We already filled you in on the , but we’re betting that you’re already on to the next one. In that spirit, here’s a guide to our favorite trends primed to hit it big in 2011. Try them now and, by year’s end, when your friends go on about poutine or tiki bars, you can nod with a certain jaded sophistication, confident in the knowledge that you’ve been hip to that since the year’s beginning.
Dish: Classic Poutine at
Why: Cheese curds. French fries. Gravy. What could be better? Though we’re betting Quebecois fare may be a 2011 trend in and of itself (look for more -esque spots), poutine is sure to cross over. Corner Burger offers no less than eight varieties, including one topped with pulled pork and barbecue sauce and one meat-free version for those meat-eschewing poutine lovers out there. But our true loyalties lie with the simple, greasy, perfect classic.
Dish: Pan-Roasted Rabbit Loin at in Boreum Hill
Why: Though all sorts of game has begun to make its way onto Brooklyn menus, rabbit is perfectly poised to replace lamb as the guilty meat du jour. Sure, you feel a little bad when you think about how preciously cute the furry things are, but the meat’s deliciousness puts all that out of your mind pretty quickly. Saul’s rabbit loin is pan-roasted and served with prosciutto, sweet corn, fingerling potatoes and fava beans for a mouthful that’s unctuous yet light and bursting with a bright springtime flavor.
Trend: Meatless Alternatives
Dish: Green Plate Special at in Carroll Gardens
Why: As even the most hardened carnivores begin to realize the benefits of going meatless once in a while, haute vegetarian food is on the rise. The Grocery’s four-course vegetarian menu, offered Tuesdays - Thursdays, is a perfect example. But, rest assured, this isn’t your mother’s lentil loaf or tofu scramble. Instead, think dishes like farro risotto with Jerusalem artichokes and Parmesan. Bonus: at $40, it’s also a veritable bargain, as far as tasting menus go.
Dish: Bul-Go-Ki Dol Sot Bi Bim Bop at
Why: Since Thai food overtook Chinese as New York’s favorite Asian eats, New York has been itching for a replacement, and Korean just might be it. Korean food has been an emerging trend for some time now (see: LA's Kogi Truck, its many imitators, and David Chang), but we predict this year it will get big. Check it out with classic bi bim bop at Moim — a hearty stone bowl filled with brown rice, stir-fried vegetables and marinated meats. Of course, this being Park Slope, organic tofu is available in lieu of or addition to the meat.
Trend: Tiki Bars
Dish: Gilligan at in Carroll Gardens
Why: Tiki bars are to 2011 what craft cocktails were to 2008. All over Manhattan, big-name mixologists like Clover Club’s Julie Reiner are opening up kitschy tropical-themed bars. But here in Brooklyn, has offered scorpion bowls and flaming shots since long before it was cool. Try the Gilligan, a concoction made of three kinds of rum, vodka and pineapple juice. Despite its potency, you’ll hardly taste the booze. And, of course, feeling like you’re on a tropical getaway in the middle of January is a pretty nice bonus.
Dish: Robalo at
Why: Roasted is the new braised is the new fried. Restaurants are getting increasingly hip to the fact that everything from brussels sprouts to pork butt tastes better roasted. At Convivium Osteria, a whole Mediterranean sea bass is roasted alongside asparagus and new potatoes for a remarkably cohesive dish.
Trend: Whoopie Pie
Dish: Pumpkin Whoopie Pie at One Girl Cookies in Cobble Hill
Why: There’s little cuter than a whoopie pie and 2011 is set to be the year the New England treat goes national. One Girl Cookies’ pies are the perfect size: just a few bites worth, enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without completely blowing your day’s caloric intake. The filling is sweet without being cloying and the subtle pumpkin flavor is, in a word, addictive.
Trend: Brooklyn Gum
Where to Get It: Crespella and in Cobble Hill
Why: Brooklyn Gum may be the original Brooklyn branded edible, but only recently has it been flying off the shelves in its namesake borough. Despite its name, Brooklyn Gum is actually manufactured in Italy, where it’s been a bestseller since the 1950s. Imports to the U.S. began a few years ago, and this year, the gum is well on its way to the top of the bestseller’s list. Find it at Crespella and Stinky Bklyn when it hasn’t run out of stock.