Dining trends come and go, but some classic dishes appear to have completely gone the way of the dodo. This is a real shame, because they’re classic and delicious. Here are five dishes we hope will make a comeback this year.
This dessert is made by lining a dish with sponge cake, topping it with ice cream, and then covering it with meringue. The meringue is then baked in a hot oven until firm and then traditionally flambéed tableside (the meringue works as an insulator, preventing the ice cream from melting). The recipe, which is generally attributed to Delmonico’s legendary chef Charles Ranhofer, was a cruise ship staple for decades. With a renewed interest in tableside preparation, it’s time for this dessert to make a comeback.
Duck à l’Orange
While the earliest recipes for duck à l’orange trace their roots to early seventeenth-century France, citrus fruits have been paired with fatty meats since at least the Middle Ages. The classic recipe for canard a l’orange, which was introduced to American palates via high-end restaurants in the 1940s, is still one of the most delicious ways to prepare the bird: A duckling is roasted in a hot oven alongside oranges and thyme, and then the sauce is reduced down with sherry and butter. Unfortunately, by the 1970s, the dish had become somewhat of a running gag at French restaurants, as chefs would corrupt the sauce by adding marmalade, cornstarch, and copious amounts of sugar. The dish died out almost entirely soon afterward, but if you can track down a truly authentic preparation it can be a meal to remember.
This dish’s official moniker should be amandine, but when it first started appearing on menus (as an adaptation of the French sauce meunière), it was misspelled and it stuck. The dish, a simple pan-fried trout fillet in a sauce of butter, parsley, lemon, and almonds, was once a mainstay on just about every high-end restaurant’s menu. Its cousin, sole meunière, is still around, but these days when you see the word almondine it’s usually preceded with the words green beans.
Once upon a time, no respectful restaurant, be it Italian, a steakhouse, or a seafood restaurant, would send out a menu that didn’t have Clams Casino in the appetizer list. The dish came out of the "shellfish fad" of the early twentieth century, when just about every restaurant would have some sort of baked bivalve on its menu. This particular dish, baked clams on the half shell topped with breadcrumbs, butter, and bacon (with regional variations) was reportedly invented in 1917 at the Little Casino in Narragansett, R.I., and for one reason or another it took off (our guess: the bacon). And while the fad has long since died down in most of the country, Clams Casino can still be found in nearly every restaurant in Rhode Island.
Invented by chef Auguste Escoffier at London’s Savoy Hotel in honor of the Australian soprano Nellie Melba, this dessert, which is made by topping vanilla ice cream with sliced peaches and raspberry purée, was once a high-end dessert menu staple. It briefly reclaimed its throne as king of the dessert world in 2012, when it was the final dish served at Ferran Adrià’s legendary elBulli — though probably not in a form Escoffier would have recognized.