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The year of biscuit mania, D.C.’s first food boat, and too many steakhouses has come to an end. So what trends will everyone be adopting and talking about next? Y&H has some predictions for what will take off in 2015.
Head-to-tail is giving way to root-to-leaf as more restaurants look to fancy up and focus on their peas and carrots. Mintwood Place chef Cedric Maupillier has promised a greater emphasis on vegetables at his forthcoming Shaw restaurant Convivial, while José Andrés plans to make them the centerpiece of his first fast-casual venture, Beefsteak, named after the tomato.
Ubiquitous “share plates” are typically synonymous with “small plates,” which aren’t actually big enough for sharing. In backlash to the tapas style, expect to find very large platters and entrees for two or more, which you’ll still have to share. Rose’s Luxury already offers family-style portions of brisket or eggplant parmesan, so copycats surely will follow.
The long lines at popular restaurants that refuse to take reservations were a sore subject for many diners in 2014. On the flip side, no-shows continue to plague places that do offer reservations. One possible middle ground: ticketed reservations, where diners reserve and pay for a meal ahead of time, just as they would for the theatre. The system has already been adopted at restaurants with set prices in other cities. It’s only a matter of time before more D.C. establishments catch on.
More D.C.-Made Food and Drink Products
You can now find anything from root beer to chocolate bars to ketchup made in D.C. But the artisanal food market is really just in its infancy. As food incubators expand, so will the variety of locally made products.
The Chipotle-ization of Everything
You’re probably sick of hearing every new fast-casual restaurant being called the “Chipotle of [fill in the blank].” Well, too bad, because the format isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s expanding to even more types of cuisine and producing even more spin-offs of spin-offs. Look out for kabob-focused SKWR Kabobline and Buredo, which will serve burrito-sized sushi rolls with fusion flavors, this year. Meanwhile, places like &pizza and Cava Grill are expanding like crazy.
Cupcakes, doughnuts, and Cronuts have been some of the top food trends of the last few years. But straight-up layer cake may be next. Cake by the slice is one of the mainstays at RareSweets, which opened in CityCenterDC last month, and pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac plans to find a permanent home for her cake-focused Buttercream Bakeshop this year.
Top photo of José Andrés by Matt Dunn. Cava Grill photo by Darrow Montgomery. Cake photo courtesy RareSweets. Other photos by Jessica Sidman.