Cauliflower, cocktails on Kimpton’s 2016 trend list

Meatloaf is ready for its close-up: The American comfort food makes Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ second annual Culinary and Cocktails trend forecast, along with some other decidedly old-school drinks like Manhattans and sidecars.

The company surveyed staff at its more than 70 bars and restaurants across 30 US cities to help predict what diners and drinkers will be eating in the new year. Here’s what Kimpton says will be heating up in the kitchen:

  • Fish will be the most popular protein
  • Mexican cuisine will raise its profile
  • Cauliflower will replace kale as the hot new vegetable
  • Tartare, ancient grains, plant-based entrees and open-fire roasting techniques will show up on more menus
  • “Super seeds” like chia, hemp and flax are hot on the wellness front
  • Savory desserts will take center stage
  • Meatloaf will make a comeback
  • Bar dining will gain popularity over traditional sit-down meals
  • Portland, Oregon is current top city for foodies
Cauliflower panna cotta is a savory dessert featuring the popular vegetable.
Cauliflower panna cotta is a savory dessert featuring the popular vegetable.

Kimpton says classics are coming back in the bar: 

  • Manhattans, sidecars and martinis are showing up more often, along with sour beer
  • Mismatched and classic barware filled with uniquely shaped ice cubes is the new look
  • The bamboo cocktail is making a comeback
  • Rosé and pinot are the top wines for home entertaining
  • Mixologists will work more with herbs, botanicals and florals
  • Rum, gin and bourbon drinks are inspiring bartenders 

“We wanted to harness all the great ideas, trends and forward-looking forecasts our team is tapped into and broaden their reach beyond the kitchen and bar to inspire our guests and consumers in 2016,” said Alex Taylor, Kimpton’s senior vice president of restaurants and bars.