Is the Entrée Dead? Some Dudes Say Hell Yes.

​I've heard more than a few people remark on the ubiquity of small plates on menus here and in my hometown, D.C. They can be gimmicky. Not everything need be a tapas. They're a ruse to upcharge diners for less food and end up more pricey than an entrée. 

Yet it looks like they're here to stay. Small plates give chefs greater flexibility as well as maximize a product, like a coveted cut from a heritage breed or squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. Flexibility "saves us time, which allows us to keep cooking and keep making more food and therefore selling more food," chef and cookbook author Suzanne Goin told Portfolio in 2007 during the rise of the trend.

It seems that some dudes are over entrées entirely. On yesterday's (superbly written) "Eat Like a Man" blog in Esquire, Tom Junod wrote:

You're amazed when the busboys clear your table in preparation for the arrival of the entree. It's not that you're full; it's that you forgot what you ordered. The fish with the thing? The meat with the other thing? Or the chicken with no thing at all, except its pedigree? And then the entrees come and you realize: It doesn't matter. Whatever you ordered you now have to eat it, in the same way you've had to eat everything all your life....And you understand something: that although, like all American eaters, you've been conditioned to think of the entree as the climax of the meal, it never is.

Even the commenters that weigh in agree. What says you? Are you a plate sharer, a meat-and-three type, or does it depend on where you're eating?

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart