Skip navigation
Trending Tables: Restaurants go back to basics Courtesy of Darling Oyster Bar
Shrimp & grits at Darling Oyster Bar in Charleston

Trending Tables: Restaurants go back to basics

Familiar menu items strike chords with the public

There’s no denying an overarching trend of food in American restaurants to be more adventuresome and experimental, but there’s a lot to be said for traditional fare, as the latest class of Trending Tables illustrates.

Yes, George Chen is putting his erudition on display with next-level Chinese fine dining at Eight Tables in San Francisco, but in general the most popular restaurants at the moment are taking a more mainstream approach — making quite familiar dishes and just personalizing them a bit.

Courtesy of Black Tab Burgers & Craft Beer

The CrazyShake Milkshake Bar at Black Tap Burgers & Craft Beer in Las Vegas

At The Darling Oyster Bar in Charleston, S.C., for example, Low Country shrimp and grits are given added depth with cheddar cheese and fennel. The Pizza at Iron Born in Pittsburgh is upgraded with ingredients such as 24-month Parmigiano.

In San Diego, at Pop Pie, traditional potpies get a local update with the addition of ingredients such as tomatillo salsa and roasted chiles. And at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas, chicken wings are dressed in gochujang, but they’re still wings.

Courtesy of Eight Tables

Black cod at Eight Tables By George Chen in San Francisco

Meanwhile, Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. in Charleston is serving straight-up chili dogs and Reuben sandwiches, but also mixing it up a bit with things like its pork and peanut stew.

Courtesy of Pop Pie

Pop Pie in San Diego

It’s a reminder that doing things simply, but well, can be a great approach.

New York
San Francisco
San Diego
National Tables
See more Trending Tables coverage>

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.