Hundred-Layer Lasagne and Other Over-the-Top Signature Dishes

Hundred Layer Lasagne Del Posto Hundred Layer Lasagne and Other Over the Top Signature Dishes
100 Layer Lasagne al Ragù Bolognese at Del Posto

To stand out from the crowd and please the most passionate foodies, many restaurants have focused their efforts on creating a signature dish, one that is singular in execution and gets buzzed about for any number of other reasons. It could be because of a blend of lavish ingredients (such as the db Burger at db Bistro Moderne), unique plating and techniques (such as the confit of Moulard duck “foie gras” at The French Laundry), or simply a hefty pricetag (for the $500 hotpot at Las Vegas restaurant Shaboo).

Chef Mark Ladner spoke with New York Magazine last month about the hundred-layer lasagne he conceived for Mario Batali’s Manhattan restaurant Del Posto. As soon as I read about it, I knew I had to try it. And, I am pleased to report that I enjoyed every single bite. I will admit that I didn’t count the layers — but that’s only because I was too busy eating them! While the dish appears laborious in terms of prep, it is, in truth, a wonderfully simple dish (which was a real relief as it was served in the middle of a seven-course tasting menu).

What over-the-top dishes have you dined on that have truly delivered? Have any not lived up to the hype? Share your stories here and on Facebook.

Trivia Tuesdays: Follow @OpenTable_ATL and @OpenTable_Chi to Earn Free Meals

If you’re an OpenTable diner who lives or dines in Atlanta or Chicago, follow our local Twitter handles — @OpenTable_ATL and @OpenTable_Chi – for news on new restaurants, dining deals and discounts, and for a chance to earn free meals even faster. No, we’re not talking about 1,000-point reservations (although those help)! Next week, we’re kicking off Twitter Trivia Tuesdays on these local handles. If you’re a registered OpenTable diner who answers our trivia tweet correctly, you may find your OpenTable account 500 Dining Rewards Points richer.

Because OpenTable is all about dining out, trivia questions will be related to chefs, food, and restaurants (with a dash of pop culture). So, start following @OpenTable_ATL and @OpenTable_Chi to be part of our inaugural Twitter Trivia Tuesday a week from today — and be sure to join in the fun every week.

Your 2010 RAMMY Winners Are…

RAMMY 2010 Your 2010 RAMMY Winners Are...Last night, the 20th annual Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) awards were held. This year’s RAMMY winners, recognized for excellence in the category, include:

* New Restaurant: Birch and Barley

* Fine Dining Restaurant: 2941

* Upscale Casual Restaurant: Vermilion

* Chef of the Year: Scott Drewno, The Source

* Pastry Chef of the Year: Anthony Chavez, 2941

* Wine Program: Proof

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Vancouver’s Divino Is Divine; Go Fish Ocean Club Is a Catch; and Other Reviews

Restaurants scoring positive reviews…

* Balsan‘s steadfastly seasonal Chicago cuisine wins praise from Elaine Glusac. [The New York Times]

* Daniel Boulud proves nothing succeeds like success, with a stellar review from Richard Vines for his London outpost of Bar Boulud. [Bloomberg]

* Phil Vettel thinks that former underground restaurant Bonsoirée is too legit to quit. [Chicago Tribune]

* Mia Stainsby finds Vancouver’s Divino quite divine. [Vancouver Sun]

* S. Irene Virbila takes a first look at First & Hope and likes its Southern food and supper-club vibe as does LA Weekly‘s Jonathan Gold. [Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly]

* Steve Cuozzo thinks Todd English’s new Food Hall at the Plaza is sweet. [NY Post]

* AA Gill awards London’s The French Table three shiny stars. [Times Online]

* The executive chef at Dallas’ Go Fish Ocean Club is a contender on the upcoming season of Top Chef, and with good reason, according to Leslie Brenner. [Dallas Morning News]

* Amy Kuperinsky takes a gander at new New Jersey steakhouse Hamilton & Ward, which features a dish called the Flintsone. [NorthJersey.com]

* In Boston, Jerry Remy Sports Bar and Grill is getting it right. [Boston Herald]

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Chefs Pick Their Fave Apps; Bourdain Takes Aim; Jeremy Fox Picks Plum

In recent chef-related news…

* The James Beard Foundation announces its list of chefs’ favorite iPhone apps — and guess what makes the cut? [LA Weekly]

* Lost track of your fave NYC Top Chef contestants? Eater has put together a nifty map to help you track ‘em down. [Eater NY]

* Chefs, particularly those in San Francisco, like tattoos. [SF Weekly via Grub Street SF]

* Chicago chef Rick Bayless (Topolobampo) aced his White House dinner. Shocker! [Grub Street Chicago]

* Anthony Bourdain (Les Halles) takes aim, not once but twice, and let’s just say that you probably don’t want to find yourself in his crosshairs. [Eater National]

* Joey Campanaro (Kenmare) is going to set up camp in the City of Brotherly Love. [Philly.com]

* Having conquered the Hudson waterfront, Tom Colicchio (Colicchio & Sons) sets his sights on Manhattan’s East River. [Eater NY]

* Windy City chef Graham Elliot does not negotiate with social-media terrorists. [Eater National]

* Todd English takes over an old laundry room at the Plaza and turns into the fun Food Hall. [Slashfood]

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Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week 2010: Hot Deals in the Desert

Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week 2010: Hot Deals in the DesertThere are many reasons to visit Palm Springs — but this has got to be the tastiest one! Beginning today and running through June 13, Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week is bringing you 10 days of delicious dining — $24 or $36 menus. Organized by the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Association, this restaurant week is a culinary celebration featuring restaurants from the entire Valley from Palm Springs to Indio.

