The 2005 Overrated List

Super-chef Spinoffs
This chronic habit reached epidemic proportions in 2005. Let’s try limiting ourselves to one new restaurant every two years.

Highly Touted Slow-Food Suppliers
Does anyone really know where Kloonshee Farms is? Does anyone really care?

A la Plancha
A trendy Spanish term meaning “on the grill.” Cheeseburgers at your local diner are also cooked “à la plancha.”

Sous Vide
Traditionalist chefs maintain that this fashionable cooking technique detracts from the texture of the food. Who knows. But doesn’t Cryovacking a piece of chicken in a plastic bag, then cooking it over low heat for half a day sound slightly insane?

Abstruse Postmillennial Menus
These days, the dreaded phrase “Are you familiar with how our menu works?” strikes terror in the heart of any seasoned diner. As it ought to.

Relentlessly Behemoth Japanese Restaurants
Matsuri, Ono, Megu, and, most recently, the fearsome Nobu 57. Will this plague of Godzillas never cease?

Peter Luger Offshoots
Three and counting (Mark Joseph, Wolfgang’s, Ben and Jack’s), each one more derivative than the last.

The Haute Lobster Roll
No restaurant except for Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary’s Fish Camp should be allowed to charge over $20 for this dish, period.

“Deconstructed” Desserts
Code for trendy postmodern reimaginings of old-fashioned dishes that are never as satisfying as the untrendy originals.

The Petits Fours Deluge
I have received chocolate in little tubes after my dinner, and pork rinds dipped in white chocolate. This avalanche of sweets is rendering dessert obsolete.

The 2005 Overrated List