Restaurant News Roundup: 1834 Bar & Burger Means Business; The French Laundry Is Memorable; Cecconi’s Does Sunday Suppers; Le Gavroche Kicks Off Lobster Festival, and More

Restaurant News Round Up Restaurant News Roundup: 1834 Bar & Burger Means Business; The French Laundry Is Memorable; Cecconis Does Sunday Suppers; Le Gavroche Kicks Off Lobster Festival, and MoreThe latest news about top restaurants on OpenTable…

* It’s not the world’s biggest burger, but 1834 Bar & Burger in New York’s Financial District is serving a 10 pounder for $75. [Eater NY]

* Is Absinthe in San Francisco considering moving to bigger digs? [Grub Street San Francisco]

* Brother Jimmy’s BBQ restaurant is opening a branch in New York’s Union Square because, well, you can never have enough good barbecue, really. [Eater NY]

* Did you ever wish you came from a big Italian family that still ate big Sunday suppers together? Wish no more: Cecconi’s in West Hollywood has added family-style Sunday suppers. And they won’t break the bank at $50 for four people. [Grub Street Los Angeles]

* Double Crown in New York’s Noho is ready to reign supreme again with a new menu and a nip tuck. [Eater NY]

* Chef Scott Conant’s newest hot spot Faustina is now serving lunch. [Grub Street New York]

* The French Laundry cooked revered San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer’s most memorable meal, which is really saying something. [SF Gate]

* Home Restaurant & Bar in Atlanta (where “Top Chef” contestant Richard Blaise once worked) is closing at the end of March, opening next month as Coast Seafood & Raw Bar. [Front Burner]

* Lobster Festival returns to Le Gavroche in Vancouver for five weeks, serving a three-course lobster dinner for just $35 per person. [Scout Vancouver]

* On April 1, Manhattan restaurant Matsuri will host a festival honoring, er, um, let’s just say “manhood.” [Grub Street New York]

* Porta Via in Los Angeles has added a swanky bar and lounge. [Eater LA]

* New York City owns the rights to the name Tavern on the Green. The name will carry on, but let’s hope the cuisine does not. [The New York Times]

Best of New York Food 2010: New York Magazine Annoints the Elite

It may only be March, but it’s never too early for a list! After all, who wants to wait until December to learn what the best New York restaurants of the year are? Find out now, and start dining out at these notable eateries, courtesy of New York Magazine‘s Best of New York Food for 2010. Included, among others, are:

OpenTable for iPhone 3.0: For Diners Who Know Where They Want to Go (or Not)

iPhone 3.0 update OpenTable for iPhone 3.0: For Diners Who Know Where They Want to Go (or Not)OpenTable is pleased to announce the latest and greatest version of OpenTable for iPhone. That’s right, diners. We’ve hit the big 3.0! The new features in the OpenTable for iPhone 3.0 update were created specifically for diners like you — mobile enthusiasts who often know exactly where they want to go “without reservation” (pun intended). Of course, the application still remains essential for diners in search of suggestions and reservations on the fly.

With OpenTable for iPhone 3.0, you can now:

* Search for and book OpenTable restaurants by name — around your current location or in another city.

* Save and manage favorite restaurants right from your iPhone.

* Reserve further in advance (more than 30 days).

* Scan recently viewed restaurants plus detailed restaurant profiles, including photos, parking options, etc.

* Find 1,000-point restaurants in the search results easily, so you can earn free meals faster.

Download OpenTable for iPhone 3.0 today to enjoy all these features and others, including enhanced maps, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. To visit iTunes, click here.

Continue reading…

Which State Has the Most Food Bloggers? Should Critics Cook? Culinary Questions and Answers from Around the Web This Week

Questions and Answers Which State Has the Most Food Bloggers? Should Critics Cook? Culinary Questions and Answers from Around the Web This WeekI don’t have all the answers, but I’ve seen some interesting food and dining questions this week. Thankfully, either experts have answered them — or you (not I) will have to.

