Mother’s Day isn’t too far away, and OpenTable wants to know your thoughts on Mom’s special day. What’s your favorite cocktail — a Bloody Mary or a Bellini? Will you dine with your mother AND your mother-in-law? Answer these and other pressing questions in our short survey today. It’s free, it’s fast — and fun!
Restaurant critics create the news, and sometimes they make the news….
* The New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton’s identity has been compromised by the sneaky peeps at Eater, while eating KFC of all things. [Gawker]
* New York Magazine reviewer Adam Platt clarifies a few things for those wanting to compromise his identity. [GrubStreet New York]
* Michael Bauer will willingly reveal his identity to you — if you win first prize in the “SFGate Top 100 Foodspotter Awards” and get to share a meal with the San Francisco Chronicle scribe. [SFGate]
* Mark Hayter, a new reviewer, reluctantly joins the mix in the Lone Star State and shares some of his self doubt about being critical. [The Courier]
* Canadian foodies debate the merits of professional food critics versus those of online amateurs. [Macleans]
* Howard Kurtz ponders the merits of critics in general. [Washington Post]
From the “Not-Exactly-Breaking-News” files, food photography is rampant at restaurants, thanks to, first, Flickr, then Twitpic, and now Foodspotting. The act of creating food porn, as a lot of people call it, while eating out has become more acceptable, even though it annoys some diners. I admit I’ve done this a few times — but very surreptitiously and only to let a friend see what she’s missing. Cruel, I know.
The New York Times details the rise of food photography’s popularity and also provides a practical guide from blogger Andrew Scrivani to taking the best food photos on the fly. If you don’t want to offend your fellow diners, at Bon Appetit, BA Foodist Andrew Knowlton list three simple rules for taking food pics on the sly. Whatever you do regarding foodie photography, don’t do it at Alinea, lest you incur the wrath of the great Grant Achatz.
Recently reviewed restaurants on the OpenTable network…
* Authentic Argentinian cuisine is alive and well at Carlitos Gardel in Los Angeles. [Los Angeles Times]
* Newly opened in the City of Angels, S. Irene Virbila says don’t miss District. [Los Angeles Times]
It’s still a bit more than a month away, but it’s never too soon to make a Mother’s Day reservation. OpenTable has launched our national page for Mother’s Day specials across the U.S. and in Canada and Mexico. There are tons of terrific prix-fixe offerings and special perks, such as the $10 bottomless glass of Champagne at Crab Landing in San Francisco (remember to take a taxi or enlist a designated driver!).
Beyond dining deals and discounts, you’ll also find an array of delicious dishes being prepared exclusively for deserving moms. The Harrison in Manhattan suggests their sublime Sunday sauce (just like Carmela Soprano would make — only better), while The Oak Room at The Plaza is making a decadent lobster eggs benedict. In D.C., Central Michel Richard recommends their take on a lobster burger, and neighboring Cure Bar & Bistro is baking up a special Maryland Blue Crab Pie. Chicago’s Park Grill has created a lemon verbena cheesecake (Before the perfume department at Bloomingdale’s was born, all moms smelled like lemon verbena.). At Salpicón, also in the Windy City, they’ve crafted a dish of prawns in tomatillo sauce, to appeal to mom’s spicier side. Spruce in the Bay Area is offering a super-seasonal, savory-crusted spring lamb. Bistro St. Tropez in Philadelphia is serving banana pan perdu — sure to satisfy mothers who have a sweet tooth. Speaking of sweet, LA’s Citizen Smith is offering a raspberry Pacific swordfish (I love savory dishes with a bit of sweet, don’t you?).
Hungry yet? I know I am, and the dishes listed here are just a smattering of the great meals that await you and your family on Mother’s Day. What is her favorite food to eat on her special day? Let us know what your mom has an appetite for and where you’re planning on taking her, here or over on Facebook.
Bay Area foodies — and fortunate restaurateurs and chefs — rejoice! Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants.”restaurant critic has released his carefully curated annual list of the “
Cuisine types reveal the melting pot that the Bay Area restaurant scene is, with Asian, barbecue, California-Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Moroccan, Peruvian, and Vietnamese populating the list alongside California, Contemporary American, and Italian, among others. A very helpful feature of Bauer’s culinary guide to one of the world’s top cities for food is its noise ratings, a factor that can help diners in search of a lively experience or a peaceful meal. Bauer also points out house specialties to help novices order well. Insider insights regarding parking make arriving in time for your reservation even easier.
While we all may gaze at critics with envy, Bauer has revealed, in his blog and in the accompanying San Francisco Chronicle Magazine article, that putting together this exhaustive, impressive, and informative round-up is anything but easy. Call it a labor of love, but it remains a labor, with hard choices and harsh cuts right up until press time. He writes in the Magazine of the process, ” Maybe next year I should offer the Top 150.” Sounds good to us!
