The 25 Food and Drink Trends Taking Over Restaurants in 2018 | Bonappetit

From the plating method every chef is obsessed with right now (hint: It involves a mandoline) to the rise of the breakfast sandwich, here are the trends we kept seeing over and over again as we dined out across the country this past year. Pull up a backless stool, sip some funky natural wine, and get ready for a very delicious, very riveting recap.

Uni Is Now Uni-versal

I didn’t see this one coming. Avocado toast on every menu? Sure. Wedge salads having a renaissance? Why not. But uni (a.k.a. sea urchin) becoming just another everyday offering at restaurants? No way. I remember when uni was an acquired taste, a measuring stick to separate hardcore food lovers from California roll wannabes. Now you’ve got kids asking servers whether the urchin is from Hokkaido, Maine, or Santa Barbara. Uni is everywhere. There’s an entire tray of those custard-like treats, in fact, at Majordomo in Los Angeles just waiting for you to slather them on Chinese-style bing bread. At Saison in San Francisco, they’re piled on a slab of “liquid toast.” And in Seattle at the understated Kamonegi, you can order them atop fried shiso leaves. But the ultimate proof of their popularity? Even my parents eat the stuff now. —Andrew Knowlton, editor at large

Wine Gets the Decanting It Deserves

If you think decanters are antiquated glass sculptures made for collecting dust, come to Los Angeles. Pop by Cosa Buona, where your natural Syrah will be decanted into an unpretentious beaker. Or Bavel, where wine comes in a handmade jug sourced directly from Lebanon. Yes folks, decanters are cool again, and we couldn’t be happier. These babies will aerate your natural wine and help blow off volatile acidity, notes of reduction, or signs of secondary fermentation, taking a bottle from seemingly flawed to downright fantastic. —Marissa A. Ross, contributing wine editor

It’s Called ‘The Shingle’ and It’s Our Plating of the Year

The real MVP of 2018? The trusty mandoline. (Sorry, James Harden.) Everywhere we dined, we saw dish after dish finished in the same mesmerizing way: with cascading coins of thinly shaved something—radishes, beets, you name it. We’re into it—not only because shingling satisfies those OCD urges for order (maybe that’s just me) but also because it’s a smart solution for ambitious chefs low on staff and time. At Kato in Los Angeles, chef Jonathan Yao shingles Tokyo turnips over olive-oil-poached trout with thick Chinese vinegar and sticky roasted eggplant. “I don’t have 20 prep cooks who can spend two hours on their knife cuts,” he says. “I can punch out a few rounds with the mandoline in a matter of seconds. It gives a very consistent look without a huge staff.” —Elyse Inamine, digital restaurant editor

The Bake Sale Is Now Radical

Bye, fancy galas. Pastry chefs, writers, and others in the food industry are finding more accessible ways to fight the good fight and raise money and awareness for causes they believe in. Introducing the new way to be an activist: putting together a bake sale—Elyse Inamine, digital restaurant editor

Read the full story here.

Admit It, Natural Wine Goes with Everything

Take it from Jorge Riera, the wine director of Frenchette in NYC, whose esoteric all-natural wine list is as much of a draw as the chefs’ modern renditions of French classics: “For more than 20 years, I’ve been going to France and eating French food with natural wines. I think the food pops more with these wines than it does with conventional or traditional options because of the way the wines are made, with high acidity, low alcohol, and not-so-grippy tannins. The wine doesn’t overtake the food; it’s refreshing. It washes over your palate and the acidity cuts through the richness of some of the dishes, and that same acidity brightens a lot of the dishes as well.”

Read Marissa A. Ross’s full story about Frenchette’s wine list here.

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Source: The 25 Food and Drink Trends Taking Over Restaurants in 2018