* Do you know which state has the most food bloggers? Warning: This is a trick question.  [The New York Times]

* Should critics have to cook to be qualified for their jobs? [Denver Post]

* Why do Chinese food and doughnuts go together like peas and carrots in California (and my tummy)? [The Atlantic]

* How do you know if you’re a foodie? [Serious Eats]

* Which restaurant has the nicest restroom in the U.S.? [America's Best Restroom]

* Are you the next “Vacation Food Dude”? [Eater PDX]

* What should diners do when seated next to a boisterous table? [SF Gate]

* Why don’t servers write down orders? [Chow]

* Did the weather keep you away from chain restaurants? [Nation's Restaurant News]

Celebrity Spotting: Bateman and Arnett; Kelly Bensimon Cooks with Scott Conant; Katie Couric and Matt Lauer Lunch; Where “The Bachelor” Wed His Bride, and More

A round-up of where some of your most (and least) favorite stars have been dining recently…

* A pregnant Amy Adams (Julie & Julia) dined at Napa Valley Grille. [EaterLA]

* Celebrity chef Mario Batali (and his Crocs) greeted fellow diner Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight) at Comme Ca.  [EaterLA]

* “Arrested Development” costars Jason Bateman and Will Arnett took a meeting with Hollywood execs at Lure Fishbar. [US Magazine]

* Kelly Bensimon of “Real Housewives of New York” got a lesson in making pasta from New York chef Scott Conant of Faustina and Scarpetta fame. Doesn’t Sam Talbot (“Top Chef”) know how to make pasta? [US Magazine]

* Actor/director Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen) and supermodel wife Christy Turlington hit up Napa’s Bottega. [Tablehopper]

* Someone gave singer Tracy Chapman one reason to dine at DOSA on Valencia. No word on whether or not that someone had a fast car.  [Tablehopper]

* Anchor Katie Couric broke bread midday with former “Today” colleague Matt Lauer at Le Caprice in Manhattan. [NY Post]

* Megastar Tom Cruise dined with CBS/Viacom boss Sumner Redstone at Il Piccolino in Beverly Hills. [NY Post]

* Gitane hosted Green Day’s Mike Dirnt. [Tablehopper]

* “Sex and the City” director/producer/writer Michael Patrick King ate with friends at Chaya. [EaterLA]

* “Parenthood” costars Peter Krause and Lauren Graham made an appearance at Quince in San Francisco. [Tablehopper]

* Super skater Michelle Kwan tucked into a meal at Legal Sea Foods. [Grub Street Boston]

* ABC’s “The Bachelor” lovebirds Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney got hitched at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes.  [South Bay Foodies via Eater]

* Oscar winner Mo’Nique attended a luncheon at Philippe. [US Magazine]

* Johnnie’s on the Side hosted the musicans of Muse. [Grub Street Boston]

* Audrina Patridge (“The Hills) and Julie Benz (“Dexter”) supped at Katsuya in Hollywood. [US Magazine]

* Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was spotted at Scampo. [Grub Street Boston]

* On-again couple Pink and husband Carey Hart stopped in for a bite at Geoffrey’s in Malibu. [People]

* Former American Pie ingenue Tara Reid’s beau popped the question at The Little Door in Los Angeles. [People]

* Actor Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island) lunched at Manhattan’s Brasserie 44. [New York Daily News]

* Precious costars Gabourey Sidibe and Lenny Kravitz attended a luncheon at Asia de Cuba in West Hollywood’s Mondrian Hotel. [US Magazine]

* Anything-but-square designer Christian Siriano (“Project Runway”) was spotted at Upstairs on the Square. [Grub Street Boston]

* Michelle Trachtenberg of “Gossip Girl” sampled the guac at Dos Caminos. [Grub Street New York]

* Kanye West and muse Amber Rose were seen at Lure Fishbar. [Grub Street New York]

* Everyone’s favorite “Golden Girl” (sorry, Rue) and future “Saturday Night Live” host Betty White was spotted at Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco. [Tablehopper]

