Since Miss Cleo is never on TV anymore and her number got lost when we upgraded from a Razr, we asked NYC's top food & drink minds to lay out their predictions on exactly what's going to go down in 2013, from more izakayas to fruit caviars.
John McNulty, Co-owner of Swine
"Making Asian food 'cooler', I guess. I see this in restaurants like Chez Sardine, a modern izakaya, but also on a larger scale. I find that the best places for Asian food haven’t had those nice atmospheres, but that’s changing."
Luis Bollo, Executive Chef at Salinas
"I don’t see any particular ingredient becoming as popular as pork has been during the last few years with pork-centric eateries like Rocket Pig, Swine, Pork Slope, etc."
Manuel Trevino, Executive Chef at Marble Lane at Dream Downtown
“I predict that Pete Wells will give a four-star review.”
Nick Bennett, Bar Captain at Booker and Dax
"I see the trend starting to move away from the secretive hole-in-the-wall more into a bar where customers can learn about what they are drinking and why. I'm not talking a continuation of the 'molecular mixology' trend but more of a focus on the science of how to take classic cocktails and techniques and improve on them. We have a greater understanding of why colder liquids lead to better carbonated cocktails and how to get a clarified juice in less time now. I am excited to see what we will know next year."
Hari Nathan Kalyan, Partner at The Randolph and Randolph Beer
"Benihana will open another location in NYC. That's not really a prediction, but more of a wish. Also, that the bubble will pop with this whole electronic house music festival garbage. That stuff is so lame I can't even bring myself to talk about it, but I know there are people out there who agree with me, so there is hope, but for now I will suffer in silence."
Nick Anderer, Executive Chef at Maialino
"I think we’ll see even more serious food in hotels. Seems like a very positive movement, both in downtown Manhattan and in Brooklyn. Talented chefs and restaurateurs are beginning to find creative ways to have fun with the NYC hotel scene, transforming them into more public spaces."
Aaron Polsky, Bartender at Amor y Amargo and one half of Bartending Duo Cripple Creek
"I think Aska is going to change people's idea of what's truly necessary in a drinking and dining experience. It has two very intrepid, forward-thinking people at its helm, and the ideas that have come out of there in its first month have been just awesome. And I mean that in the biblical sense."
Ed Schoenfeld, Owner at RedFarm
"More casual, more BBQ, more izakayas, more quality heirloom ingredients, more farm-to-table, more head-to-tail food, more Korean, and Japanese charcoal."
Nicole Ponseca, Owner of Maharlika and Jeepney
"I hope that more people take more interest in Filipino food as well as my culture. I predict that the Philippines will become a major travel destination in 2013. I also think I think that vegan food will play a bigger role in traditional menus versus being featured only in niche restaurants. And this is coming from a hardcore Filipino carnivore."
"Guy Fieri's Guy's American Kitchen will be booming with business all year round."
Paul Gerard, Executive Chef/ Owner at Exchange Alley
"I predict that people are going to finally get a bit sick of the pedantic terms being beaten to death in the 'foodie' world. This is such a fun and unique business and life. I hate to see it get pretentious, constantly critical, or over-analyzed. The Internet has offered way too much opportunity for everyone to be an 'expert', and every 'expert' thinks his or her opinion matters. Everything from vapid critics with no training in the field, to beaten-to-death buzzwords and phrases like 'farm-to-table' (Yes, we get it. Good food comes from farms.), 'artisanal', 'beverage PROGRAM', and other trite terms of marketing need to stop. One does not 'forage' at Union Square. That’s called shopping. Being a 'locavore' has been around for eons. We’re not special, we didn’t invent eating locally, we invented iron-on tote bags. Like cocaine-infused rants of the eighties, these Patrick Bateman-like self-centered spews are only different from Phil Collins' solo career in that the whole commercialism is LESS satisfying. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way."
Pichet Ong, Executive Pastry Chef at Sugar & Plumm
"There will be more dessert shops opening in general! Many chefs such as Jean Georges and Andrew Carmellini are extending their empire to have a retail component that features sweets. I'm excited to see what Jennifer Yee will be selling at Lafayette."
Joey Campanaro, Chef/ Owner of Little Owl
"I am looking forward to seeing more tablecloths on the tables, less attitude from employees, more realistic pricing at restaurants. I think/ hope this will be case anyway. I think NYC will always support restaurants with true intentions and moderate sensibility with real experience. I feel like 'restaurant' will return to the true meaning of the word restaurant, to restore one’s self."
Toby Maloney, Partner at Pouring Ribbons
"Less vodka, more whiskey. I am seeing more and more people who are wallowing in flavor. The days of crappy 'tini' drinks aren't completely in the rear view but you have to turn your head a quite a bit to get a look at them."
Eben Freeman, Director of Bar Operations and Innovation at Altamarea Group
"Now that the legal precedent has been set, we can all serve cocktails on draught."
Mary Giuliani, Caterer and Event Planner to the stars (Matt Damon, Rolling Stones...)
"Fruit caviars, mini pies, and vegetables being the entree, not the side"