This sweet tweet from diner Amy (aka @NoMeatballs) made our week! We’re so very glad to power your dinner reservations. But, we have to ask, Amy — why no meatballs?
If you’ve ever belonged to a CSA program, you are well-versed in the joys of kohlrabi. It’s a popular offering from growers, as kohlrabi is super-easy to sow and sort of foolproof when it comes to pests. A cool-weather crop and member of the cabbage family, it is fast growing and hearty. It’s also delicious and, you guessed it, nutritious. Low in calories, and high in fibers and phytochemicals, kohlrabi is also a wonderful source of vitamin C. While your average bear may be stumped as to how to treat these squat, alien-like vegetables, chefs are not! They’re taking these unique-looking gems and dazzling diners with soups, slaws, salads, and more. Find out what diners are saying about kohlrabi.
* A16, Oakland, California: “Highly recommend the house-made made pastas and the kohlrabi salad to balance all of the richness of the main dishes. The fried capers on this salad where great.”
* Cascina Spinasse, Seattle, Washington: “Every dish my wife and I had was drop-dead delicious. Started with eggs scrambled with lobster mushrooms cooked in prawn butter and the kohlrabi and watermelon radish salad — outstanding!”
* flour + water, San Francisco, California: “The pastas are all house-made as are the pizzas. For appetizers, we shared the braised octopus with melon and kohlrabi. Very refreshing and delicious. ”
* Girl & the Goat, Chicago, Illinois: “Kohlrabi salad was over the top, about the best salad I ever had.”
The University of Colorado at Boulder is getting ready for homecoming weekend, as is Boulder restaurant the Beehive. Tomorrow, on Saturday, October 26th, the Buffs will square off against the Arizona Wildcats — and hungry diners will be cheering on their team at the Beehive. The Beehive specializes in feel-good, fun food from area farms, and they’ll be serving up seasonal specialities to help fuel up football fans and alums as they root for their team.
The festivities kick off early at 4PM with bar specials until 6:30PM, including $5 Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and Beehive Goodness, $5 house wines, $3 local craft beers, and special snacks from $2-$6. And, naturally, they are serving a full menu in the dining room.
Book your table at the Beehive for Saturday now, and get ready to catch a bit of Flatiron Fever!
In honor of the 2013 Diners’ Choice Awards for Top 100 Wine Lists, we’re wondering about sommeliers and wine service. If a restaurant has a sommelier and I’m ordering a bottle of wine (which is pretty much a given!), I always confer with her/him. Sure, I know what I like. However, putting oneself in the hands of a skilled sommelier always adds the elements of education and surprise. I’ve often tried wines I wouldn’t have necessarily zeroed in on, and, time and again, they have all been within my budget. Are you like me when it comes to consulting with a wine professional on your order — or do you prefer to go it alone? Weigh in on our dining poll.
There are many metrics that go into creating a standout wine list, and one is, absolutely, value. We asked sommeliers at several of the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Wine Lists restaurants to reveal the best values on their wine lists.
* Alexandria Cubbage, Head Sommelier, Veritas, New York, New York: “One of the best values on the Veritas wine list is the 1995 magnum of Stony Hill Chardonnay for $275. It represents a great value because this wine delivers the complexities and layered subtleties of fine Burgundy with the fruit character of Napa Valley at a fraction of the cost of fine Burgundy. Stony Hill made its first vintage of Chardonnay in 1952, and continues to showcase the longevity with which well-made wines from Napa Valley can attain. This bottle is also special because it is in magnum form and is available on the Veritas wine list from Park B. Smith’s personal wine collection. It is a rare treat to have this wine on our list.”
* Harley Carbery, Director of Wine, Aureole, Las Vegas, Nevada: “Hirsch, Bohan Dillon, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2011 for $85 a bottle. The wine is a wonderful, true expression of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, it shows as well as many wines twice as expensive, and is always a crowd pleaser.”
* Katelyn Peil, Wine Director, Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, Woodinville, Washington: “Although there are a lot of great values to be found on my list, for me, an especially great value is found in the Catena Malbec from Vista Flores, Argentina. This wine is 100% Malbec from vineyard sites that are found at over 3,000 feet elevation. It is structured and complex, and really over delivers for a price point of $42 on our list. It is my goal to build a value-centric list while representing the many wine regions of the World in addition to being paired with the wide variety of foods offered at Purple Café and Wine Bar.”
* Branden Bidwell, Wine Director, Wine Cask, Santa Barbara, California: “The ‘best value’ on our list is a tough question. We focus mainly on local, Santa Barbara County wines and because of our good relationships with most of the local producers on our list, we like to think that all of our Santa Barbara County selections are a great value. If I have to pick one, however, it would be the Margerum ‘M5′ Rhone varietal blend. Doug Margerum is a fantastic winemaker, and this is a terrific value. We offer the wine by the glass, and our guests love it and often buy bottles to take with them.”
* Edgar Poureshagh, Certified Sommelier/General Manager, 3Twenty Wine Lounge, Los Angeles, California: “The best value on the list is our collection of wines with significant age that are still reasonably priced. I love serving wines that are ready to drink, and when I can find wines (like aged German Rieslings and Spanish Rioja of superlative quality) that I can serve at a reasonable price, it lets me offer our guests a great wine experience, without the exorbitantly high cost often associated with fine wines.”