* Actor-cum-mobile spokesperson Luke Wilson was recognized dining at the Bay Area’s Slanted Door. [Tablehopper]

Chef Watch: Bauer and Co.’s Rising Star Chefs 2010; How Wolfgang Became a Brand; Nobu’s Rise to the Top; Ed Brown’s Loves; Susur Lee’s Chicken Feet; David Myers on Sona’s Shuttering, and More

Chef Watch1 Chef Watch: Bauer and Co.s Rising Star Chefs 2010; How Wolfgang Became a Brand; Nobus Rise to the Top; Ed Browns Loves; Susur Lees Chicken Feet; David Myers on Sonas Shuttering, and More

Chefs making food and news…

* San Francisco Chronicle executive food and wine editor Michael Bauer and his colleagues select the Bay Area’s Rising Star Chefs for 2010. Included are John Paul Carmona (Manresa), Perry Hoffman (étoile), Timothy Hollingsworth (The French Laundry), and Charlie Kleinman (Wexler’s). [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Wolfgang Puck, whose restaurants include 20.21, Chinois, CUT Las Vegas, Spago Beverly Hills, and many others, details of his ascension up the culinary ladder — and reveals he almost ended it all when he was fired from his first kitchen job as a young man. [Los Angeles Times]

* Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu London, Nobu New York, and others) shares his similar success story, which also includes suicidal thoughts after his first restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska, burned down, leaving him in serious debt. [ABC News]

* Ed Brown of eighty one in New York reveals a few of his favorite food-related things. [The Daily Beast]

* Susur Lee thinks that New Yorkers, like parents,”just don’t understand,” and we’re not ready to embrace chicken feet at Shang. Oh no, he didn’t! (Totally kidding, Chef Lee. You’re probably right!) [Grub Street New York]

* Laurent Tourondel (BLT Fish, BLT Market, BLT Steak) is ending his partnership with Jimmy Haber. They will, essentially, split the BLT empire. All I care about is who gets the bacon. icon wink Chef Watch: Bauer and Co.s Rising Star Chefs 2010; How Wolfgang Became a Brand; Nobus Rise to the Top; Ed Browns Loves; Susur Lees Chicken Feet; David Myers on Sonas Shuttering, and More [The New York Times]

* David Myers discusses shuttering Los Angeles restaurant Sona (temporarily) in May while he scouts for and sets up shop in a new space. [Los Angeles Times]

Should Restaurants Ban Bad Tippers?

Should Restaurants Ban Bad Tippers Should Restaurants Ban Bad Tippers?Tipping has been on my mind a lot lately. Yours, too, judging by the volume of comments we saw on Facebook when we raised the issue — not once, but twice. It’s on my mind again, as Slashfood’s Hanna Raskin reports on a restaurant (not on OpenTable) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that banned a bad tipper. It may sound harsh, but restaurants certainly aren’t the first businesses to fire their clients. In doing so, the restaurant’s management may have felt they were protecting their employees’ interests (and wages!).

What do you think? Did the restaurant go too far in showing the patron the door — permanently? And, did the diner in question go too far by retaining a lawyer? Share your thoughts on this touchy topic here or on Facebook.

Trendspotting: Foraging for Food; Mixology with Meals; Pigs; Pop Rocks; Pop-Up Restaurants; Sharks; Sustainable Restaurants, and More

In food-related news from the blogosphere and your favorite food sections…

* Forget singing for your supper; it’s all about searching for it these days, thanks to a renewed interest in foraged ingredients. I don’t mind the practice, but this word is beginning to crop up on menus everywhere and it’s driving me a bit batty. [Nation's Restaurant News] [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

* New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz wants to ban the use of salt in food prep at restaurants in New York State. In other words, he wants to ruin all the restaurant food in New York State. [Nation's Restaurant News]

