As 2012 comes to a close, here are some of the delicious food and drink predictions for the upcoming year compiled by Andrew Freeman & Co., a California consulting firm. Take a look at some of the new and continuing trends we'll see in 2013.
Next time you order popcorn, the bartender might check for identification. At Perbacco in San Francisco, Campari-infused popcorn was created for a Campari-sponsored party. At the Stinky Cheese Shop in Brooklyn, the Harpersfield Double Soak is a cow's milk cheese soaked twice in local beers.
Push-pops aren't just for frozen desserts. The plastic containers are now housing cupcakes, making them easier to eat than ever before. New York City's Go Cakes serves flavors like green velvet or confetti with choices of frosting and toppings.
Toast isn't toast. Crostini, pieces of toast slathered with anything from cheese to meat, are popping up on menus across the country. The one- to two-bite snacks can be sweet or savory. Fig and Olive restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., serves a dessert "crostini" made with Amarena cherry and mascarpone on pistachio shortbread.
Gluten-free isn't just a fad. In an effort to accommodate clients, restaurants are offering gluten-free alternatives. The Fairmont hotel chain offers a Lifestyle Cuisine Plus program with specialized menus for those who eat gluten-free. The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, sells gluten-free baked goods made by a local bakery. Casa Nonna, an Italian restaurant in New York City, offers a special menu for diners that includes gluten-free penne. Chefs are also experimenting with grains like bulgar and quinoa as a new update to rice or pasta.
Drink your vegetables. From cocktails to cleanses, it's time to dust off the juicers. Kale, beet or celery juices are appearing in cleanses from Blueprint or in cocktails at the Trencherman in Chicago. Liquiteria in New York City is a popular juice bar with a cult celebrity following.
Take a look at some other upcoming trends you don't want to miss:
From meat to skin: Crispy chicken skin is becoming a main ingredient with menu items like chicken skin tacos or mixed with pasta.
Eating outdoors: Terraces and rooftops are popping up as new spaces for restaurant expansion.
Upscale tacos: Mexican food will merge with fine-dining for an upscale flair.
Vacation inspiration: Chefs are traveling the world and changing their menu based on their experiences.
It's all about the drink: Wine and beer pairings aren't the only thing available. Cocktails are gearing themselves more towards food with cocktail-menu pairing options.