Top Chef D.C. Episode 12: The Final Countdown

Shame on me. I didn’t realize we were getting to the final four so soon. This probably explains why I’m a blogger and not, say, a calculus teacher or an engineer. I’m back with would-be cheftestant Ed Hardy. We’re chatting semi-live, meaning we both DVR’d it and watched at the same time. The U.S. Open is going on and, as it turns out, I am concurrently watching Andy Roddick get Serbed. Ha! Get it? Tipsaveric is Serbian? Anyway, let’s get Ed in on this….

First, are you excited to be here again? Tell me again why you’re watching on delay? Did you take your lovely wife out to dinner? Where’d you eat?

TCDC12 Dana Cowin Top Chef D.C. Episode 12: The Final Countdown
"I totally almost wore the same thing as Padma. Ha! NOT!"

“Excited” is a strong feeling. Especially for a person who drinks until they can’t feel feelings anymore while watching Top Chef. I’m watching on DVR because I was out at dinner at Convivio. Chef Michael White is “White” hot right now in NYC. Which is great because Italian is the new culinary black. So Chef White is the new black.  Which makes sense. Because I’ve been drinking. My wife Françoise (CP note: She’s a food writer for StarChefs and is, for all intents and purposes, out of Ed’s league. You know it’s true, Hardy!) and I found a lot to like at Convivio. Good staff, good antipasti, and sfizi (Italian amuse). Some minor texture issues with the pasta, but we’re hypercritical reviewers. Worth a second visit!

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‘Top Chef: Just Desserts’ and OpenTable Present Free Dessert Day on 9/15!

Top Chef Just Desserts Free Dessert Day Top Chef: Just Desserts and OpenTable Present Free Dessert Day on 9/15!There’s no such thing as free lunch — but there are free desserts, thanks to the foodies over at Bravo. They’re so excited for the premiere of Bravo’s newest show “Top Chef: Just Desserts” on September 15, 2010, that they’ve partnered with OpenTable restaurants to satisfy your sweet tooth for free! Just make an online reservation and dine at a participating restaurant for September 15, and you will get a free dessert for every 2 diners at your table.

Book a table today to take advantage of this fun offer — and tune in to Bravo at 11PM EDT to guarantee you’ll have sweet dreams!


OpenTable Spotlight Offers Expand to Atlanta

OpenTable Spotlight Atlanta OpenTable Spotlight Offers Expand to AtlantaOpenTable is pleased to announce that our successful Spotlight offers are launching in Atlanta. Beginning at 12AM EDT on September 1, 2010, OpenTable diners will be able to purchase $50 for just $25 at one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Click through for a clue as to which restaurant is stepping into the ATL Spotlight this week. Also, share your Secret Spotlight guesses for this week’s Boston and New York restaurants.

You can tune in at 8PM EDT tomorrow to find out exactly where the OpenTable Spotlight is shining in Atlanta, Boston, and New York, and don’t forget to buy yours before the OpenTable Spotlight offers go dark at 12AM EDT on September 2nd!

Follow our local Atlanta, Boston, and New York Twitter handles for clues and news each week!

Best Scenic View Restaurants: Your 2010 Diners’ Choice Award Winners Are…

Best Scenic View Restaurants Best Scenic View Restaurants: Your 2010 Diners Choice Award Winners Are...While it’s true we’ve become a nation of foodie photographers, as diners, we’re also interested in more than what’s on our plates. Ambience is a huge factor in enjoying a meal, and nothing creates ambience faster than an impressive vista. So, it is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of OpenTable’s second annual Diners’ Choice awards for restaurants its diners deemed to have the most scenic viewThe list of winning restaurants is derived from more than seven million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Winners include Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville, Pennysylvania, Coach Insignia in Detroit, Simms Steakhouse in Golden, Colorado, The View in New York City, and 46 others! View the whole list of restaurants with winning views to find one near you. And, book a table at one — or  more — to guarantee that your next meal will have ambience as breathtaking as what’s on your plate.

Top Chef D.C. Episode 11: Amanda Strikes Out

It’s that time again. Aspiring cheftender Ed Hardy and I are chatting about this week’s episode, poking fun at Angelo (while also basking in his glowy good looks — at least I am; I won’t speak for Ed.).

Padma in Nationals Jersey Top Chef D.C. Episode 11: Amanda Strikes Out
"I'm not mad, Tom. I just thought we were ALL wearing jerseys today."

Okay, Ed, what up with Angelo saying he prays to chefs’ pics? C’mon!

Funny you should mention that. I actually have some chef photos up on my little private wall. All the best, of course. Giada, Nigella, Giada again. Doesn’t everybody?

This wall isn’t in your bathroom is it? Ack! Um, so is there anything wrong with Anthony Robbins? I like him, although he scares my husband — who refers to him as the lovechild of Andre the Giant and Lurch.

There is everything wrong with Tony Robbins. Have you seen the size of his mouth and teeth? I think he eats live suckling pigs whole.

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OpenTable Spotlight Deal Reveal: $50 for $25 at Vlora in Boston and Essex in NYC

Essex OpenTable Spotlight Deal Reveal: $50 for $25 at Vlora in Boston and Essex in NYC
The Potato Cake Napoleon at Essex is twice as nice at half the price!

We’re pleased to announce that this week’s OpenTable Spotlight offers are for Boston restaurant Vlora and New York restaurant Essex. Purchase $50 of food and beverage for just $25! The deals go live at midnight EDT tonight and end 24 hours later. Purchase yours before time runs out to enjoy half-price dining at high-end restaurants!

Tune in at midnight tonight (EDT) to get in on these amazing deals — before they’re gone!

Bloggers Take a Restaurant Week Boston Daycation, Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Eggs Benny Eastern Standard Bloggers Take a Restaurant Week Boston Daycation, Courtesy of Southwest Airlines
Eggs Benedict at Eastern Standard. What better way to start the day?

We all wait patiently (and anxiously) for the arrival of our city’s Restaurant Week, during which we can dine out at terrific discounts. Maybe, though, it’s time to stop waiting and start thinking about taking advantage of Restaurant Weeks in other cities. You don’t have to take weeks — or even days — off to do it. Just ask Philadelphia food blogger Mary Bigham, of WCDish and her friend of Danielle Friel of Iron Hill Brewery. Southwest Airlines provided the flights to get these foodie friends from Philadelphia to Boston and back again in just a day’s time — with lots of stops for fine dining and more Restaurant Week Boston-inspired fun — in between.

You can follow their adventures on Twitter via our @OpenTable_BOS handle as we chat with them throughout the day and drool longingly over their food photography! They’ve already had eggs benny and French toast at Eastern Standard (I only have coffee, so thanks for rubbing that in, ladies. No, really.). Stops along the way will include Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House and dinner at Barbara Lynch’s trattoria Sportello, where they’ll meet up with area food bloggers for what I’m sure will be a pretty amazing meal.

Stay tuned on Twitter for more highlights from their Restaurant Week Boston daycation — and book your Restaurant Week Boston tables today!