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"the end of small plates" - discuss


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The Washington Post offers a view that small plates / tapas dishes are on the way out, and "medium sized" plates are replacing them.

 

 

Rob Rubba of the recently opened Hazel in Shaw, which also serves medium plates, said he was similarly motivated by price. Hazel's dishes, ranging from $11 to $17, convey that the restaurant is more of a neighborhood spot conducive to repeat visits, Rubba said, rather than for special occasions alone. Although the per-person cost can end up being around the same as an entree at some metropolitan-area restaurants, medium-sized plates give diners the added benefit of sampling a variety of dishes, which is precisely the way Rubba likes to eat. "I wanted people to be able to try a lot of things," he said.

 

The article mentions that tapas sized plates create a problem for the kitchen. People order a few, then order a few more as they see what they have. Instead of the traditional app, entree, dessert which lets the kitchen create a workflow sequence.

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/going-out-guide/wp/2016/07/27/this-trend-may-be-the-end-of-small-plates/?hpid=hp_weekend-chain_dining-0731%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

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I mean, the main problem with American restaurants is that portions for the mains are so massive you can't possible do multiple courses. So this is just basically getting back to a reasonable portion size.

 

Arguably you could do courses in small plates restaurants, but at least the ones I experienced tend to be appetizer type food that you can't really do more than a few bites of, too rich, too salty.

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There are now about 20 comments. Falling into the usual categories.

 

--Just offer a normal sized main and be done with it

--D'ya think they'll adjust the price if they cut 40% of the food from a normal main

--I like sampling lots of small plates

 

The comment on Rose's Luxury was interesting. At Rose's, you have to order all your plates in the beginning. You can't pick and choose as you go along. Their process probably helps turn tables faster.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This could have been posted on a number of threads but it certainly fits here. Anne Burrell and a partner are opening a new Italian / Mediterranean restaurant in the venue formally occupied by Char 4. Here's the surreal bit (per Eater) -

Burrell will be serving Italian-influenced Mediterranean food, including roasted cauliflower steak with bacon, braised chicken with mushrooms and almond puree, and bucatini all’amatriciana. The 85 seats in the house will get a view of the kitchen, and everything on the menu will be "appetizer-sized" for sharing, though the team explicitly notes that the dishes will not be "small plates." Dinner service is expected to debut in September, with lunch and brunch to come.

 

 

I can't wait to see how they manage this.

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I mean, the main problem with American restaurants is that portions for the mains are so massive you can't possible do multiple courses.

I assure you this is not a problem, at least not at the places where People Like Us like to dine (the remaining ones that still serve mains). At Applebee's you might have a point.

 

On the other hand, last time I was in Italy (like two months ago) I thought the portions were far larger than you'd get at most NYC restaurants.

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Liquid, are you referring to pasta portion sizes, or just the mains? My experience in the US is that restaurants price and size their mains as entree portions, figuring many patrons treat them as entrees.

 

FWIW, I'd love to see a small bowl of pasta priced as a side dish when ordered with a main

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Liquid, are you referring to pasta portion sizes, or just the mains? My experience in the US is that restaurants price and size their mains as entree portions, figuring many patrons treat them as entrees.

 

FWIW, I'd love to see a small bowl of pasta priced as a side dish when ordered with a main

Everything was pretty big, especially the pastas. At most places they were easily what would be considered a main course here. The mains, on the other hand, would also be considered mains here except they often lacked side components like starch and veggies. (ie, an order of osso buco would just be the meat and some sauce)

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  • 5 months later...

Eater has an ongoing feature on Hottest Restaurants Right Now. There are Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens editions. Today's Brooklyn article features 15 restaurants that have opened over the last year. Eater writes a brief blurb for each summarizing its proffer. Of the 15, only 3 feature small plates. (Perhaps some of the others do as well but Eater inly thought it worthwhile to mention three.)

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The Manhattan version featured 20 restaurants. The article didn't mention small plates once.

 

The same with the Queens article. Zero out of 10.

 

Perhaps the small plates concept has become so embedded that restaurant publicists aren't even touting it in their marketing or perhaps the high water mark has been reached.

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