August 22, 2017

Stretching out - Florida restaurateurs expand their culinary diversity
by Restaurant Editor Chris Sherman

The trends that defined the state's restaurant industry this year included continuing challenges for well established white-tablecloth temples and big chains. Meanwhile, smaller, younger operations with more casual formats, featuring star chefs both home grown and imported, grew rapidly.

In terms of featured dishes, 2016 was the year of hummus, short ribs, quinoa, carrots, poutine, craft Manhattans and acai. Octopus emerged as a star — roasted, grilled, pickled and artfully sliced for sashimi.

The big cephalopod, in fact, may be a perfect metaphor for the many-tentacled projects of restaurant groups, brand names and celebrity chefs who reached out to grab new markets across Florida and beyond.

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Florida Trend restaurant editor Chris Sherman stuck his finger into Key lime pie 20 years ago and has eaten his way up, down and across the sunshine state. Florida sets a big and constantly changing table, so when you find a great new restaurant or have a grand meal, let Florida Trend know.

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