Deck the Halls! 7 Top Holiday Restaurants That Go All Out for Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly. In our book, that means sparing ourselves the dishes and dining out. A lot. Since we love reveling in the Christmas spirit, we point our proverbial sleighs toward eateries that are equally excited (and wear that excitement if not on their sleeves than everywhere else!). From festive decorations and visits from Santa himself to special menus and live caroling, here are seven top holiday restaurants that truly deck the halls.

1789, Washington, D.C.
The staff doesn’t hold back when decorating this Federal-era home turned restaurant in historic Georgetown. Every room is festooned with lights, wreaths, garlands, and festive glass balls. Dinner comes with a side of caroling. The Washington Men’s Camerata visits the restaurant December 13th through 24th from 7-9 PM to sing a variety of holiday choral classics. Pro tip: Even if you were the star of your college a cappella group, you should keep quiet and let them perform. On Christmas Eve, guests will enjoy a beyond decadent a la carte dinner with foie gras torchon perked up with orange marmalade and pickled celery, coddled egg and lobster, and bucatini topped with Nantucket bay scallops (white truffles optional, but highly recommended).

Top Holiday Restaurants 1789

Colicchio & Sons, New York, New York
Tom Colicchio and his team celebrate the season in a big way. Previously, they’ve decked out a tree in record decorations, blue lights, and miniature jukeboxes to pay homage to Elvis’ Christmas Album, which Colicchio’s father spun during the holiday season. The pastry team always outdoes themselves with extra delicious decorations. Last year, they created a gingerbread skyline of New York City topped off with Lady Liberty.

Top Holiday Restaurants Colicchio & Sons

Arnaud’s, New Orleans, Louisiana
This Big Easy institution adorns its exterior with garlands and wreaths all twinkling with little white lights. From December 1st through 23rd, guests can choose the celebratory five-course Réveillon dinner ($49, not including tax and tip). Dishes include duck rillettes enlivened with caramelized onions, radishes, and cherry confit, Creole onion soup en croute, roasted Cornish game hen with mayhaw demi-glace, and a classic tarte tatin. Good times guaranteed.

Blog ARNAUD'S XMAS DECO. 1_1_11-3316 copy

Lafayette, Washington, D.C.
Perched on Lafayette Square across from the White House, this D.C. dining powerhouse offers a very merry buffet ($110 per adult, $52 for children 12 and under, not including tax and tip). Highlights include duck magret with a mélange of mushrooms, braised beef ravioli, and a raw bar boasting baby lobster, shrimp, and snow crab claws. Save room for an epic dessert selection from talented pastry chef Josh Short, such as peppermint white chocolate cheesecake, toasted walnut snowballs, bûche de Noël, smoked pecan brittle, cranberry panna cotta, and a heavenly host of holiday cookies. 

Top Holiday RestaurantsContinue Reading

OpenTable Named a Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2016, Wins Employees’ Choice Award

Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2016We are thrilled to announce that OpenTable has been selected  as one of the Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2016. The Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards are based entirely on employee feedback and honor various companies and leaders throughout the world.

The People + Culture team at OpenTable are particularly proud of this honor because it is based on feedback from employees who have voluntarily and anonymously posted their views on Glassdoor, the fastest-growing jobs and recruiting marketplace. To determine the winners of the awards, Glassdoor evaluates all company reviews shared by employees over the past year.

The remarks we have received on Glassdoor have been overwhelmingly positive. OpenTable employees have praised the company for our collaborative environment, great work/life balance, rewarding work, a fun, inclusive culture, and, of course, our awesome happy hours! Below are just a few examples of feedback shared on Glassdoor that contributed toward this win.Continue Reading

Cheer in a Glass: Delicious Holiday Cocktails to Get You in the Spirit of the Season

Tired of the same old eggnog? Bartenders are, too, and in this season of giving, they’ve have shaken up and shared top picks from their drink menus to boost holiday outings beyond the basics. From the warmth of whiskey to sweet plum wine and spicy gingerbread liqueur, here are out-of-the-box holiday cocktails to pack some punch into your seasonal gatherings.

Founding Farmers, Washington, D.C.
Health and wellness are a priority at Founding Farmers, so it’s no surprise that the winter beverage menu (offered through the end of February) spotlights fresh-pressed juices. Beverage Director John Arroyo’s Winter Pie features cold-pressed apple juice, vodka, lemon, and cinnamon syrup, garnished with fruit.

