Food trends come and go faster than NYU freshmen on a third date—and
even we don’t talk to people who still eat paninis—but judging by New
York’s recent obsessions, we’ve already got 2009 figured out
The Bacon Cocktails Oh, bacon. First you were only for breakfast or the occasional BLT, and then you started showing up at dinner with all of the other pig parts, strong-arming us into nibbling on your salty bits day and night. When you decided to hop into our cocktails, however you went too far. Whether it was the bacon-infused Old Fashioned at PDT or the bacon martini at Double Down Saloon, this year mouthy drinkers all over town were crowing about tossing breakfast meat in with their hooch.
Flaming Cocktails In 2009, drinks will go out of the kitchen and
into the fire. “What I’ve seen lately is that flaming drinks seem to be
of interest to people,” says cocktail guru Dave Wondrich. “One of the
great classic drinks is the blue blazer—some of the molecular guys have
done a flamethrower version.”
Wondrich, the wine and spirits editor at SAVEUR magazine,
also predicts a rise in the popularity of punch in bowls. “It’s very
popular right now among bartenders and it makes great sense for bar
owners,” he says. You can grab a bowl at bars including Clover Club in
Artichoke People yammer on about this East Village newcomer’s namesake slice, thick with white sauce, artichokes and spinach, but however tasty it is, we can’t justify the line here when Stromboli’s is still dishing out the best slice downtown only six blocks away.
Motorino Williamsburg’s Graham Avenue is a longtime Italian
stronghold. Classic pizzerias like Carmine’s are mainstays and famous
red-sauce restaurants like Bamonte’s are just off the beaten path. So,
when BLT Fish veteran Mathieu Palombino opened Motorino in late 2008,
he had to prove himself fast with pies like the Brussels sprouts and
speck and the “Pugliese” with Burrata cheese, sausage and chilis. On a
recent night, the wait was 45 minutes. And anyone with a taste for
nostalgia can check out Palombino’s latest seasonal pie; it’s called
Pig The past year’s pig fixation has desecrated every consumable from martinis to chocolate. Yet the fattened swine belly that has converted many a kosher home into a goyishe pork fest can’t be enjoyed as much while we tighten our financial belts. While Porchetta and suckling pig are delicious, we can no longer afford the cost or the cholesterol.
Horse During the Franco-Prussian War, Parisians under siege
raided the zoos and served everything from zebras to cats. While we’re
not as gross as the French, there’s at least one dependable barn animal
we could turn to for sustenance. For a lean, low-fat, sweet and tasty
source of protein and iron, try a healthy helping of horse! Mark our
words, by September everyone will be puckish for pony.
Fort Greene We are sick and tired of green: Green living, green roofs, green energy and especially Fort Greene. Keep the burger at General Greene, the short ribs at the Smoke Joint and trying sides like “kimchi pierogis” at No. 7 Greene. Crowded seating and glacial service be gone, while we have fond memories of the nabe before the foodie invasion, we’re heading south for new bites.
Gowanus 2009 will undoubtedly center on Gowanus, with food,
drink and music venues popping up faster than zits on a ‘tween. Bar
Tano’s tasty Gorgonzola and walnut bruschetta will have you drooling on
your mittens, while nibbles at recent Ethiopian import Ghenet will
broaden your palate.
And don’t miss the homemade guac at
still-undiscovered Cantina. Once your belly is full, around the corner
you can expect eclectic live music at Bell House, or shake your ass at
the soon-to-be open club Littlefield.
Macaroni & Cheese The Waverly Inn pushed the dish over the shark when it introduced a $55 mac and cheese plate, justifying the ridiculous price by mixing in fresh truffle shavings. Meanwhile, S’mac and 7th Ave. copycat Supermac remind us of bubblegum: fresh and full of zing right out of the package, but upon chewing, lacking in excitement.
Sloppy Joes Our prediction for 2009’s haute platter is the
Sloppy Joe. Long wielded by hairy lunch ladies as a grade-C answer to
educational budget cuts, fancy chefs will turn this satisfying meat
festival around. So when we say “Sloppy Joe,” we mean ground Kobe beef,
marinated in Rao’s tomato sauce and served on focaccia from Balthazar.
Sparks For years, the mark of an orange tongue has signified an indulgence in Sparks, the caffeinated and alcoholic beverage of choice for folks living along the route of the L Train. No more! In December, production of Sparks was halted due to flak its makers received from consumer-advocacy groups and law enforcement (people thought the caffeine would make them less drunk). Everywhere gawky drunks in plaid shirts shed tiny orange tears.
Red Bull Cola This year is already gearing up to be decidedly
more sober than last. It only makes sense then that the newest caffeine
fix around is non-alcoholic.
Red Bull Cola, a new soda from
the manufacturers of everyone’s second favorite upper, has all the kick
of Red Bull but with the added taste of soda. And don’t go worrying
that we’re all becoming teetotalers; the pop is already being mixed
with booze at bars across town.
Bahn Mi Every time someone picks up a bahn mi, they think they invented the thing. So while the delicious pork, pate and pickled veggie combo has been kicking around for years, when a newbie wanders into Nicky’s or “discovers” Sunset Park, we’ve got to hear all about his very favorite sandwich. And while newcomers like Baogette are tasty, this haggard hoagie is bound to go the way of the wrap.
The Thai Sandwich What it lacks in a cult following, the Thai sandwich—available at Thai Me Up on E. 14th Street—more than makes up for with heft, heat and a shitload of sauce. Try the chicken with the spicy and sweet “White Ginger” sauce; the whole thing is heaped onto a foot-long roll with stirfried veggies, lettuce, tomato and mayo, making it the tastiest and most satisfying sub around.