Last month, The New York Times reported that “Orange is the New Snack.” An example is Meno, the New York City outpost of a Chinese coffee-and-tea bar, where a line of photogenic coffee juices comes in flavors like Mimosa, which is made with orange juice topped with cold coffee and garnished with lemon and lime.
Produce continues to be the hottest category on the menu. Dos Toros now offers riced cauliflower as a substitute for rice for customers looking to increase their vegetable intake or reduce carbohydrates.
Cauliflower also stars at Hope Breakfast Bar in St. Paul, Minn., in the Blackened Cauliflower & Fried Egg Entrée. The spicy cauliflower gratin is served with hash browns and a fried egg.
Carrots retain their recently acquired status as gastronomic heroes with treatments like roasted Carrot Yogurt from Molly’s Rise and Shine in New Orleans. The signature dish includes bright carrot marmalade, fruit, artisanal granola and “other fun stuff.”
Chefs have long played the key role of culinary arbiters as restaurants became the point of entry for international foods and flavors, a distinct competitive advantage over supermarkets. At Stix, a restaurant in San Francisco that opened this summer, Crispy Korean Corn Dogs are battered in Sweet Korean rice flour, rolled in panko bread crumbs and crinkle-cut frieds or ramen noodles, fried and then dusted with sugar.
California-based casual-dining chain Lazy Dog has a playful line of TV dinners. While the compartmentalized trays are classic, the vibe is completely contemporary. The Cheese Enchilada dinner comes with house-made chipotle ranchero sauce and cinnamon churro caramel cake.