As you may have guessed, I am a big fan of restaurants. So, it pains me to talk about any of them in a negative light, but I just had to share a recent dining out experience. A group of us, each one a bigger foodie than the next, were hitting up a high-end, very well-reviewed restaurant I’d been to when it first opened and had very much enjoyed. I also know a few of the folks who work there. Unfortunately, they were off that evening. I say unfortunately because the service was so, well, unfortunate.
Four people in our party had never eaten at this restaurant before. And, clearly, neither had our server. She knew next to nothing about the menu. And I wish I could say this was an exaggeration. It was not. She had to go into the kitchen no fewer than eight times. EIGHT times. No one at the table had any allergies, so it wasn’t because we were asking if anything had nuts/shellfish/gluten/dairy, etc. Rather, we were asking questions such as, “What kind of oysters do you have?” (Her response: “Raw.”) and “How are the lamb chops prepared?” (Her first answer: “Rare, medium rare, medium, or well done.” This was actually better than her second answer, which was, “On a bed of vegetables.”).
ZOMG. We’re getting down to the wire. Just one episode away from the finale. Joining me for the penultimate (which is actually always better than any finale – really. Think about it for a minute. I’m totally right!) is aspiring cheftestant Ed Hardy. We’re chatting on delay again because I was at the US Open, watching Roger Federer serve up a big can of whoopa$$ to Roger Soderling.
Hey, Ed! First, why do you think they chose Singapore?
No one can argue with the cuisine of Singapore. It combines some of the best elements of different Pacific Rim cuisines along with some great spicy heat.
Does this give Angelo an unfair advantage?
Fine. Before we get into this at all, call it straight away — who won’t make the Top 3?
I’m “liken” Kelly to NOT make it to the top 3. Remember the trouble she had with never cooking Kung Pao before? She hasn’t really won anything, and she has made a living in the middle of the pack. Not a recipe for success. Continue reading…
Atlanta:Outstanding garden views with a waterfall set off the casual elegance of this restaurant. Dine here and you’ll enjoy some of the best Northern Italian cuisine in Dunwoody.
Boston: Catch the incredible views and release your appetite at this classic Boston institution.
Chicago: Located in the West Loop, this restaurant locally sources every ingredient possible – from fresh fruits and vegetables to their very own draft beer.
Los Angeles: This week’s Spotlight is good at both restaurant locations. One is inland and one is beachside, but they operate under the same inspiration – serving simple, rustic dishes crafted from fresh ingredients in the style of Provençal bistros and Tuscan osterias.
New York: This tri-level hotspot in Midtown Manhattan is serving a beautiful blend of cuisines and flavors. The ravishing results are a far cry from your basic taco or Thai wrap.
San Francisco: This week’s Spotlight is good at two restaurant locations. One is situated in the heart of the city, and the other is outside the hustle and bustle on a picturesque plot. Both restaurants stick with their farm-to-table sensibilities – serving fresh, simple, inspirational cuisine.
Tune in at 8PM EDT as we reveal the restaurants participating in this week’s Spotlight offers, and be sure to buy yours before the deals go dark tomorrow night!
Don’t miss these opportunities to make the most of your dining experiences over the holiday. And, remember to tune in on Tuesday as we announce our OpenTable Spotlight offers in Atlanta, Boston, New York — as well as Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Happy Labor Day from everyone at OpenTable, and happy dining!
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?
“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!
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!
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 view. The 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.