The Hot New Trends in F&B in New York City Hotel Restaurants
From small plates and shared foods to original cocktails to food cart-style catered dishes, New York City is at the heart of some of these new F&B innovations, and is leading the way for many other metropolitan areas.
"Hotels in the city are overall becoming more creative in their menus and are looking to have a point of view in the food they are serving," said Stephen Zagor, former dean and now lead instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. "Catered events are also featuring themed food items, like Asian, Italian or farm-to-table, and more experiential dining that could include a cooking demonstration or art exhibit."
Here are some of the hot trends taking New York City hotel restaurants and catering departments by storm:
Food Truck Items
Food trucks and carts traditionally meant hot dog, chestnut and peanut vendors. But, the proliferation of gourmet, ethnic cuisine delivered in mobile food carts has taken the city by storm. And, its influences can be felt in hotels, particularly in catering departments.
"We have definitely seen an increased ask for food truck style options for events. Everything from preset stacks of pretzels on tables to taco stations inspired by local food trucks have been included in our events," said Max Harris, director of food and beverage at the 463-suite Conrad New York.
One of the property's more unique asks was stadium style “hawkers” for a bar mitzvah - which included popcorn, cracker jacks, hot dogs, and pretzels, Harris said. The staff served guests by walking through the event, rather than having a single station.
Instead of hotel guests ordering a typical “coursed” meal, more and more hey are looking to have a variety of dishes all at once and shared among each other, Harris noted. The modern dining style of communal seating/eating trend has played into the small plates trend. The Conrad New York has even updated the furniture in its bar area to be conducive to this dining style.
"Guests are more likely to come in casually for a bite and drinks than they are to sit down in a formal fashion," he said.
Also, this trend in being fueled by the fact that people are eating more meals in the day, and these meals are smaller - rather than the traditional three big meals a day of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Zagor noted.
The small plates trend is really coming from the trend of living “green” with less waste, said James La Russo, senior manager of social media and public relations for Denihan Hospitality Group. "So much food is thrown away that our guests are very conscious on leaving a smaller carbon footprint in their travels and in their general lifestyle while traveling," he said.
Original Cocktail Creations And Special Wine Hours There is now a "cocktail culture" at New York City hotel restaurants, in which signature cocktails are being created for both guests and the local communities, Zagor said.
New York hotel bars have been creating names for themselves by developing original cocktails. These drinks are meant to taste good, and also are aesthetically unique with an enhance presentation, Harris added. "Patrons see a drink being served, and are asking for the same based on how great it looks," he said.
Communal eating has also become extremely popular across Denihan Hospitality Group's hotels, La Russo said. Because of this, the New York City-based company introduced a wine hour, called “social sips," across its portfolio from 5-6 p.m. daily.
"We often see guests bonding, which then leads them to join each other for dinner after 'social sips'," La Russo said.
Classic cocktails, like an Old Fashioned, have made a resurgence - but with a twist, La Russo added. For instanced, at The James New York – NoMad Hotel, guests are offered a Plank-Smoked Old Fashioned - which has become a bestseller.