March 2017

 
 
 
 

"Painted Hills NY Strip Steak" / Braised Beef Cheek / Citrus Braised Candy Stripe Beets / Tokyo Turnips / Thumbelina Carrots / Charred Cauliflower Puree / Aerated "Beer"naise. 

Chef henry Hill

 
 
  • Calling out origin: "Painted Hills" farm
  • Beef Cheek - 2nd Cuts
  • "Citrus"
  • Japanese Vegetables: Tokyo Turnip
 

 
 
 
 

Slagel Bone Marrow, Apple Kimchi, Bacon Jam, Parsley

CHEF Jared Wentworth

 
 

This is a modern take on the classic French, bone marrow dish. Chef Wentworth adds contemporary, on-trend components that provide thoughtful, complementary flavors and textures:

 

  • "Slagel" Bone Marrow - Calling out farm name, "Slagel", and use of local goods has been a trend for several years (and we don't expect it to go away). Slagel is a family-owned farm and meat processor in Fairbury, Illinois — known for their quality meats and restaurant supply;
  • Apple Kimchi - Korean influence and playing with fermentation notes with "bite";
  • Bacon Jam - Unique savory "jams", gelèes, and marmalades are very popular in fine dining right now;
  • Parsley - Classic accompaniment ('nuff said).
 

 
 
 
 

Fried Oysters / Parsley / Shallot / Cherry Bomb Peppers / Charred Lemon

chef Tony Quartaro

 
 

This dish pays subtle and considerate homage to Southern inspired fare with a nod to the deep fry method and inclusion of "heat" — the heat is achieved with cherry bomb peppers (heat impact is similar to jalapeños). 

The inclusion of parsley, shallot and lemon is extremely traditional with oyster dishes. Dixie applies an updated twist by applying a "charring" technique to the lemon component. But "char" isn't just a culinary buzzword, it adds thoughtful, rounding bitterness to the experience.

 

 
 
 

Slow Poached Farm Fresh Egg / Beluga Lentil / Artisan Chorizo / Sunchoke Bouillon

Chef Joho

 
 

This dish at captures several key culinary trends:

  • "Artisan" — The artisan trend has become extremely familiar and has grown roots in the culinary industry, and for good reason. Artisan is obviously a very subjective term, but it typically correlates to items that are not mass-produced and differentiated by the amount of careful craft that goes into their production.
  • "Farm" — Yes, well of course the egg comes from a farm. But by calling out the term "farm fresh", it creates dialogue between the server and the diner: "Oh, 'farm fresh'. Does Everest get their eggs from a local farm?" 
  • Poaching method — We've seen this method with high frequency, especially in 2016. Poaching is a very gently process, opposed to the cooking method buzzwords of 2014-2015, "grilled" and "roasted".  
  • Beluga Lentils — These legumes have received a ton of attention over the past couple years. We're seeing less of this in 2017 and projected 2018, and more "Rye Berries" and "Puffed Grains".

 

 

Verrine of “Riz au Lait” Rice Pudding / Lebanese Arak Liqueur / Blood Orange / Pistachio / White Wine Granita / Toasted Meringue

Pastry Chef Craig Harzewski

 
 

This Naha dessert is a superb example of a restaurant taking full advantage of culinary trends. A menu created by a restaurant that is tremendously mindful of current "buzzwords" and messages that will likely spark guest intrigue i.e. "Verrine...ooo what's that?". It's obvious that most of the dishes on their menu are exceedingly hype-conscious. Some might say their menu is overly complicated, not focused, too many components — or simply calling out too many components. Nevertheless, Naha "works it" and fits as many trends in each dish as possible.  This dessert impressively boasts 10 different culinary trends, and I'll list them:

 

1. "Verrine" — Use of uncommon words (uncommon to diner, not restaurant). Verrine isn't a novel ingredient of something of creative value or inspiration, it's literally a small, thick glass-container with no base. It's the dessert's holding vessel. (La-tee-da)

2. "Riz au Lait" — (French for "Rice Pudding") use of foreign language. Forces diners to inquire with their server, "What is that?". And can also cause much more interest that if this dish was listed in English — still risky, because if there are too many unfamiliar items in a food concept, one can end up causing more confusion than anything.

3. Lebanese Arak Liqueur — Calling out origin. Lebanese origin makes sense for Naha's Middle East and Mediterranean concept. 

4.  Lebanese Arak Liqueur — Use of bizarre or unique liqueurs in dessert, quite trendy.

5. Blood Orange — Yes, I know that Blood Orange used to be extremely popular about 10 years ago, but it's made a serious comeback. And let's face it, the fact that we can say we ate something with the word "blood" in it makes us feel pretty badass. (Admit it.)

6. Pistachio — A very popular nut right now, but also lends itself as a great contributor to "crunch". The obsession with texture "crunch" can be seen across almost all food segments.

7. White Wine Granita — Use of alcohol in desserts.

8. White Wine Granita — Any style of creative granitas, sorbets, and ice creams are fantastically popular at high-end restaurants.

9. Toasted Meringue — Anyone who even kind of knows there way around a kitchen will look at this component and think "Duh. Of course the meringue is toasted."  But it is very aligned to the notion that "cooking method" modifiers are a terrific way to enhance transparency and consumer demand for upfront information sharing. 

10. Toasted Meringue — Playing with texture and layering diverse textures in 1 dish is a trend we've seen with strong momentum over the past few years. Meringue is a wonderful way to add "light, airy" variation to the thick rice pudding and crunchy pistachios.