It’s becoming a cliché that consumers are increasingly interested in the story behind their food, but clichés come into existence because they’re generally true, and this class of Trending Tables shows how good popular restaurants have become at casting themselves in a unique light.
The owners of Anoush’ella in Boston evoke their Armenian-Lebanese heritage for their lentil rice and kofta. Taking a different tack, Booth One in Chicago draws on the heritage of its space — formerly the legendary Pump Room, where Booth One was a sought-after table reserved for celebrities.
At Smitty’s Garage in Kansas City, the chain’s home state of Oklahoma is evoked in the decor, while High Street Wine Co. in San Antonio tells the many stories of its namesake beverage — wineries are experts, after all, at spinning tales to add perceived value to fermented grape juice — by preparing food to pair with it.
In Seattle, White Swan Public House tells the story of its city. The dockside restaurant naturally served seafood, but with the multicultural verve that Seattleites expect, with a seafood version of poutine, and octopus paired with kimchi fried rice and the sweet Malaysian soy sauce kecap manis.
All of those restaurants, and the others featured in this spring’s edition of Trending Tables, manage to find something specific that makes them unique that helps bring customers through their doors.
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