* Kristin Jonna, Owner/Certified Sommelier, Vinology, Ann Arbor, Michigan: “I think one of our best values currently would be the Protos Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero! Delicious, depth of character for only $36 a bottle.”
As the grape harvest continues at the nation’s vineyards, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Restaurants with the Most Notable Wine Lists. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Featuring talented sommeliers and lists to impress any oenophile, the winners span 27 states and include Canlis in Seattle, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Veritas in New York City. Home to the nation’s most renowned vineyards, California accounts for 21 honorees, followed by Maryland with eight winners and Florida, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington with five apiece. Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas restaurants each boast four winning restaurants. Michigan and Nevada both claim three winners. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, and Tennessee each have two winning restaurants. Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin restaurants are also represented. American fare restaurants had the greatest number of winners, followed by those serving Italian and tapas/small plate cuisines.
OpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2014. Thirty-eight restaurants are included, with two Bay Area restaurants receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, and seven achieving two Michelin stars. Twenty-nine restaurants earned one Michelin star, with one new addition for State Bird Provisions.
Being included in the respected MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In the U.S., San Francisco is one of only three cities where Michelin publishes an annual guide. The others are New York and Chicago. The MICHELIN Guide New York 2014 was published October 1, and the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2014 will be released on November 13.
Congratulations to all the recipients, including:
One Star: Acquerello, All Spice, Ame, Auberge du Soleil, Aziza, Bouchon, Boulevard, Campton Place, Chez TJ, Commis, Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Keiko à Nob Hill, La Folie, La Toque, Luce, Madera, Madrona Manor, Michael Mina, Plumed Horse, Solbar, Sons & Daughters, SPQR, Spruce, State Bird Provisions, and The Village Pub.
* Wednesday, October 24 is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Find an event near you.
* Hakkasan has opened its latest location in Beverly Hills. Read all about it, and book a table.
* The 2014 San Francisco Bib Gourmand restaurants have been named. Did your favorite affordable Bay Area eatery make the list?
* Had trouble booking a RezBook reservation at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco? Here’s why.
* Help fight hunger in Boston. Purchase tickets to the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Ultimate Tailgate Party on November 10.
* Voting for the Charlie Awards is open. Vote for your Twin Cities’ food favorites and purchase tickets to the ceremony on November 17.
* Trending on recent OpenTable restaurant reviews? Brussels sprouts converts.
* Seattle Restaurant Week returns tomorrow. Snap up three courses for $28, October 20-24.
* Silicon Valley Restaurant Week is here. Reserve now for special three-course dinners, October 16-23.
* Delaware Dines Out gets underway on Monday. Book now for $15 lunches and $30 dinners, October 21-27.
* Richmond Restaurant Week starts Monday. Order up $25.13 three-course dinners, October 21-27.
* Long Island Restaurant Week begins November 3. Enjoy three-course dinners for just $27.95 through November 10.
* Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Restaurant Week reservations are open. Book today for $10-$20 lunches and $30 dinners, October 20-25.
OpenTable has gotten a few nods in popular culture (Chuck, for one). Diner and Beauty and the Beast watcher Carla M. (aka @misscarla715) tipped us off to the very latest. You can tune in to see it for yourself here (it comes up at the 4:50 mark). Thanks, Carla M. for sending the Tweet of the Week, and thanks to the clever writers of Beauty and the Beast for the name-check!
It’s no secret that Brussels sprouts have become super-popular; however, that popularity doesn’t extend to all eaters. Some folks literally swear they won’t abide them, no matter how tasty the preparation. This is likely because their only experience has been when a well-meaning but culinarily challenged loved one boiled them into mushy, soggy oblivion. Or, perhaps they suffer from lachanophobia specific to Brussels sprouts. Another possibility is genetic. Whatever the case, the good news is that chefs are helping stamp out sprout hate (or fear), dish by delicious dish. The season is just starting for these nutritious vegetables, which are a good source of fiber, manganese, and Vitamins K and C. They are also high in vital phytochemicals, which is typical of cruciferous vegetables. Find out which restaurants are spreading the love, one plate at a time.
* ACQUA, Forest Lake, Minnesota: ”And, you must get the Brussels sprouts, at either location. Even if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, YOU will love these!”
* Bluestem Brasserie, San Francisco, California: ”The best part of my entree was the Brussels sprouts, and I don’t even like or ever order them!”
* Cafe Trio, Kansas City, Missouri: ”One guest, who is no big fan of Brussels sprouts, was won over by this preparation.”
* The Cleveland Restaurant, New York, New York: ”We had the Brussels sprout salad (never thought I would rave about a dish with Brussels sprouts in it). It was delicious!”
* eleven plates & wine, Austin, Texas: “I don’t like Brussels sprouts but was talked into trying them, and they were FABULOUS!”
* Franck’s, Salt Lake City, Utah: “The food is amazing. I hate Brussels sprouts, but they were my favorite thing on their appetizer menu.”
* La Luce, Orlando, Florida: ”Food was outstanding! I’m not a brave one for trying new things, but I did here and loved it all — even the Brussels sprouts!”
* Lattitude, West Springfield, Massachusetts: “Everything was delicious! We had crispy Brussels sprouts with a sweet chili sauce and butternut squash bisque for an appetizer. I don’t even like Brussels sprouts, and these were scrumptious!”