It’s the Great Pumpkin: 15 Rave Reviews for Gourmet Gourd

pumpkin blogForget artificially flavored pumpkin spice lattes (and don’t get me started on pumpkin ales!); this fall, it’s all about fresh pumpkin. A true superfood, pumpkin has almost everything an eater could want in a single ingredient — protein, fiber, carotenoids, flavor, versatility, and much more. It’s a variety of squash and it can be used dozens — if not hundreds! — of ways when placed in the hands of a creative chef. Diners who are partaking of the real thing are encountering deeply satisfying dishes that capture the essence of autumn in every bite. Find out what they’re sharing in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews. And, ICYMI, here is a picture of the world’s largest pumpkin.

* Dettera Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ambler, Pennsylvania: “My dessert was pumpkin stuffed doughnuts with salted caramel ice cream. The doughnuts were light, the pumpkin smooth with just the right amount of sweetness, and the ice cream was sweet and very caramel-y.”

* Eddie Papa’s American Hangout, Pleasanton, California: “We also shared the seasonal pumpkin egg rolls and would definitely order them again!”

* Floriana, Washington, D.C.: “The pumpkin jalapeno beignets were out of this world!”

* Grove, Grand Rapids, Michigan: “Dessert was pumpkin puree, graham cracker, cinnamon ice cream, and toasted marshmallows. Grove never disappoints!”

The Helmand Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland: “Delicious starters, the kaddo bowrani baked pumpkin is not to be missed — perfect with the entree as a side for a contrast to the savory spices in the entree.”

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina: “The pumpkin semifreddo were as tasty as anything we’ve ever eaten in Charleston.”

Mark’s American Cuisine, Houston, Texas: “Munchkin pumpkins made their seasonal debut this past weekend — which was great news for me as I have been a big fan of these lobster-stuffed goodies over the years that they have appeared on Mark’s menu.”

Pamir Restaurant, Morristown, New Jersey: “Wonderful eggplant stew, and delicious pumpkin kadu soup. A real treat from the Middle East. Kabobs were tasty, but the best were the pumpkin-filled turnovers.”

Continue Reading

Vote for Canada’s Best New Restaurant

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.39.05 PMAirCanada’s enRoute invites you to choose the 2014 People’s Choice Award for Canada’s Best New Restaurant. Cast your vote and enter for your chance to win a trip to the gala event in November. Food writer Andrew Braithwaite will narrow down the list to his top 10 in the November issue of AirCanada enRoute magazine. Eligible restaurants must have opened between June 2013 and June 2014 to be considered for this year’s list, with intelligence gathered from a panel of the country’s leading food professionals.

The 30 nominees for Canada’s best new restaurants 2014 include:

Ayden Kitchen & Bar

Bar Buca

Black Pig Bistro

The Blacktail Florist

Byblos

The Chase

Cinara

Farmer’s Apprentice

Fat Pasha

Le Serpent

Luckee

Wolf in the Fog

Woodwork

Continue Reading

Watch It: Pay with OpenTable Demo

Diners can now use OpenTable mobile payments to settle their check at participating restaurants in New York and San Francisco, and, soon, in 18 additional cities before the year’s end. Can’t wait to try it out? See the app in action in our new video.

For additional information about mobile payments and to view the current list of participating restaurants, visit http://pay.opentable.com/. If you have a restaurant and are interested in providing your guests with our mobile payments experience, you can learn more at http://pay.opentable.com/restaurants.

20 Culinary Questions with Lee Schrager, Founder of the Food Network South Beach + New York City Wine & Food Festivals

Lee_Schrager_2 copy[1] copyLee Brian Schrager is one of the nation’s preeminent event planners and media relations experts, serving as the vice president of corporate communications & National Events at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Known for his creation of both the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals, Schrager is the author of The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook and the recently released Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and at the School of Hospitality Management at Florida International University. His greatest culinary indulgence is that he travels for food. You can follow him on his culinary excursions on Twitter at @Lee_Schrager.

1. What are some of the best qualities of the Miami dining scene? Its diversity – from neighborhood joints to white-tablecloth fine dining, there’s a spot to fit any taste. There are strong cultural influences on Miami’s dining scene as well; mostly Latin due to our location, but you can find just about any type of food here.

2. Any restaurants at which you’re something of a regular? There are several! Sugarcane, Mandolin, Ni. Do. Caffé, MC Kitchen, Yardbird, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink – the list keeps growing.

3. If I come to Miami, where must I dine? That depends on how long you’re here and how many places I can give you – there are so many truly satisfying options now. Miami’s culinary scene has grown exponentially and continues to do so.

4. Last best restaurants you dined at? I had great meals recently at both Traymore and Touché.

5. Restaurants you’d most like to try but have yet to — anywhere? If in Miami, I’m looking forward to getting to Drunken Dragon and Porfirio’s.

6. Favorite cities for dining outside your own? This is also a long list – I was recently in Tuscany, which I love, and also experienced the culinary scene in Israel, which I was amazed by.  I’m also a fan of the street food scene wherever I travel.

7. Destination dining cities you’d love to visit? Berlin and Chile.

8. What’s your overall favorite type of cuisine? I’m a fan of Italian cuisine, but it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. I love fresh, simple, ingredient-driven food.

9. Small shared plates, tasting menu or app/entrée dessert? Depends on the group of people I’m dining with – it’s important to know your party when evaluating this choice. I tend to lean toward shared plates though, in an effort to try as many of the dishes offered as possible.

10. Dish you can’t resist ordering when you see it on a menu? Roast chicken and/or fried chicken – it calls my name.

Continue Reading