Media Spotlight – Menu Innovator® – Small Plates, Big Choices

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We recently discussed the Mediterranean takeover that we are seeing on the fine dining menu, and its no frills authenticity. Perhaps, it’s those same characteristics that have made small plates a natural part of the Mediterranean progression. Often referred to as “tapas”, small plates are extremely versatile and now range past the fare of countries like Portugal and Spain.

At Sarma, a small plate “meze” style restaurant, many different plates are shared to create a variety of flavors. They insist “Spice & herb combinations are the secret to giving these little dishes their big flavors without making them heavy.” We couldn’t agree more after sampling their artic char with Moroccan beet kimchi, cilantro pesto, and pistachio fried couscous. After that, in the tradition of small plates, we took a complete flavor turn with their pork belly biscuits with jalapeno whipped feta and cider.

At Fat Rice in Chicago, they have taken on the “petisco”, Portugal’s answer to tapas. Platters of food with piles of small plates and bowls are set out so diners can serve themselves. Bifananas, mini sandwiched filled with tender pork drizzed with red pepper broth, is the extremely approachable food that fine dining now embraces. When chefs keep the focus on quality and preparation, this gives way to food friendly cocktails, which are both unique and easy to pair. Many beverages become regional, just like the food that they accompany.
Eat well!

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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