The Year of Tapas & Small Plates

1Spain has been mastering small plates since the days of old. Take a walk down Logroño’s Calle Laurel to witness the true spirit of Spain’s tapas tradition. Some call it a tapas pilgrimage, others call it a crawl (likely depends on how much wine is consumed). Tourists and locals alike take this journey for a truly authentic Spanish experience hopping from one bar to the next enjoying a different tapas at each stop.

Today, we’re seeing this Spanish-inspired trend move across borders. Many American chefs & restaurants are saying goodbye to big portions and hello to small plates.

For the diners who want it all, small plates are ideal. Offering them the opportunity to broaden their menu selection releases their adventurous side. Can’t decide between the short rib and crab cakes? Why put your diners in a difficult situation when small plates allow your diners to have the best of both worlds!

Chef tasting menus are another way restaurants are showcasing small plates. These pre-set menus are designed to be a journey through the chef’s top dishes or personal favorites.  Chicago’s Alinea serves up an impressive 24-course tasting menu as the “grand tour” of the restaurant’s cuisine. Food coma? We think yes.

2In honor of the year of tapas & small plates, here’s a list of dos and don’ts for restaurants, chefs and foodservice pros looking to downsize their menus.

Small Plates Dos & Don’ts

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