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The Chicago Tribune website last week printed a list of the ten worst dining trends of the past decade, as decided by various movers and shakers in the American food world. Miami's own Michael Schwartz weighed in, his pet peeve being the communal table, which "assumes people who don't know each other want to sit together." (Gee Michael, didn't know you were so cynical; it will serve you well in your new blogging career.)
Other villainous food trends cited include molecular gastronomy, deconstruction, foams, lengthy menu descriptions, the chef as media whore, "knee jerk online reviews", and the $40 entree ("Not just at establishments sporting Beard awards and gravitas. At your neighborhood bistro. Enough."). Amen. New York chef David Chang contributed "The Cheesecake Factory" to the list. Amen again. We would only add, in terms of draggy local trends: "Deals, Miami Spice and likewise". The experience of dining out somehow seems degraded when restaurant promotions resemble Joan Rivers peddling jewelry on the QVC Shopping Network. Restaurateurs need to figure out how to provide fair value for their food and wine year round, and leave it at that.