2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America + 10 Most Instagrammable Outdoor Seating Areas

Summer travel season is almost here! Fire up your Google Maps app. Hit up Priceline for travel deals. And get ready to make the most or your vacation or staycation dining with a meal at one of the OpenTable 2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America! These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Highlighting restaurants in some of the nation’s most coveted vacation destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 15 states, and includes Frida’s in Lahaina, Hawaii, Geoffrey’s in Malibu, and The Turtle Club in Naples, Florida. Many of the restaurants are associated with picturesque resorts conceived to highlight the natural splendor of their surroundings or situated on prime spots in some of the country’s most beautiful coastal states. Come armed with your appetite and your phone; these restaurants are ready for their close-ups on your summer travel stream. Don’t believe us? Check out 10 of the most Instagrammable outdoor seating settings from this year’s honorees below.


The sunny state of California has 45 winning restaurants, followed by Florida with 18 and Hawaii with 17. Arizona has seven winning restaurants. Nevada and South Carolina have two winning restaurants apiece. Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia are also represented. American fare proves most popular among the winners; however, regional Californian and Hawaiian cuisines are also common, as is seafood.Continue Reading

The S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015

EMP Blog 1After releasing the 51-100 World’s Best Restaurants last week (and thus letting some chefs know their restaurants had slipped out of the top 50), S. Pellegrino announced its annual rankings of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. A decidedly international list, only one American restaurant cracked the top 10 – Eleven Madison Park (No. 5).

Other winners of note on OpenTable include Dinner By Heston Blumenthal in London (No. 7), Pujol in Mexico City (No. 16), Le Bernardin in New York (No. 18), The Ledbury in London (No. 20), Aqua at The Ritz Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany (No. 33), Quintonil in Mexico City, Per Se in New York (No. 40), Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York (No. 49), and The French Laundry in Yountville, California (No. 50).Continue Reading

2015 RAMMY Award Nominees: Join Us on June 7th in Washington, D.C.

The 2015 RAMMY Award nominees are out – and we’ll be in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 7 to cheer on this year’s honorees. The so-called Oscars of the D.C. dining scene, the 33rd Annual RAMMY Awards recognize hospitality excellence in multiple categories. We’ll be there when the winners are announced at the awards ceremony at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Buy tickets today to root for your favorites and to sample amazing eats and craft cocktails.


Congratulations to all the finalists for the 2015 RAMMY Awards, including:

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year:
Bar Pilar
Cashion’s Eat Place
Evening Star Café

Upscale Casual Brunch:
Birch & Barley
Kapnos – DC
Le Diplomate
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Seasons at The Four Seasons

Everyday Casual Brunch:
The Daily Dish
DGS Delicatessen
The Liberty Tavern

Favorite Fast Bites:
G by Mike Isabella

Cocktail Program of the Year:
barmini by José Andrés
Bourbon Steak
Iron Gate
Trummer’s on Main

Beer Program of the Year:
The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Brasserie Beck
Granville Moore’s
Mad Fox Brewing Company

Wine Program of the Year:
Charlie Palmer Steak
Iron Gate

Employee of the Year:
Aurelio Diaz – RIS
Adnane Kebaier – Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Evan Labb – Evening Star Café
LaGina Lewis – Farmers Fishers Bakers
David Sabbadino – ZaytinyaContinue Reading

2015 James Beard Awards: Restaurant + Chef Winners #JBFA

michael anthonyThe 2015 James Beard Awards were held last night in Chicago. We’re pleased to highlight and congratulate this year’s winners. These chefs and restaurants represent the very best in dining across the nation. Make a reservation at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant today.


Best New Restaurant
Bâtard, New York, New York

Outstanding Restaurant
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York

Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco, California


Outstanding Chef
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, New York, New York

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, California

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore, Maryland

Best Chef: Midwest
Gerard Craft, Niche, Clayton, MissouriContinue Reading