Top Chef D.C. Episode 7: ‘Poached’ Peas at The Palm D.C.

TCDC7 Just So You Know Top Chef D.C. Episode 7: Poached Peas at The Palm D.C.
Just so you know, if you ever stole my peas, I'd break your face, Alex.

Their numbers grow smaller each day, but the drama continues to build as” Top Chef” continues it’s cook-off in our capital. Kelly’s room is fast becoming a ghost town. Kevin is pleased with himself for his W, and Kenny remains convinced that the only reason he’s in jeopardy is because he’s too good. Also, he remains a self-proclaimed beast.

Angelo misses Tamesha and so do I. I loved her cussin’. He shines his shoes with tears of sadness and I’m wondering if those are jazz shoes or something. They look like it. Anyone? Tiffany may not have an opinion about his shoes, but she has an opinion of Angelo and it’s not good. She wonders, “Are you really helping me or are you trying to hurt me?” Smart cookie, that Tiffany.

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Top Kid-Friendly Restaurants: OpenTable’s 2010 Diners’ Choice Winners

Kid Friendly Restaurants 20101 Top Kid Friendly Restaurants: OpenTables 2010 Diners Choice WinnersAre you the proud parent of a foodie in training? Does your son or daughter enjoy dining out as much as you do? Picking a restaurant that will please everyone is easier than ever with the announcement of the national winners of OpenTable’s second annual Diners’ Choice awards for restaurants its diners deemed the most kid-friendly. The list of winning restaurants is derived from more than five million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This year’s group of winners includes the charming (The Farm of Beverly Hills at The Grove), the elegant (Landmarc at the Time Warner Center), the historic (America), and the fanciful (Max Brenner) — as well as everything in between. From steakhouses to sushi restaurants, there’s literally something for everyone.

Read the full list to find out if your favorites made the cut this year.

Rob Kinneen of Orso Talks Sustainable Sourcing in Alaska with The Cultivated Plate

This week, we visit with Rob Kinneen, executive chef at ORSO in Anchorage, Alaska. Born and bred in Alaska, when the culinary arts beckoned, Kinneen headed to Hyde Park, New York, to hone his skills at the Culinary Institute of America. After school, he remained in the lower 48, cooking first in the Big Easy and then North Carolina. Even though Alaska has a reputation for self-sufficiency, the state imports 97% of its food, a statistic that makes Kinneen cringe. Now a champion of Alaska’s producers, Kinneen is working hard to make sure the Last Frontier isn’t the last state to embrace sustainability.

Watch as Chef Kinneen opens up to OpenTable about the agony and the ecstasy of trying to source responsibly in the 49th state.

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DC Restaurant Week 2010: Where Will the ‘Real Housewives of DC’ Dine?

Real Housewives of Washington DC DC Restaurant Week 2010: Where Will the Real Housewives of DC Dine?
Advice to the RHDC: Don't fill up on the bread during DC Restaurant Week.

August is shaping up to be one of the most exciting months in our nation’s capital, in great part due to the premiere of The Real Housewives of Washington, D.C. on August 5th and the eagerly anticipated arrival of Washington D.C. Restaurant Week on August 16th.

Insanely popular with the populace of D.C., D.C. Restaurant Week includes more than 200 restaurants offering multi-course lunches and dinners for $20.10 and $35.10, respectively. Get-them-while-you-can-tables include 1789, Bibiana, Bourbon Steak, Co Co Sala, J & G Steakhouse, Lyon Hall, Oya, PotenzaPOV, RIS, and Zaytinya, among many others.

At OpenTable, we’re wondering if the world’s latest round of housewives you’re going to love to loathe will take advantage of two of DC’s tastiest weeks. We’ve got a suggestion for each to whet their appetites!

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Top Chef D.C. Episode 6: (War) Games People Play

TCDC6 RWB Judges Top Chef D.C. Episode 6: (War) Games People Play
Does Gale's refusal to wear red, white, or a blue make her a pinko? The State Department will investigate.

I watched “Top Chef “up in Anchorage, Alaska, this week, and I realized midway through that, on account of the time difference, I could have gone online to find out who went home without watching. You probably already know that one of my faves, Tamesha, got her walking papers. But, wait, how did it come to this? Judging from what transpired, it was a mix of a bad dish and a bad alliance with the devilish (and devilishly good looking) Angelo.

