Black Radish Kitchen was ahead of it’s time, picking its root-veg namesake and actually using it in dishes and fresh salads since 2015. Black radishes are said to have healing properties and health benefits underneath their sooty exterior. Roasted or raw, Kate Romane makes this darkly beautiful veg shine.
It seems like our friends at 412 Food Rescue have been onto something. Restaurants and prepared foods at local and national grocers are touting use of “whole fruit/ whole veg” policies. From the use of “Ugly Produce” in juices, salads, and sauces to shredded stalks and uses for herb stems, “waste not, want not” is the new mantra for 2018.
Want try your own hand at this? Look for 412 Food Rescue’s annual “Ugly CSA” that benefits the organization and delivers delicious ugly produce to subscribers.
Plant-Based Substitutes as Main Dishes/ Plant Engineered Food
The sweeping popularity of the Impossible Burger and its warm reception on the Pittsburgh restaurant scene (thanks Burgatory!) have more meat-eaters seeking veggie alternatives in 2018.
Square Cafe, a long-time veg lovers’ haunt, has hearty dishes featuring jackfruit as a meat substitute. We can’t wait to see who else steps up to the plate with some innovative plant-based offerings this year.
This anti-inflammatory, antioxident golden darling made a culinary splash outside of its normal health-scene popularity in 2017 and isn’t going anywhere.
The ever evolving and on-trend Scratch F&B on Troy Hill has tumeric on the food and drink menus in the form of a star ingredient in the restaurant’s hearty oxtail soup and an upcoming brunch cocktail, the Ginger/Turmeric Hot Toddy.
Mushroom foraging in Western PA has become a popular past time for chefs and food lovers alike, and it seems the rest of the country is also riding that wave. This year we expect to see powders, coffees, and more unexpected uses of our favorite fungi. One we love is the smoked chocolate dessert at Superior Motors, which is topped with freshly foraged mushroom.
Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian, and Lebanese-influenced flavors or dishes
2018 has home and restaurant kitchens delving more into more authentic Middle Eastern flavors. Forget the hummus, and pass the harissa-spiced everything. Modern American kitchens, like the ever jumpin’ The Commoner at Hotel Monaco have elevated pub fare laced with these flavor profiles, like the Crispy Cauliflower with Charred Eggplant. And Or, The Whale’s seven-day-a-week brunch offering of Shakshuka is also a star: two eggs poached in a tomato and pepper ragout, leek carrot fennel, served with chapoti. Also, The Muhammara at Point Brugge Cafe is arguably the best in the city.
Food Trend we wish would go away? Proprietors putting food and drink items on the menu simply because they are Instagrammable. Sure, we eat with our eyes first, but it’s time to put the phone down, pick up a fork, and enjoy great company and good food IRL. Cheers to connecting more in person over the TABLE in 2018!