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Flavor Trends: On the Menu in 2008

By: Joanna Peot, Mintel
Posted: November 10, 2008

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Ancient grains such as kamut, quinoa and millet have begun to make a comeback in the United States as the whole grain lifestyle catches on for many Americans. These grains will likely accompany more and more entrees on fine dining menus in 2008, bringing with them a worldly appeal and many essential nutrients. 

The Rattlesnake Club’s Rack of Michigan Spring Lamb comes roasted with a garlicky hazelnut crust, zinfandel essence and spring onion oil. It is accompanied by red pepper millet and a ragout of artichokes and dandelion. At the Gotham Bar and Grill, the Seared Striped Bass is enhanced by numerous “ancient” ingredients including quinoa and an heirloom tomato vinaigrette.

3. Classic Cocktails

Simple, refined and always elegant, the classic cocktails of the ‘40s and ‘50s have never truly gone out of style. But 2008 should show a rebirth of these classics as bartenders and restaurant owners take a step back from the flashy drinks of recent years. 

Fine dining establishments have always featured the classics, such as the Sidecar at Peninsula Grill. Containing Courvoisier, Triple Sec and fresh lemon, it comes with a sugared rim on the rocks. Even casual dining restaurants are upping their classic appeal. T.G.I. Fridays keeps a Tom Collins that is made with vodka or gin, sweet & sour and topped with soda on its menu.