Food Trends for 2009

Restaurants are adapting to the tanking economy and warming globe in some interesting ways. Here’s a look at some of the dining trends to watch in the coming months.

Homemade Water
Picking up on XY’s campaign against wasteful bottled water, restaurants like Vancouver’s Voya have started filtering water on premises. Toronto’s newish Mildred’s Temple Kitchen does the same, offering a choice of fizzy or flat. Voya, 1177 Melville Street, (604) 639-VOYA;
Temple Kitchen, 85 Hanna Ave., Suite 101, (416) 588-5695.

Comfort Zone
Gone are the days of foams and overpriced deconstructed-reconstructions. Comfort cooking is back, just when we need it, with hotspots like Toronto’s Harbord Room and making its name with a house burger and hand-cut fries, and Montreal’s new Resident offering diner-style grilled cheese served with potato chips. Harbord Room, 89 Harbord Street, (416) 962-8989; Resident, 400 Notre-Dame E., (514) 844-1466.

Arriba Arriba!
Peruvian’s the new Thai. We say, bring on the ceviche from place like Montreal’s BYO spot,
La Selva, and Toronto Peruvian institution, El Fogon. La Selva, 862 Marie-Anne St. E.,
(514) 525-1798; El Fogon, 543 St. Clair Ave. West, (416) 850-8041.

All in the Family
Say goodbye to tiny tapas dishes that leave you hungry. Recession-time means banding together and sharing hearty dishes, family-style. Try the whole fish special at Montreal’s Salle a Manger, which is great for four; at farmer’s nights at Cowbell, in Toronto, the entire restaurant shares a meal; and Oddfellows, just down the street, offers grazing Mondays, applying their communal table ethic to the menu. Salle a Manger, 1302 Mont-Royal Ave. E., (514) 522-0777; Cowbell, 1564 Queen Street West, (416) 849-1095; Oddfellows, 936 Queen Street West
(at Shaw), (416) 534-5244.

Joanna Fox

(Photo courtesy of Stuart Spivak on Flickr)
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