Beat the post-holiday blues with savings, courtesy of January 2018 restaurant weeks in a city near you.
As one of 2017’s most ubiquitous menu items, grilled octopus is a trend that’s already got its legs wrapped around 2018. Charred, grilled, or in a zesty Mediterranean carpaccio, there are myriad ways to enjoy it — but here are some of the top octopus dishes that caught our eye this year.
Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Denver, Colorado
Straight from Asia to the Mile High City comes a flavor combination just as unique as the method in which it’s cooked. After being braised with lemongrass, cilantro, and ginger until tender, it’s then grilled over Japanese white charcoal and served with a butternut squash puree seasoned with Thai chili and maple syrup. The piece de resistance is a dried chili tamarind sauce with honey, chili, ginger, tamarind, and banana, which is then sprinkled with cilantro and maitake mushrooms. Make a reservation at Departure Restaurant + Lounge.
Stones Throw, San Francisco, California
Straight from Iberia to San Francisco’s trendy Russian Hill neighborhood high in the Bay Area clouds comes crispy Spanish octopus with potato-chorizo croquetta, saffron aioli, and scallion chimichurri. It’s one of a slew of new dishes chef de cuisine David Zboray has whipped up with executive chef Jason Halverson. Pair it with a selection from the eatery’s extensive beer list. Make a reservation at Stones Throw.
Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
With days spent lazing in the sun, jumping into the ocean, and savoring Greek cuisine harkening back to his family’s days on the islands generations before, chef Brendan Pelley couldn’t help but be inspired by his travels abroad. He brings a bit of the Mediterranean to Boston’s blustery winter with grilled octopus with capers, sweet onions, lemon emulsion, and parsley. Make a reservation at Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar.
Ka’ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui, Wailea, Hawaii
It’s no surprise that Maui would be swimming with plucked-from-the-ocean seafood options, so executive chef Isaac Bancaco has his no shortage of options for fish-to-dish bites like grilled octopus with Big Island chevre, watercress, asparagus. Served with a side of Instaworthy views including an infinity-edge pool at Wailea Resort, lagoon, and the Pacific Ocean, it’s just as much a feast for the eyes. Make a reservation at Ka’ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui.
Brabo-Lorien Hotel & Spa, Alexandria, Virginia
French-born executive chef Sebastien Rondier grew up in the Basque region of France and is no stranger to Spanish cuisine. His octopus is first braised and then grilled for the perfect tender texture. It’s then plated alongside a green emulsion and sautéed mushrooms. Rondier updates this signature dish quarterly to keep up with the changing seasons, so get it while it’s hot. Make a reservation at Brabo-Lorien Hotel & Spa.
Diplomat Prime, Hollywood, Florida
Looking for something a little lighter than typical steakhouse fare? Chef Nicolay Adinaguev brings it, with an octopus appetizer atop a healthy edamame hummus with black olive, French feta, and daikon radish. Trust us when we say it gives the 48-day, in-house dry-aged prime beef a run for its money. Make a reservation at Diplomat Prime.
Traditional hot toddies are simple propositions: liquor, hot water, and honey. Maybe some herbs or spices if the composer is feeling inspired. Despite the small ingredient list, they deliver a big hit of heat. Here are 9 top hot toddies to sip when the mercury drops.
Travelle Kitchen + Bar, Chicago, Illinois
The apple hot toddy is redolent with a wealth of warming spices: clove, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Powered by rye and Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and sweetened with spiced syrup, apple tea gives it depth. A cherry speared on a sprig of rosemary, cinnamon stick, and orange peel finish it off. Make a reservation at Travelle Kitchen + Bar.
Death or Glory, Delray Beach, Florida
The Hottie Choco Toddy will cure all your winter blues. Made with hot chocolate and Afrohead Briland 07 dark rum, it’s garnished with a cinnamon stick. Doctor Feelgood would surely approve. Make a reservation at Death or Glory.
Bergerac, San Francisco, California
With a name like Beety.S.M., you know this cocktail is going to be dangerously delicious and tantalizingly titillating. Beet-infused tequila is the dominant flavor, while allspice, lemon, and honey take on sub roles. Whip and blindfold sold separately. Make a reservation at Bergerac.
Coda di Volpe, Chicago, Illinois
This concoction should take care of your pesky cold. Bourbon and apple brandy are smoothed out with spiced ginger honey and lemon juice. Have three and you’ll forget you were even sick in the first place. Make a reservation at Coda di Volpe.
Oyster Bah, Chicago, Illinois
Meet the Loddy Todday. Forged with Bluecoat gin, Campari, Laphroaig scotch whisky, lemon juice, and Buddha’s Blend tea, it’s a powerful potion. Just what you need when it gets dark before happy hour even starts. Make a reservation at the Oyster Bah.
Buh-bye, 2017 — here’s to a new year and the chance to ring in 2018 with over-the-top, multi-course dinners and sips of Champagne. These 11 restaurants (and thousands of others on OpenTable) are serving festive dinners that are perfect preludes to that midnight ball drop.
Meritage Restaurant + Wine Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
There are two seatings for chef de cuisine Keith Bombaugh’s gala meal, with specialty dishes like scallop ceviche (leche de tigre, huitlacoche, popcorn), walnut cannelloni (sour cherry, hazelnuts, mornay sauce), and lobster (celery root, smoked butter, Johnnycake). Cap the celebration with Baked Alaska (Champagne, strawberries, meringue). Make a reservation at Meritage.
Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, Las Vegas, Nevada
Choose from a decadent 10-course or 12-course dinner, with hand-crafted tasting menus from Andrés, developed to “take guests on a journey of the palate.” Featured dishes include cotton candy foie gras, a wagyu bone-in ribeye, the bagels and lox cone; and tartare (beef sirloin, Savora mustard, egg yolk, HP Sauce, and anchovies). Make a reservation at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés.
Le Coq Rico, New York, New York
This truffle-centric, five-course meal is a perfect New York ending to an interesting year. Chef Westermann’s menu stars heritage stuffed roasted Emden goose (potato gnocchi, sour cream, apple-cinnamon red cabbage). Also featured: 12-spice foie gras with housemade baguette and, for dessert, black truffle Ice cream. Make a reservation at Le Coq Rico.
Uni, Boston, Massachusetts
Chef-partner Tony Messina, dishes up two dinners on the 31st. There’ll be an abbreviated à la carte menu with faves like spicy foie gras and tuna taki. Or, luxe it up with an omakase menu — 12 to 15 courses, depending on chef’s whim, with dishes such as king crab with brown butter, passion fruit and lardo, tai sushi with ebi shrimp and Perigord truffle tamago, and an A5 Japanese wagyu beef option, too, plus magnums of Champagne. Make a reservation at Uni.
Campton Place, San Francisco, California
Chef Sri Gopinathan will serve two menus at this Cal-Indian hot spot — one vegetarian and one for meat lovers. Special dishes include Dungeness crab (with kohlrabi, curry, and mustard bloom), poached Maine lobster tails (with spiced tomato butter), and a fruit kebab with pongal and coconut chutney. Make a reservation at Campton Place.
Deuxave, Boston, Massachusetts
Ring the year in right with a decadent modern French, five-course dinner (think white truffles and caviar), and dishes like Prime beef tenderloin (egg yolk raviolo, celery root Robuchon, bordelaise), duo of ahi tuna (Satsuma tangerines, blood orange consomme, avocado) and single-origin chocolate mousse (with New Year’s trappings). Optional wine pairings, too. Make a reservation at Deuxave.