Participating restaurants include Bellatrix, Cuistot, Purple Palm Restaurant, and Tuscany, as well as many others. Whether you’re a local, a vacationer, or a day-tripping Angeleno looking for fine food at even finer prices, Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week has something for you.

View the full list of participating restaurants, and book your tables today!

San Francisco Dine About Town Starts Today

SF Dine About Town Summer 2010 San Francisco Dine About Town Starts TodayThe Bay Area’s favorite two weeks return, thanks to San Francisco Dine About Town 2010. Running through June 15, San Francisco Dine About Town allows you to enjoy two-course lunches for $17.95 and three-course dinners for just $34.95. A great opportunity to sample the fare at some of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, participants include Anchor and Hope, Fish & Farm, Luna Park, Roots, and Spruce, among many others.

Reserve early and often so you don’t miss out on delicious dining at a discount all around San Francisco.

Best Late Night Dining: OpenTable 2010 Diners’ Choice Winners

Best Late Night Dining Best Late Night Dining: OpenTable 2010 Diners’ Choice WinnersThe days are getting longer and nights out are getting later — which is why OpenTable is very pleased to announce the 50 restaurant winners of OpenTable’s 2010 Diners’ Choice Awards for Best Late Night Find Restaurants. Derived from 5 million+ reviews submitted by OpenTable diners of more than 11,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, this list fetes the restaurants that serve up great food and fun well into the night.

Perfect for diners who hit the town when others are winding down, the list of winners is a great guide for the night-owl crowd. Honorees hail from cities all around the nation, such as Bluefin in Memphis, DISH in Dallas, Rumba in Chicago, Solas in Raleigh, Strip in Atlanta, and The Black Pearl in Ann Arbor. If you’re seeking supper after a late movie or a long evening at the office, these and other restaurants waiting to satisfy your appetite.

Find out which other restaurants made the list, and tell us what your late-night faves are on Facebook or in the comments.

‘Sex and the City 2′ Twitter Trivia Dinner Giveaway: Follow @OpenTable Today

SATC 2 Sex and the City 2 Twitter Trivia Dinner Giveaway: Follow @OpenTable Today
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

There’s no free lunch, but thanks to our ‘Sex and the City 2′ Twitter trivia giveaway, there is such a thing as free dinner. Today between 1PM-2PM PST (4PM-5PM EST), we’ll be giving away dinner for four at the restaurant of your choice in honor of the return of Carrie and Co. to the big screen. All it takes to win is a tweet!

To enter to win, follow @OpenTable on Twitter and watch out for our giveaway tweet of the day. Tweet back the correct answer to our “Sex and the City” trivia question and stay tuned. Dinner for four will be awarded to the first entrant who provides the correct answer. The winner will be announced on Twitter.

Read the official rules and regulations below, and, just like that, you could win dinner for your own fab four!

follow bird us c Sex and the City 2 Twitter Trivia Dinner Giveaway: Follow @OpenTable Today

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‘Sex and the City’ Restaurants: Where the Fab Four Dined in New York

Sex and the City 2 Sex and the City Restaurants: Where the Fab Four Dined in New York
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Not every restaurant featured in the “Sex and the City” franchise is real. Raw, where Smith first waited on Samantha in episode 76, doesn’t exist. Nor does La Doleur Exquise, the, ahem, S&M-themed restaurant in episode 24. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to retrace Carrie’s Manolo Blahnik-ed footsteps around the island of Manhattan — especially at its restaurants. In honor of the release of Sex and the City 2 tomorrow, here are some of the real-life restaurants featured on the series and in the films, at which you can raise a Cosmo to Ms. Bradshaw and her besties.

21 Club
Carrie bursts into tears while tearing into a steak at this clubby Manhattan classic as she learns Big has returned to town from Napa to have “a little heart thing” done (aka angioplasty).

ABC Kitchen
Before there was a Jean-Georges restaurant in this Manhattan home-décor mecca, Charlotte butts heads here with Bunny, the mother of all mother-in-laws, over a new bed for her and Trey.

Blue Water Grill
A Union Square favorite, Charlotte brunches at Blue Water Grill with Arthur, a Harvard grad, whose behavior is more perilous than chivalrous.

Brasserie 8 1/2
This midtown stand-by marks the spot where Carrie is discovered and recruited as a “real” model for Dolce & Gabbana, only to wind up as fashion roadkill.

Buddakan
Carrie and John’s rehearsal dinner for their temporarily doomed wedding is held at perennial Chelsea hotspot Buddakan in the first big-screen adaptation of the series.

Casa Mono
It was Irving at Irving when the show filmed, but now it’s the stylish Casa Mono, outside which Carrie and Charlotte spend time deciding how many of the male passers-by they would, um, well, you know.

Centrico
Before it was Mexican fave Centrico, it was Layla, at which Mr. Big (who was Mr. Ex) attends Carrie’s birthday party. There are both belly dancers and awkwardness as the single scribe celebrates another year.

Commerce
Commerce’s predecessor, Grange Hall (also this blogger’s favorite extinct restaurant), served as the Paris restaurant where Carrie’s French fans fete her (albeit without her) in the final episode of the series.

Da Marino
The second time’s the charm (at least for a time) for Big and Carrie as he serenades her over Italian food at Da Marino, where Chris Noth is a real-life regular.

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