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Southeast Asian, comfort food, more: Restaurant predictions for 2023

The new year is fast upon us, making it a time of reflection but also a time of looking forward.

So what does 2023 hold in terms of the food and restaurant scene? According to the the National Restaurant Association, in partnership with the American Culinary Federation and Technomic, diners are eager to return to the sense of community — the socialization, celebration and culinary exploration — that restaurants provide.

They’re also — pardon the pun — hungry to connect over shared meals that can’t easily be replicated at home. Trending global flavors that are predicted to entice customers include

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Reale: Why Italy’s best restaurant has embraced vegetarianism

Castel di Sangro, Italy (CNN) — It’s been named Italy’s best restaurant, but if its customers think that means they’ll be served upscale versions of the country’s classic meat and fish dishes, they’re in for a surprise.

In a striking departure that is redefining what Italian food is, the tasting menu at the Reale restaurant, set in a former monastery in Castel di Sangro, a town surrounded by the Appenine mountains in Italy’s eastern Abruzzo region, is vegetarian.

But that hasn’t hampered its rise to the top. Reale’s three Michelin-star chef Niko Romito recently picked up the award for being

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Casa Reynoso’s Mexican Restaurant is built on family tradition

Casa Reynoso’s recipes originated in Globe-Miami after two sisters came to Arizona during the depression. Today, there are restaurants all over the state.

TEMPE, Ariz. — A nana’s legacy passed down through comfort food is being shared in restaurants across Arizona today. There are several Casa Reynoso locations in the Valley, each with their own little twist on popular family recipes.

In Casa Reynoso’s back of the house, you’ll find more than 80 years of family love and memories, poured into each recipe. Sisters who arrived in Arizona during the depression in search of work, began to share their now

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Vegan, vegetarian rolls taking over restaurant menus

At Kiku Sushi & Vegetarian, a hidden gem in Lafayette where the restaurant’s whiteboard showcases fresh, seasonal fish flown in directly from Japan, there is a growing list of plant-based sushi rolls impressing pescatarians, vegans and vegetarians alike.

Chef-owner Sophia Batsaikhan’s tasty creations — a dragon roll made with sweet potato tempura, avocado and eggplant instead of eel; spicy tuna reinterpreted as marinated tomato and seven-spice powder — are part of a growing movement among Bay Area sushi chefs to address seafood sustainability and make plant-based eaters feel welcome.

LAFAYETTE, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 6: Lightning Rolls are served at Kiku Sushi & Vegetarian in Lafayette, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Lightning Rolls filled with enoki mushroom, pumpkin tempura, asparagus and avocado
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Wm. Van’s Coffee House delightful in Springfield IL: Restaurant review

Name: Wm. Van’s Coffee House

Address: 503 S. Seventh St.

Phone: 217-679-4726

Website: www.connshg.com/wm-vans-coffee-house

Credit/Debit cards accepted? Yes

Kitchen hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. 

Entree price range: $5.50-$9

Children’s menu: Yes

My order: I had the Smoken Salmon sandwich ($8.50) featuring a schmear of house-made cucumber dill cream cheese on sourdough toast and garnished with capers and red onion. My daughter had the Breakfast BLT that included an egg patty, pesto mayo and a mix of greens on sourdough ($7.50.) In keeping with her vegetarian ways, she asked for the bacon on the side, which, in an act

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