* Are Pop Rocks the new truffles? Probably not, but some restaurants in New York (Klee, Kefi, and Fishtail by David Burke) are embracing this clamorous candy and other 7-11 delights as ingredients in high-end dishes. [New York Post]

* I did not know that: Eggs aren’t dairy. Whew! I recently did a cleanse that excluded dairy, but I adore eggs so it was sheer (and, in hindsight, unnecessary) torture. Thanks to Carolina Santos-Neve and Epicurious for clearing this up.  [The Epi-Log]

* It’s not easy to not eat meat, but Chow’s Roxanne Webber has some insights as to how vegetarian and vegan chefs make their meat-free dishes so delicious. [Chow]

* First craft beers, now cocktails are being paired with food at fine restaurants. Can wine get a break? [The Atlantic] [Washington Post]

* Pop-up restaurants are, well, popping up all over New York, much to diners’ great joy. [Los Angeles Times]

* Restaurateurs are embracing sustainability in ways big and small, from building materials to menu items. [Los Angeles Times]

* Shark is not sustainable, in case you were wondering. [The Atlantic]

* In news sure to shake Miss Piggy to her stilettos, whole-pig restaurants are all the rage in Southern California. [Los Angeles Times]

* Despite their appetite for whole pigs, diners want to get healthier. [Nation's Restaurant News]

* Diners also want to eat outdoors, especially in New York. [The New York Times]

* Food is my religion, and restaurants are my houses of worship. Thankfully, I am not alone. [The Grist]

Dining in Denver: Not-To-Be-Missed Restaurants in Colorado’s Capital

Dining in Denver Dining in Denver: Not To Be Missed Restaurants in Colorados CapitalDenver Post dining critic Tucker Shaw recently compiled a list of restaurants that “define Denver’s culinary momentum.” The criteria for earning a spot on the list were quite lofty.  Cost, food, hospitality, service, and the space itself mattered, but the overarching question Shaw asked himself was, “Did my experience at this restaurant enrich my life?” If that’s not a tall order, I’m not sure what is.

Meeting the challenge and making the top 10 are Bones, Fruition Restaurant, Lola, Olivéa, Rioja, Root Down, and Table 6, among others. Honorable mentions for “trendsetters” include Argyll, Sushi SaSa, Twelve Restaurant, and Venue. Palace Arms at the Brown Palace and Restaurant Kevin Taylor receive honorable mentions under the”lasting hits” category.

Congratulations to these standouts in the Denver dining scene.

State Your Complaint: Restaurant Critics; Restaurant Designs; Restaurant Menus; Restaurant Websites, and Being Treated Like a Regular (Huh?)

State Your Complaint State Your Complaint: Restaurant Critics; Restaurant Designs; Restaurant Menus; Restaurant Websites, and Being Treated Like a Regular (Huh?) * Will a Twitter campaign take out your least favorite critic? Doubtful, but one tweeter is trying, taking aim at Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila. [Grub Street Los Angeles]

* Phil Vettel stews over restaurant design flaws. I would concur with the oversized menus being a problem. I never know what to do with them if I just want to enjoy a cocktail before ordering but am sitting at a tiny table for two. Suggestions? [The Stew]

* Menus are less-than-appetizing at many restaurants, as far as Baltimore Sun blogger Laura Vozzella is concerned. She doesn’t mention my new pet peeve, which is seeing the word “foraged” on menus (Way too precious and fetish-y for me, thankyouverymuch!). [Dining@Large]

* Restaurant websites come under fire for a few of the right reasons. [Eater PDX]

* Restaurants come under fire for all the wrong reasons, thanks to the Chicago Tribune‘s Christopher Borrelli and his resentment at (GASP!)  being treated like a regular (when he is, in fact, a regular). Here’s a bit of free advice, Mr. Borrelli: If you don’t appreciate that restaurants or the barristas at your local Starbucks are able to anticipate what you’ll order, stop ordering the very same thing every time you dine out or grab a coffee. Live a little! Try something new — but not out of spite, because that’s just plain silly. That is all. [Chicago Tribune]