On Our Plate: Foodspotting for iOS 7; Santa Cruz Restaurant Week; NYC Michelin Bib Gourmands; No Kid Hungry Month; Taste of Atlanta Discount

DRWHappenings on and around OpenTable…

* Foodspotting is cooler than ever, thanks to a fancy new update of its amazing app. Find out what’s new and download it today.

* The 2014 Michelin NYC Bib Gourmand honorees have been announced. Did your fave affordable eatery make the list?

* Save on tickets to Taste of Atlanta, October 25-27. OpenTable diners enjoy an exclusive savings on tickets, now through October 7th.

* Trending on recent OpenTable restaurant reviews? Squash blossoms!

* No Kid Hungry Month continues through September 30. Make a reservation at a participating restaurant in September to help end childhood hunger.

* Santa Cruz Restaurant Week reservations are open. Reserve now for $25 three-course dinners, October 2-9.

* Detroit Restaurant Week motors on! Snap up $30 gourmet dinners through September 29.

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Tweet of the Week: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

I’m not sure if it’s the change of seasons or what, but I’m seeing a lot of late-night posts about insomnia. Instead of tossing and turning, why not beef up your social calendar by making OpenTable reservations? That’s what Tracy Weiss (aka @Northforkd) suggests. The great thing about booking online is that you’re not beholden to a restaurant’s hours of operation; you can book anywhere, anytime — even at 4AM from your sofa. And, it absolutely beats counting sheep. PS: We love your travel suggestions, Tracy!


2014 NYC Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Restaurants

Family Recipe, a 2014 Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, serves dishes, such as fried rice, that wowed Michelin inspectors.

Ahead of the release of this year’s Michelin Guide New York stars, the 2014 New York City Bib Gourmand honorees have been named. Michelin’s Bib Gourmands honor restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). Most important, they are the restaurants that the Michelin inspectors frequent themselves. While the famous Michelin stars remain the most celebrated international distinction in the MICHELIN Guide, the Bib Gourmand is a highly desired honor among restaurateurs and one that is recognized by the many people who covet quality food at a reasonable price.

In the 2014 edition, 138 New York City restaurants, which include a diverse range of 31 cuisine types across the five boroughs, have been designated as Bib Gourmands, including:

ABC Cocina
Al Bustan
Aroma Kitchen & Wine Bar
Bread & Tulips
Char No. 4
DBGB Kitchen & Bar
Dirt Candy
El Parador
El Paso Taqueria
Family Recipe
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Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Squash Blossoms

This is the raved-about squash blossom flatbread served at COCO500 in San Francisco.

As heirloom tomato season wanes, the good new is that hyper-seasonal squash blossoms are ubiquitous now. They’ve been in their prime for several weeks and will continue to be present on menus awhile longer, as squash plants continue to produce blossoms that, due to the oncoming colder weather, won’t have a lot of time to set fruit. Typically, only male flowers are harvested, but you can use the female flowers if you’re willing — or mother nature is about to — sacrifice fruit. Although squash blossoms are commonplace in dishes these days, the very first time I had them was many years ago when a friend’s Italian grandmother fried some up. Like most avid eaters, I’ve always been willing to try anything that’s fried; to my delight, the delicate, buttery blossoms were a veggie revelation. Ever since then, I cannot pass up any opportunity to eat them. Although frying remains a popular presentation, there are many other ways to enjoy them. In fact, just last night, I had some sublime agnolotti with squash blossom pesto at Picholine. Find out what your fellow diners are saying about this floral treat in recent reviews on OpenTable.

Alder, New York, New York: “The food was delightful. I never knew what a dish was going to look like until it came out. Everything was unexpected.  And, squash blossoms stuffed with shrimp and squash? Just go!”

Bar Americain, New York, New York: “The stuffed squash blossoms were a highlight for me; they were delicate, perfectly stuffed,  and the black-pepper vinaigrette was a wonderful complement.”

The Chestnut Grille, Blowing Rock, North Carolina: “We began with the lump crab-stuffed squash blossoms, which were dynamite.”

Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar, St. Helena, California: “The service was great, and we had the squash blossom quesadilla and the heirloom tomato and melon salad. Both were tasty.”

Circa, Manhattan Beach, California: “Standout offerings: The tinned sardines from Spain with grilled rustic bread slices and fennel salad, battered squash blossoms filled with zucchini mousse, and the Mediterranean flatbread. Plates were meant to share, but I kept these all to myself.”

COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Food nothing less than spectacular! Started with uni/squid bruschetta, bursting with flavor. Next, a squash blossom flatbread, tasty and crunchy, not heavy.”

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