Noticed poutine or pork belly on local menus lately? If not, perhaps you haven’t been eating out much. Just as meatballs and fried chicken were all the rage a year ago, these—and a few others—are dishes you can’t avoid right now. Here are a few local restaurants where you can taste the trends for yourself.
(Ella, Kupros Bistro)
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, known for eating anything that moves (and doesn’t), reportedly called the roast bone marrow and parsley salad at St. John Restaurant in London his “death row meal.” Ella has had a similar treatment on its appetizer menu: roasted bone marrow with a parsley-caper salad and grilled rustic bread.
(The Kitchen, Spataro)
At Spataro, this creamy, mild cheese shows up on the antipasti menu with black mission figs, crostini, saba (cooked grape juice) and sea salt.
(The Golden Bear, Bidwell Street Bistro)
Slow-cooking something in fat is a time-honored French technique. Duck confit is the classic, but some restaurants have expanded their confit repertoire to other meats. Ella serves a bar snack of confited chicken wings, and The Golden Bear makes a Reuben sandwich with bacon confit and housemade sauerkraut.
(L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen, Seasons)
Forget beef, chicken and carnitas. These days, you can find tacos with all manner of upscale fillings, such as the roasted duck tacos at Seasons in Davis, served with marinated cabbage, cotija cheese and salsa verde.
(Tucos, The Waterboy)
At The Waterboy, you’ll find Marcona almonds, roasted and dusted with paprika and sea salt, on the appetizer menu. Originating in Spain and dubbed the “Queen of Almonds,” Marcona are sweeter and softer than California varieties.
(Hawks, 58 Degrees & Holding Co.)
Mixed olives get creative treatment at 58 Degrees & Holding Co., where they are marinated in olive oil, shallots and orange zest.
(58 Degrees & Holding Co., Kupros Bistro)
The Canadian specialty known as poutine—french fries topped with fresh cheese curds and covered with gravy—is served as a small plate at midtown’s Kupros, where the fries are hand-cut and the gravy is short rib.
(The Firehouse, The Press Bistro)
At The Press in midtown, you’ll find an appetizer of crispy pork belly served with peaches, almonds and balsamic. No need to squirm: Pork belly is just meat from the belly of a pig—the same stuff that’s used to make bacon.