The QFC…

Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s returns as a guest judge, much to the chagrin of fellow Miamian Andrea (who repeatedly winks at Michelle, making it look like she has a tic), and the ep kicks off with a ridiculous challenge (in the grand tradition of ridiculous QFC challenges). Seriously, is anyone else waiting for a nude challenge? Probably not. Blech. Sorry, I even typed that. Okay, how about a blindfolded cooking challenge? It’s coming. You heard it here first. Anyway, the cheftestants have to cook a winning dish with exotic proteins, including crocodile, rattlesnake, yak, duck testicles (!), and emu eggs, among others. It’s not terribly crazy (excepting Amanda having to open her emu eggs with a hack saw) until about 10 minutes into prep when the chefs are forced to switch places with the person to their left. A lot of folks get hosed by this last-minute prep shift, but some also score as they are able to abandon an undesirable ingredient for an easier one. Continue reading…

The Cultivated Plate Visits Guy Reuge and Mirabelle’s Cultivated Kitchen Garden

OpenTable’s weekly feature The Cultivated Plate, in which we check in with chefs and restaurateurs about how and from where they source their ingredients, continues with chef Guy Reuge of Mirabelle in Stony Brook, New York.

Sourcing ingredients isn’t terribly challenging for Mirabelle. With a bevy of local farms on Long Island’s east end, chef Reuge and his staff have easy access to some of New York’s finest local ingredients. However, they wanted to take local a step further and have installed a kitchen garden on the grounds. Not yet big enough to provide all the sourcing (and it may never be for this very popular restaurant), the garden’s ingredients, particularly the bevy of herbs, show up in many dishes and cocktails.

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Summer Restaurant Weeks Are Here: Celebrate in a City Near You

Summer Restaurant Weeks 2010 Summer Restaurant Weeks Are Here: Celebrate in a City Near YouForget the shore! The coolest places to be this summer are restaurants, thanks to the summer Restaurant Weeks that are going on around the nation. Hard to resist because they’re so easy on the wallet, restaurant weeks are the best way to try out new establishments and revisit old favorites. In New York, home to the nation’s most famous and first restaurant week, it’s the most anticipated time of the year for bloggers, locals, visitors, and the restaurants themselves. In addition to the Big Apple’s two big weeks, July signals the start of celebrations in Atlanta, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Charlotte, Hudson County, South Jersey, and Toronto. August welcomes Restaurant Weeks in the cities of Alexandria, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Whether you’re hitting the road or staying home, keep checking our national Restaurant Week page for news about the hottest deals throughout the summer — and all year ’round — including extended dates!

Top Chef D.C. Episode 5: Lord Love a Duck

TCDC5Jacket Top Chef D.C. Episode 5: Lord Love a Duck
Chef Patrick O'Connell has terrific taste (in food, if not clothing).

Welcome to another week of TCDC and Ed Hardy, your favorite aspiring cheftestant. Don’t forget to join his Facebook group “Why Isn’t Ed Hardy on ‘Top Chef’?” Anyway, this week Kenny is sad because two competitors are gone (or so he says). We get a glimpse of some burgeoning alliances (or romances) in the way of Angelo bonding with Tamesha, admitting he’s attracted to her because she reminds him of himself. Ah, narcissism at its finest. Kelly thinks Angelo is gaming Angela, which could be a good guess. Ed and Tiffany are also growing closer, but in a far less creepy/game-y way.

The Quickfire Challenge…

Everything’s coming up crabs at the Hinkley Hilton. Padma is joined by guest judge Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington. Kevin is psyched because he’s cooked for O’Connell previously at the Bocuse d’Or. Angelo says something about having had crabs (and not the tasty kind). They get an hour to cook this hyperlocal ingredient that is still ALIVE. I’m really sad watching this because I hate to kill anything. Especially lobsters.

Anyway, it’s a total massacre. Crabs are being killed in every way possible – dismemberment, stabbings, baking, broiling, and boiling. People aren’t using tongs and are getting bitten. Some cheftestants aren’t used to the fact that there isn’t a lot of meat in blue crabs. Tamesha reveals she’s never picked or eaten a crab due to an allergy.

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