Trendy Americans are drinking while dining out this spring.
More than half of the 50 restaurants in this season’s class of Trending Tables cite their beverage programs as an important attraction for their guests. Whether it's wine in kegs, a well-curated beer list or cocktails made with soju, sherry, local ingredients or simply with the unusually deft hands of well-trained bartenders, drinks are a draw at restaurants.
Trends that seem to be slowing are Asian and Latin American food. Sure, there are some arepas at TBD in San Francisco and modern Mexican cuisine at Alamexo in Salt Lake City. On the Asian front, Ming Tsai and Roy Choi are doing their latest versions of east-meets-west in Boston and Korean in Los Angeles, respectively. There’s also the modern Korean food at Nara in Houston.
Mediterranean food is much more prevalent at hot restaurants this season — particularly casual Italian. Pizza’s an important part of the menu at six of this spring’s Trending Tables, and you can play bocce at two of the restaurants, including one in Miami, whose chefs more frequently look to more tropical climates for inspiration.
Central European food is also enjoying a moment at places like Bronwyn in Sommerville, Mass., The General Muir in Atlanta, and Blind Butcher in Dallas.
Diners at popular independent venues are also responding to high levels of theatricality this spring, whether it’s Beat Hotel’s homage to Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and their friends in Cambridge, Mass., or the fire pit at Westward in Seattle.
Across the country we’re continuing to see innovation as chefs and restaurateurs respond to their customers evolving tastes.
Click on the links in the menu to the left for a closer look at what’s happening at the country’s trendiest restaurants.