Trends without end, the final round: nanobreweries, restaurant economics and the demise of mixology

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City, O' City
Daniel Landes, owner, WaterCourse Foods and City, O' City
On food for all: Making informed food choices based on source, ethics, allergies, blood type and politics ad nauseam is a luxury enjoyed by a minority of humans. I'm hopeful that a food trend will emerge in 2013 that we who are fortunate enough to eat three meals a day and have easy access to food acknowledge that is a great privilege, and we bow our heads in gratitude every time a plate of food is in front of us.

Brian Melton, PR consultant, Leigh Sullivan Enterprises
On the rise of technology: Restaurants have been using Facebook, Twitter and OpenTable for years, but there are companies out there right now that are making iPad POS systems better and better. Application-based companies are looking at creating software that measures user feedback so that owners and chefs can make decisions on menu items, app-based inventory-management systems and a whole lot more. We help design websites for different restaurants, and we're seeing owners taking a more active approach to how their site functions on the Internet -- things like responsive design, scrolling development, online gift cards, OpenTable, Twitter and Facebook all working together on a restaurant's site to make buying and selling to potential guests that much easier while looking more professional.

On fewer ingredients: Maybe it's because I'm biased due to my fiancé's dietary restrictions, or maybe I've been spending a lot of time with Matt Selby and the chefs at Corner House, but limited ingredients, cooked simply and beautifully, is something we've seen on the rise. Oak at Fourteenth is doing this brilliantly, and there are a few other amazing spots in the city embracing this, but I think the days of seventeen different sauces, chile oils and such thrown on a plate for no reason are over. Perhaps it's the rising cost of ingredients, or guests with increasing dietary restrictions, but cooking a plate of food simply is something that I see more and more chefs embracing.

On mixology's demise: I think the final nail in the coffin was when Hotmixology Lounge opened, but it's been headed this way for some time. It's like using "local, seasonal ingredients" -- most restaurant owners want a good bar program. But as a consultant, I'm teaching every bartender I can the proper way to make a Manhattan, or the reasons we all should use jiggers. I teach everyone why we shake a cocktail versus why we stir one. It's the fundamentals that matter -- not "mixology." I don't care if you started tending bar last week or if you're a lifer, the foundation of a good cocktail is in the technique -- and it has to be taught. You don't have to be Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer to know that without a good bar program, you don't stand a chance against your competition.

Location Info

The Bar Car

819 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Music

City, O' City

206 E. 13th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

WaterCourse Foods

837 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Lala's Wine Bar + Pizzeria

410 E. 7th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Marczyk Fine Foods

770 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

A Cote Bar a Absinthe

2239 W. 30th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Z Cuisine

2239 W. 30th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
UhhhmericanPsycho
UhhhmericanPsycho

Hot Mixology is an abomination of a bar. Their bartenders are horrible. Maybe I'll open up a burger king but call it Per Se. Hot indeed.

GFisNOTaFAD
GFisNOTaFAD

Samir-I think the fact that you think gluten free is a fad is exactly why I spent several nights of my life vomiting and all the other gross details that come with Celiac disease for 6+ hours following meals in your restaurant (former restaurant, not Lola's).  My friend talked me into trying your restaurant again, and the second time I had the same exact experience exactly 3 hours after eating your food.  After 7+ years of being gluten-free, I can say that those 2 experiences were the most painful I have had in my life aside from getting my tonsils removed at the age of 28.  It felt like the most horrific cases of food poisioning I could imagine.  I have learned my lesson.  I have to admit the food you cook is delicious and I think you are a great chef in that respect.  However, I think your lack of understanding of this disease and the people who have it is evident by your lack of care in your kitchen when either preparing these meals or understanding ingredients.  Whether a person has true celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or just know they feel better off when they remove gluten from their diet should not matter to you.  But I can tell you wholeheartdly, the fact that you take us seriously matters to us.  Guess what..we usually don't go out to dinner in a pack of GF eaters.  We eat with our families and friends, many who don't have Celiac.  And if 1 person can't eat at your restaurant then none of these people eat at your restaurant.  You don't just lose 1 customer...you can lose many.  Gluten Free is NOT a fad.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@GFisNOTaFAD 

Samir is correct.  While there are people who truly must have gluten free diets, there are still many people who have gone gluten free because they feel that it's the thing to do these days.  I see it every day.

UnBoulevardier
UnBoulevardier

@foodcrazy @GFisNOTaFAD I would be appalled  to see a 'chef' call out a guest's 'supposed' peanut allergy as a fad as opposed to something that causes asphyxiation and death in a dining room.  I've been in a restaurant, as a guest, where someone had to have an Epi-shot in the dining room because of an allergy reaction. I don't care if you're FOH or BOH it's our job in the restaurant industry to take care of those that come into our establishments and make sure they have a wonderful and safe time. If a cook publicly professes to not care about a guest's allergies or questions if their health is a choice rather than something they have to live with every day it's quite simple to take our business elsewhere.  In the industry we deal with people's dietary requests and desires every day.  That's in our job description.  Only a massive fucking prick would ask for a guest's medical records before complying with their dietary requests.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@UnBoulevardier @foodcrazy @GFisNOTaFAD 

Oop!  Good catch.  It's celiac disease.  Thanks for pointing that out.  Now get back to the corner.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@UnBoulevardier @foodcrazy @GFisNOTaFAD 

Samir didn't say that folks with gluten free diets would not be accommodated.  I haven't been to a food joint where folks with gluten free diets were not accommodated.  It's just that many folks claim to be celeriac (but who really aren't) because it's fashionable.  You obviously don't get it.  It's time for you to sit your crybaby butts in the corner and finish whining it out.

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