Holiday cocktails Founding Farmers

Crudo, Phoenix, Arizona
Serving anything in a Champagne flute emphasizes a celebratory spirit, but garnishing it with an orange peel bow makes it extra-special for the gift-giving season. In the Crudo Cran Royale, sparkling wine and bright lemon are given some added depth with housemade spiced cranberry syrup featuring clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Holiday cocktails Crudo

Proof on Main, Louisville, Kentucky
The pepper and oak notes of US*1 Rye mix perfectly with the orange, anise, and clove of the China-China liqueur in the Valley Forge Flip, but the splendor of this perfect pairing is only matched by the cocktail’s historical origins. The name pays homage to the Michter’s namesake rye that warmed Revolutionary troops when George Washington purchased 200 barrels for the brave men spending winter on the battlefield. The contemporary tipple gets an upgrade with a dash of nutmeg and indulgent Aztec chocolate bitters.

Holiday cocktails Proof on Main

SUSHISAMBA, New York, New York
There’s no need to head to the ballet for visions of sugar plums this season if you toast the season with a Smoked Plum Negroni. SUSHISAMBA’s Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development, Richard Woods, refreshed the signature list this December with unique, handcrafted cocktails. This one reinvents a classic aperitif with smoky Hakushu whiskey, umeshu (sweet/sour plum wine), vermouth, and citrus, that’s guaranteed to loosen up your own dancing feet.

Holiday cocktails sushisamba

Taj, Boston, Massachusetts
The Gaelic version of “cheers,” the blessing slainte toasts to good health — and this cocktail from Taj Boston bar manager Gabriela Garcia has a few medicinal benefits if you ask those who purport local honey can help allergy sufferers (the Taj Boston has its own rooftop hives). The Slainte’s warm whiskey notes are enhanced with a cinnamon stick, clove-studded lemon wheel, and hot water for a drink befitting the winter’s cold fingers.

Holiday cocktails TajContinue Reading

Call of the Wild: 11 Wild Game Dishes to Try Now

As the leaves transition from green to a fiery array of blazing reds, electric yellows, and intense oranges and winter looms, the season for wild game is on. From ducks and pheasant to elk and venison, chefs showcase the bounty of the backwoods (including those at the 2015 100 Best Restaurants in America). These rusticated ingredients resonate with diners at this time of year because they evoke America’s pioneer roots and deep culinary traditions while being the kind of hearty, heartwarming fare that helps ward off the increasingly chilly days. Here are 11 wild game dishes to try now. 

Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.
It takes a full week for chef de Cuisine Brad Deboy to prepare his show-stopping roasted Rohan duck. He begins by drying the fowl and coating it with housemade Worcestershire sauce before cooking it for a day and finishing it with a spicy honey glaze. It arrives at the table whole, so you and your guest can ooh and aah, and then the succulent meat is carved for family-style service.

Wild Game Dishes Blue Duck Tavern

Sepia, Chicago, Illinois
You know the old saying: two birds on the plate are worth four in the bush. Or something like that. Chef Andrew Zimmerman offers pheasant two ways: simply seared and tucked into a pot pie. You could call it a tasting flight if you were so inclined to employ such bad puns.

Wild game dishes

The Wine Kitchen on the Creek, Frederick, Maryland
Time to sharpen your tusks. Executive chef Jeff Beard char-braises a wild boar shank, which comes out tender, but still toothsome. It’s served on a brushstroke of parsnip gratin with rounds of smoked pear and collard greens.

Wild Game Dishes

Two, Chicago, Illinois
Looking for a beef break? Elk tastes similar, but the flavor is richer. To highlight this superior protein, executive chef Kevin Cuddihee offers a grilled loin accompanied by bacon-roasted turnips, chanterelle mushrooms, and dollops of herb butter that melt over the meat for extra oomph.

Wild game dishes

Bastille, Alexandria, Virginia
Trust the French to do a très magnifique canard. Chefs and spouses Christophe and Michelle Poteaux offer a pepper-crusted breast in a piquant long pepper sauce. The spice is balanced out by a sweet mélange of roasted pears, figs, and grapes, along with a soothing swipe of earthy celeriac puree.

Wild Game Dishes

Et Voila, Washington, D.C.
It doesn’t get more autumnal than this. Chef-owner Claudio Pirollo makes a wild boar stew enriched with chestnuts and chanterelles and served with Jerusalem artichokes. Try not to make too much noise as you scrape your spoon along the bottom for the last drop.

Wild Game DishesContinue Reading