the Top Ten Food Trends by John Cloud
Top 10 Hottest Food Trends of 2008 by Doug DuCap - Pretty accurate, I thought..
Epicurious.com did a write up of Future Predictions for 2009, which I thought I would share.
1. "Value" is the new "Sustainable"
2. The Compost Pile is the new Flower Garden
3. Peruvian is the new Thai
4. Noodle Bars are the new Sushi Joints
5. Ginger is the new Mint
6. Smoking is the new Frying
7. Regional Roasters are the new Starbucks
8. Portland (Maine) is the new Portland (Oregon)
9. Rustic Food is the new Molecular Gastronomy
10. "Top-Rated" is the new "Critic's Pick"
Here is a link to the above list with further details - Epicurious Predicts Top 10 Food Trends by James Oliver Curry
One last thing before you go and probably a good way to wrap this up...
The SF Chronicle did a great article called The Food-Obsessed Wish List for 2009 by Stacy Finz and Tara Duggan, which I loved! Check it out at the link here and make sure you read all the way to the end with what they would like to Ring In for 2009.
Some of my personal faves and things that I would like to see more of are:
Affordable Cocktails. This would go hand-in-hand with the Recession Dining trend.
Good Regional Food. I love this trend and definitely want to see more of it.
Jewish Deli. Oy Vey! We can count on only 1 hand how many of these we have in the City? That's SO wrong-ge!
Late-Night Dining. Haven't we been cryin' about this one for years now?
Sustainable Sushi. Goes without saying...
Reservations. Yeah! What's with not taking rezzies anyways? Lame.
Affordable Wine Lists. Like this one and would like to see lower corkage fees too.
I am leaving you with these thoughts and articles for now because I have to go finish my Osteria Mozza write up now...
Happy Readin' and Eatin'...
Yours, As Always, In Food..