Diners have always sought out comfort – but recent trends reflect a growing demand for elevated versions of classic comfort foods. Here are 4 ways to bring new life to traditionally delicious dishes:
1. Swap The Sides
Many traditional dishes call for side salads and creamy mashed potatoes – and there’s nothing wrong with this approach. However, reimagining these accompaniments can draw more attention to classic comfort foods by adding intrigue. Draw inspiration from roasted vegetable treatments and other plant-based purees, or create a blended mash to go with the classic potatoes to get started.
2. Experiment With Garnishes
Garnishes are a simple opportunity to express your restaurant’s signature style. These toppings allow you to play with textures and acids in a way that can reinvigorate classic comfort foods – think wild garlic-mustard chimichurri or house-made pickled jalapeños.
3. Smother With Sauce
Deli-favorite sandwiches and indulgently braised cuts in soft buns are fan favorites – but there’s room to experiment with more contemporary sauces. Creating an elevated version of these comfort foods can simply mean spreading new flavors over bread slices and buns – like gochujang mayo or sesame-chili garlic sauce.
4. Reimagine The Entrée
Comfort foods are favorites for a reason – there’s a flavor equation at play that resonates with customers over and over again. Sometimes, the twist that takes these dishes to the next level just means using the same ingredients in a different way. Serving up a classic sandwich? Consider using the proteins and garnishes in a more modern bowl of ramen or fried rice dish.
Evolving classic dishes ensures your menus reflect what it means to be a modern steakhouse. These evolutions ensure guests continue to enjoy popular comfort foods for years to come – and across establishments in unique ways.