Why Small Bites Are Making a Big Buzz
Right now, fine dining establishments are offering small bites or small plates as well as regular entrees and even table d’hote menus. Why are small servings suddenly big news?
Small bites are being welcomed with open arms because they:
- Are a great way to try new foods. If you want to try a new food or a variety of foods, small plates let you try just a small portion of a variety of dishes.
- Fit in with our health-conscious culture. We’ve come to realize that more food can be harmful, and with many people now trying intermittent fasting as well as portion control, the value-added menus at many establishments no longer fit. Small bites let people make smarter choices about food.
- Represent a shift in our eating habits. In Europe, small portion sizes have been a part of food culture for years. It’s not uncommon for someone in Paris, for example, to have only a small serving of fruit and cheese for lunch or a small pastry for breakfast. Our own palettes and habits are becoming more sophisticated, allowing us to appreciate smaller amounts of higher-quality ingredients.
- Perfect for drinks out. If you want to socialize, you don’t always want to eat a large meal. You may have already eaten dinner but may still want to spend time with friends or colleagues with drinks. Small bites let you casually socialize without the pressure of large amounts of food. Small plates are also an excellent palette cleanser and can provide some food foundation for drinks and cocktails.
- Cater to a more diverse audience. Not everyone can eat an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Small plates recognize that not all diners want or need huge portions. Those who have avoided restaurants for fear of unreasonable portion sizes can come back to dining out.
- Have become more refined. In the past, small plates may have meant getting an appetizer instead of an entrée or settling for a plate of cheese. While these are still options, chefs have become innovative and offer small bites such as oysters, antipasti and a selection of unique and innovative tastes in small portions.
How to Try Small Plates
Many restaurants have small bites or plates. Check online menus before you go and aim for happy hour or after the dinner rush, when small plates are most often served.
Bricco, for example, has an antipasti and small plates dedicated menu, with a changing selection of pizzas, insalata, spuntini and other choices. You can find some of the area’s best antipasti here, so be sure to check out the menu and make a reservation today. Bricco was selected by Harrisburg magazine readers and by Wine Spectator and DiRoNA as among the best dining experiences in the area.
Category: Food Stories