Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Flavor & The Menu Staff

Sweet-Sour Tart Choc-O-Pain | Hoboken & Jersey City N.J.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff The oh-so-French Choc-O-Pain bakery and café specializes in sourdough breads and flaky pastries, including the Tarte aux Pommes—a traditional apple tart made with Granny Smith apples in a crust, brushed with butter and apricot glaze. Owner Clemence Danko says, “Complementary flavors combine deliciously—you get some tartness from the apples joined by the comforting, sweet, buttery crust of the tart’s shell.” Even with classic French pastries, there’s room for tweaking. The usual accompaniment for an apple tart would be gelato or vanilla ice cream, but Danko chooses to pair it with sour cream....

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Three’s Company La Madeleine | Based in Dallas

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff Today’s diners want the chance to sample adventurous flavors in manageable portions—that’s why small plates and dessert flights have taken hold. The same principle applies to the Mini Croque Monsieur Trio, which offers La Madeleine’s guests a sampling of three sandwiches on one plate. Inspired by sliders, but with a French twist, the mini trio is made up of: Smoked Turkey and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Croque Monsieur on Country Wheat Bread; Balsamic Marinated Chicken and Basil Pesto Croque Monsieur on Sourdough Bread; and Classic Ham Dijon and Swiss Croque Monsieur on Seven-Grain...

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Korean Flavors On Top Agua Caliente | Rancho Mirage, Calif.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff Korea’s bold flavors are leading the pack of new global cuisines that are finding a place on American menus. But usually the introduction is tentative: You might find a touch of gochujang in place of ketchup or kimchi instead of coleslaw. Not the case with the Bulgogi Dupbop served at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa’s Poker Deli, which caters to a range of diners—including Korean clientele. Executive Chef Mike Milligan collaborated with Korean Chef Kun Jun Bak to offer a dish that serves up authenticity in an accessible bowl build. “Dupbop means...

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Calabrian-Style Heat Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana | Darnestown, Md.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff Chef/Owner Tony Conte turns to Calabrian chile peppers to round out his veg-centric dish of Ember-Roasted Beets with Calabrian chile kefir, pecans and maple vinegar. “I have found that adding a bit of heat can really build the levels on the plate and add an unexpected element. You can use even a small amount—a diner might wonder why the dish tastes unique but can’t put their finger on how or why.” The Calabrian chile is his go-to for heat; he describes it as a chile pepper that’s “vine-grown in sun-drenched Calabria, Italy,...

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Beyond the Lenten Fish Fry Hacienda & La Señorita | Based in South Bend, Ind.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff To mark the Mexican holiday of Carnaval and the Lenten period that follows, Hacienda and La Señorita Mexican Restaurants wanted to introduce a seafood-centric LTO. Enter the Bongo Shrimp Tostada. Gary White, Food and Beverage Director, and Peter Haase, Hacienda Manager, landed on a festive “tostada” with layers of flavor and texture. It starts with a sweet corn cake grilled on a flat-top grill, topped high with black beans, grilled tomatillo, shredded lettuce, coconut shrimp tossed in rum glaze, pineapple salsa and a chipotle sauce to finish. “Sweet, sour, heat and crunch all balanced...

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