Chefs

Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2015: Book a Table

Food & Wine magazine recently announced its annual roster of Best New Chefs of 2015. The honorees represent chefs who have been running a kitchen for less than five years and who are winning fans and attention in their culinary communities. A few commonalities among the winners, according to Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin, include nods to the past and a highly personal aspect to their cooking. “The chefs seem to be cooking to please themselves, and in the process have dazzled diners,” Cowin told CNN. The standout chefs include:

Chef Zoi Antonitsas, Westward, Seattle, Washington

Résumé: Chef Antonitsas may be familiar to diners outside the Seattle area because of her turn as a cheftestant on season 4 of Top Chef. Formerly the executive chef at Madison Park Conservatory in Seattle, Antonitsas worked at  Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastapol, and the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco before opening Westward in the fall of 2013 and bringing her unique blend of Mediterranean-meets-Pacific Northwest cuisine to the shores of Lake Union. She also served as a consultant for nopa.
Rave review for her food: “The food — ah! The food was amazing! I loved that everything was so simple, yet so delicious — how food should be. The presentation was impeccable.”
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PFE - chef katie button panuelo de chocolate - 5.2011Chef Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, North Carolina

Résumé: Scientist-cum-chef Button opened Cúrate in 2011 after mastering her culinary craft at Spain’s legendary El Bulli. Later stints include Jean-Georges in New York and The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills. She also opened the bar Nightbell, and is penning her first cookbook. Cúrate has been named a Top 100 Best Restaurant in America in 2013 and a Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurant in 2014 by OpenTable diners.
Rave review for her food: “The quality of the food was outstanding. I have been to Spain multiple times and this was like being there, from the food to the wine to the unhurried pace of the meal.”
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Chef Jim Christiansen, Heyday, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Résumé: His experience may be primarily rooted in the midwest, but chef Christiansen found his inspiration abroad as well, namely in the cuisine of Copenhagen’s renowned noma, at which he staged. After spending time in the kitchens of La Belle Vie and UNION Rooftop Restaurant in the Twin Cities, Christiansen opened Heyday to acclaim in April 2014.
Rave review for his food: “The kitchen obviously knows their stuff and the chef is inspired from start to finish. With baked goods done in house, everything is super fresh and innovative without being inaccessible. We were so happy with our food and our server; it couldn’t have been better.”
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Chef Tim Maslow, Ribelle, Boston, Massachusetts

Résumé: Chef Maslow is well known to Boston foodies, having first wowed diners when he revamped the menu at his father Paul’s aging Watertown restaurant Strip-T’s. Previously, he honed his skills within the Momofuku family of restaurants in Manhattan, rising to chef de cuisine of Momofuku Ssam Bar. He opened Ribelle in March of 2013 and received four stars from the Boston Globe a little more than half a year later.
Rave review for his food: “Whenever I get a chance to stop by Ribelle, I again realize that Tim is at the very top of the list of the best chefs in the Boston area. As a foodie, I love this place.”
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2015 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant + Chef Nominees

BatardToday, the James Beard Foundation released their list of nominations for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards. The winners of one of the world’s most prestigious culinary awards will be announced on May 4th at a ceremony in Chicago. Purchase tickets here to cheer on your favorites.

Congratulations — and good luck — to the year’s nominees on this prestigious acknowledgment.

NOMINATED RESTAURANTS INCLUDE:

Best New Restaurant
Bâtard, New York, New York
Cosme, New York, New York
Parachute, Chicago, Illinois
The Progress, San Francisco, California
Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Outstanding Restaurant
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
Per Se, New York, New York
The Spotted Pig, New York, New York

Outstanding Service
Marea, New York, New York
Quince, San Francisco, California
Restaurant August, New Orleans
Topolobampo, Chicago, Illinois

Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco, California
FIG, Charleston, South Carolina
McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina
Spago, Beverly Hills, California

NOMINATED CHEFS INCLUDE:

Outstanding Chef
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, New York, New York
Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, West Hollywood, California
Claude Le Tohic, Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas, Nevada
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans, Louisiana
Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia

Rising Star of the Year
Tanya Baker, The Boarding House, Chicago, Illinois
Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, California
Ari Taymore, Alma, Los Angeles, California

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dana Cree, Blackbird, Chicago, Illinois
Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dahlia Narvarez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, California
Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, New York, New York

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago, Illinois
Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio
Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, Illinois
Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago, Illinois
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago, Illinois

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
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Celebrating Our #BrandNewBrand at Upland in NYC

This week, OpenTable launched our brand new brand. Because we love what can happen around the restaurant table, we feted this milestone with a feast at Upland in Manhattan, along with chefs, restaurateurs, and some of our favorite local foodies.

Chef Justin Smillie opened Upland in conjunction with restaurateur Stephen Starr late last year to critical acclaim, and he and his staff created an incredible dining experience that highlighted his heralded California-inspired cuisine with an Italian twist. The mouthwatering menu included seared squid with shaved fennel, cara cara orange, and crispy shallots; slow-roasted lamb ribs with pickled artichoke, white almonds, and esplette; gnudi with black trumpet mushrooms, leeks, walnuts, parsley, and sorrel; whole striped bass prepared under salt with broccoli de ciccio and preserved lemon relish; sherry-glazed chicken with frisee, sunchokes, roasted garlic, and cured egg yolk; and rum cake with persimmon and whipped cream.

Just as the table is just the start, this week is just the start of our rebrand celebration. On March 11, we’re launching our #100opentables campaign. We’ll be giving away 100 dining experiences at iconic restaurants around the world, including Eleven Madison Park in New York, Bar Tartine in San Francisco, and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London. The campaign will feature a diverse collection of cuisines and experiences, such as “The Cellar Experience” at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the private chef’s table for four in the skybox at Restaurant DANIEL, and a five-course pasta tasting menu at flour + water. The campaign will culminate with 100 dining experiences in 23 cities on one night: April 9, 2015. Visit the #100opentables microsite www.100opentables.com next Wednesday for a chance to reserve your table!

Photos by Hal Horowitz.

And the Award Goes to…: #DinersChoice Winners for Best Restaurants Collect Their Trophies

Late last year, we revealed the winners of the  2014 Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Best Restaurants in America, and since then, we’ve been busy traveling around the nation to present the honorees with their engraved All-Clad awards in person.

“We are so honored and humbled by this acknowledgement from OpenTable Diners” said co-owners Ariana and Andres Fernandez of Ariana in Bend, Oregon. “Making sure our customers have an exceptional meal with incredible service is our mission at Ariana and we are so very pleased our customers feel that and have responded with such high praise.”

It is our great pleasure to once again highlight these amazing culinary professionals — and to provide them with a rare opportunity to take a break from their busy days in front and back of the house for a well-deserved pat on the back. Diners, meet some of your winners, and book a table at one of these top restaurants today!