As if New York City Restaurant Week Winter 2010‘s terrific prices aren’t incentive enough to dine out at many of Manhattan’s classic restaurants, the fabled Russian Tea Room is offering up guided tours of the restaurant’s restored-yet-infrequently-viewed upper floors. Normally open only for private events, the 30-minute tour will highlight the lavish (and oftentimes unusual) décor, which includes a bear fish tank, bear chandeliers (Are you sensing a theme here?), and an automated diorama of the Kremlin. All things you don’t see every day. Or most days, really.
Calling all OpenTable diners! Has one of our smartphone mobile applications helped you book a table at the very last minute? Did you avoid a long wait by whipping out your iPhone and booking a table on the fly? Ever sail past the hungry masses at a restaurant’s bar thanks to some quick thinking and our Blackberry app? Has the Android app helped you save face with a loved one who (correctly!) thought you’d forgotten to make a reservation for a special occasion?
We want to hear your stories about how OpenTable’s mobile applications have helped you. Tell your true tales here in our comments section, over on Facebook, or on Twitter.
The 27th Annual Sundance Film Festival starts tomorrow and runs through January 31. In addition to being known for celebrities, skiing, snowboarding, and swag, the Sundance Film Festival attracts independent film fans from around the world. Park City, a tiny resort town in Utah, is normally home to fewer than 10,000 people, but its numbers can swell to almost 55,000 during the festival each year. What this means for diners is that most restaurants are swelling with hungry patrons.
Diners in the Chicago area are invited to join us as we empower Heartland Alliance to help the survivors of the recent earthquake in Haiti through Wake of the Quake. A Chicago non-profit organization which advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of endangered populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced, Heartland Alliance will use the funds collected from Wake of the Quake participating restaurants to make a difference in the lives of the people of Haiti.
From January 18-24, 2010, each participating restaurant will offer their patrons the opportunity to contribute to Haitian relief efforts by adding $1 (or more!) to their check. Help Heartland Alliance and Haiti by opening your hearts and wallets often.
Book your tables today, and beat the winter blues with dining deals that will satisfy your appetite and your bank account. And, naturally, stay tuned for more Winter Restaurant Weeks coming to a city near you.
Washington, D.C. Winter Restaurant Week begins Monday, January 11, 2010, and runs until the 17th. Presented by Destination DC and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, diners can take advantage of $20.10 three-course lunches and $35.10 for three-course dinners.
Whenever a year — or a decade — ends, a lot of people tend to talk about bests and worsts. Michael Bauer, the food and restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, has chosen to simply talk about what was most memorable. In his round-up of trends that took hold during the aughts, he calls out 10, including salumi, small plates, and OpenTable. (Thanks for the nod, Mr. Bauer!) Find out what else this writer will remember, and let us know what you’ll never forget about the previous decade in dining and food.