Fifteen Dining Predictions For 2012

Categories: The Critic
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​Earlier this week, I mentioned that I'd be dusting off my Ouija board in time for the annual predictions post, but of course I was just kidding; obviously one cannot accurately foresee the future solely by sliding ones hands over some letters. That's why the Ouija board only accounts for part of my prognostication process. The other method is too complex to describe here, but I will say it involves a wall, numerous Post-Its with words written on them, and a set of darts.

Here, then, is a glimpse at some of the shocking developments that will take place in 2012:

- A gifted pastry chef from another city will, after having read my pleas for a great bakery, move to Miami and open one up. In a related story, hell will freeze over.

- We are so saturated with burger joints that the opening of new ones will cease -- but not before Sonic and In-N-Out Burgers join the sweepstakes.

- Stone crabs will be noticeably less expensive next season thanks to My Ceviche giving Joe's Stone Crab some competitive pricing. When Joe's prices go down accordingly, so will stone crabs all around town.

- Craft beers will continue to gain popularity. Look for a major new brewpub and/or beer garden to open. Also look for New Times' staff to hold their copy meetings here.

- We know Jean-Georges Vongerichten and José Andrés are coming to town this year. But a third chef with serious star power will also open an outpost in Miami (and somebody will write a play about this prediction and call it Waiting For Keller).

- A pizzeria specializing in Neopolitan-style pies will open and be a big hit. The Miami outlet of one of the "healthy" pizza joint chains that opened this year will go out of business.

- Prognosticators around the country are nearly unanimous in their choosing of Nordic cuisine as the hot food of 2012. Won't happen here, though, as it doesn't fit in with our distinctive Miami culture. Moroccan is the other ethnic food tabbed to go big this year, and we will see more Moroccan dishes on local menus. But the cuisine making the biggest splash here in 2012 will be Peruvian.

- Beverage of 2012: Horchata.

- Wine country that receives most renewed attention: Australia.

- Dessert of 2012: Cookies. As in creative twists on the classics. We've already seen this trend a bit in 2011, but it will take off locally this coming season.

- A group of brash young chefs (probably from NY) will band together, act badly, and finally, mercifully, push Bourdain out of the spotlight.

- It will become more common for successful food trucks to open brick-and-mortar venues to extend their business. Also look for more restaurants located on rooftops and in gardens.

- One word for the dining-in-the-dark trend: Over.

- Mario Batali plans to open five more Eataly markets over the next decade. One of these will be in Miami. Our branch won't open this year, but it will be announced.

- Next sizzling dining neighborhood: South Beach. It's already got the foundation of established, mostly upscale restaurants (from China Grill to Prime One Twelve). This past year the Dining Room moved in, as did Yardbird, Philipe Chow, Symcha's, My Ceviche, Lolita Cantina, and a few neat little neighborhood bar/lounges; José Andrés is on deck. Come to think of it, this might have been a better prediction for last year's list -- but look for the growth to continue.

- Bonus, non-culinary prediction: Romney wins the Republican nomination. Obama ends up defeating the Romney/Rubio ticket thanks to a third party candidate that siphons more votes from the Republicans.

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