Trends without end, round two: Beer, beer cocktails and the whole beast
Noah Heaney, bar manager, Harold's and the Bayonet Room
On T.G.I. Friday's and roving bicycle bars: The emergence of keg wine as a viable way of storing and serving wine will increase in popularity; we'll see craft spirits and cocktails in dive bars and chain restaurant settings. In other words, T.G.I. Friday's will offer a decent Aviation; airport bars will become a place of quality service, cuisine and beverage; economical restaurant lists with good food and drink at reasonable prices will pop up on top restaurant lists like Westword; wine lists will offer better margins on wines by the bottle, encouraging patrons to move past the by-the-glass list; and we'll see the death of roving bicycle bars. I mean, who really wants to work out and drink at the same time?
Tom Coohill, owner-chef, Coohills
On the nitty-gritty: I see the industry having an even larger focus on the actual breed or exact type of food we're eating -- like Berkshire pork or Duroc pork. I'm talking about the actual type of pig and how it's raised, or the exact type of heirloom tomato we're using.
On cocktail culture: Barrel-aged cocktails will take off. We do two barrel-aged cocktails here that are aged in oak for 21 days: the Manhattan Project, a 21-day barrel-aged Manhattan made with Breaking & Entering bourbon, Carpano Antica vermouth and Angostura bitters, served with housemade cherries; and another barrel-aged cocktail with St. George Terroir gin, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Carpano Antica vermouth and Angostura bitters, served with a lemon peel.
Matt Selby, chef, partner and general manager, Corner House
On food trucks: While the food-truck scene has cooled off a bit, I think that 2013 will be the year of survival of the fittest. The trucks that are providing consistent quality and exceptional service are the ones that are going to make it.
On special-occasion dining: I don't think fine dining will ever die -- there will always be a market for that special-occasion place - but I do think that high-end ingredients will be seen on more mid-market menus, with closer attention paid to the guest experience, all at a more affordable cost compared to fine-dining establishments.
Watch for a third installment of Trends Without End tomorrow.