Honorees include: A16, Acquerello, Ad Hoc, Amber India, Ame, Aziza, Baker and Banker, Bar Bambino, BayWolf, Betelnut, BIX, Bottega, Bouchon, Boulevard, Cafe La Haye, Camino, Chapeau, Chez Panisse, Chez Papa Resto, COCO500, Coi, Cyrus, The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, Dosa, Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Flora, Flour+Water, Foreign Cinema, Frances, Frascati, The French Laundry, Greens, House of Prime Rib, Jardiniere, Kaygetsu, La Folie, Madrona Manor, Manresa, Masa’s, Michael Mina, Murray Circle at Cavallo Point, Neela’s, Nombe, One Market, Perbacco/Barbacco, Pesce, Picco/Pizzeria Picco, Piperade, Poggio, Press, Quince, Range, Redd, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Rivoli, RN74, Sante, Slanted Door, Solbar, SPQR, Spruce, Sushi Ran, Terra, The Tipsy Pig, Town Hall, Va De Vi, Wexler’s, Willi’s Wine Bar, Wood Tavern, Yoshi’s Jazz Club and Restaurant, and Zuni Cafe.
How many of Bauer’s best of the Bay Area restaurants list have you eaten at? What restaurants didn’t make the cut but should have? Let us know here or join the conversation over on Facebook.
Everybody loves brunch! And now finding the best places to eat the Sunday meal with something for everyone is easier than ever, thanks to the release of the 50 restaurant winners of OpenTable’s 2010 Diners’ Choice Awards for Best Brunch. Derived from nearly four million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners of nearly 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, this list celebrates the restaurants that make Sunday one of the best dining days of the week.
Winners include restaurants that serve over-the-top brunch fare, such as Norma’s in Manhattan (If you haven’t had the Foie Gras Brioche French Toast or the Hudson Valley Duck Confit Hash, you haven’t lived) and Atlanta’s Relish (Krispy Kreme ® Bread Pudding) and those that turn out sumptuous favorites with local flair every weekend, such as Charlotte’s Pewter Rose (Fried Green Tomato Benedict) and Gertrude’s (Tilghman Island Eggs, i.e. fried oysters and poached eggs) in Baltimore.
Congratulations to all the restaurants recognized in the Best Brunch category. Find out if your favorite made our list, and reserve a table for this weekend, Easter, Mother’s Day — or any given Sunday — today.
The list of James Beard Foundation Awards nominees for 2010 has been released. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work and great talents have been recognized by the industry’s most prestigious organization. The winners will be announced on May 3, 2010, but there aren’t any losers in this round-up. Nominees include:
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
* Bibou, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chefs/Owners: Pierre and Charlotte Calmels
* Flour + Water, San Francisco, California
Chef/Partner: Thomas McNaughton
Partners: David White and David Steele
* Frances, San Francisco, California
Chef/Owner: Melissa Perello
* Marea, New York, New York
Chef/Partner: Michael White
Partner: Chris Cannon
* RN74, San Francisco, California
Chef: Jason Berthold
Owners: Michael Mina and Rajat Parr
OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT AWARD
* Boulevard, San Francisco, California
Chef/Owner: Nancy Oakes
Owner: Pat Kuleto
* Daniel, New York, New York
Chef/Owner: Daniel Boulud
Owner: Joel Smilow
* Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
Chef/Owner: Frank Stitt
Owner: Pardis Stitt
* Spiaggia, Chicago, Illinois
Chef/Partner: Tony Mantuano
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
* La Grenouille, New York, New York
Owners: Charles Masson and Gisèle Masson
* Michael Mina, San Francisco, California
Chef/Owner: Michael Mina
* Vetri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chefs/Owners: Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin
OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL AWARD
* Paul Grieco, Hearth, New York, New York
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE AWARD
* A16, San Francisco, California
Wine Director: Shelley Lindgren
* Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, Colorado
Wine Director: Bobby Stuckey
* Jean Georges, New York, New York
Wine Director: Bernard Sun
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
* Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
* Jeff Michaud, Osteria, Philadelphia, Pennsyvlania
* Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
* Bryan Voltaggio, VOLT, Frederick, Maryland
Best Chef: Pacific
* Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles, California
* Jeremy Fox, Ubuntu, Napa, California
* David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California
* Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, California
* Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco, California
Best Chef: South
* Zach Bell, Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, Florida
* Scott Boswell, Stella!, New Orleans, Louisiana
* John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans, Louisiana
* Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida
Read more about the James Beard Foundation and the 2010 Awards, click here. Purchase tickets here. And, reserve your seat at the next James Beard House dinner in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for a unique dining experience in the birthplace of modern American gastronomy.
Easter is less than two weeks away. Have you made your reservations for the day? No matter where you live, OpenTable can help you find the right food and a restaurant with the right mood for celebrants. Visit our international Easter reservations page to search for tables where you are — or where you’ll be, if you’re traveling for the holiday. From locations across the U.S. to Canada and the U.K., let us help you plan a special day.
* The Boston Herald spotlights local chefs Oscar Alvarez of Via Matta and Guillermo Machado of Lala Rokh along with Shelley Som, general manager of Beacon Hill Bistro, who have worked their way to the top at some of Boston’s top restaurants. [Boston Herald]
* Joey Campanaro, who has wowed downtown Manhattan diners at The Little Owl and Market Table as well as opening-any-minute and much-buzzed-about Kenmare, may be setting his sights westward. [Grub Street Los Angeles]
* It’s “Cribs: The Chefs Edition” as Florian Hugo, executive chef at Manhattan’s Brasserie Cognac (and great-great-great grandson of author Victor Hugo), shows off his family’s stylish Upper East Side digs. [New York Post]