The 5 Most Worn-Out Fancy Restaurant Dishes

By Andrew Knowlton

Dear BA Foodist,

Restaurant dining seems to be so blah these days, with the same dishes on almost every menu. Why all the redundancy?

Anne M. Bainbridge, Westchester, PA

Dear Anne,

If imitation is the best form of flattery, then there's a whole lot of flattery going on in restaurants. With this in mind, I present my top five dishes in need of a culinary sabbatical.

1. Beet and Goat Cheese Salad: The tang of goat cheese with the earthy sweetness of beets is a brilliant combination--but enough already of this default appetizer.

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2. Short Ribs: In less-than-expert hands, this profound deliciousness is often tough.

3. Crostini and Bruschetta: Devoting entire sections of a menu to simple grilled bread with toppings and then charging crazy prices is robbery.

4. Bacon-Wrapped Dates: Yes, we get it--fat and sweet are two flavors that go great together, but simply putting them on your menu does not make your place an "authentic tapas bar."

See Also: When is it Appropriate to Ask for Menu Substitutions?

5. Panna Cotta: An easy-to-make dessert, panna cotta ("cooked cream") neither really pleases nor offends. Give me a little more creativity, or just give me a chocolate chip cookie.

Andrew Knowlton is the Restaurant Editor of Bon Appétit magazine, where he writes features and monthly columns including The Hot 10 and The Dish. He has appeared as a judge on The Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef America" and "Iron Chef America" as well as on CBS, FOX, and NBC.

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