Chinese New Year 2016: Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with a Fabulous Feast

This month, we’re celebrating #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary. And another one of those reasons is Chinese New Year 2016! It happens Monday, February 8th, marking the Year of the Monkey. Also known as the Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year is typically celebrated over a family dinner for a reunion of sorts. Whether you’re dining with your family or your friends, restaurants are ready to help you celebrate with delicious feasts that center around traditional dishes as well as delicacies. Markus Tschuschnig, general manager at La Chine in Manhattan, notes, “The New Year is one of the most important holidays in China, and when people go out to celebrate, they favor luxury dishes. At La Chine, we’re serving abalone from China, for example, along with sea cucumber.” People might not order these dishes year round, but they will to celebrate the New Year.” Here are a few of our favorites.

Chinese New Year 2016

La Chine, New York, New York
La Chine restaurant, located in the storied Waldorf-Astoria hotel, serves Chinese haute cuisine that has been receiving rave reviews since opening its doors in the fall of 2015. Taking things to the next level, chef Kong Khai Meng is introducing a special Chinese New Year menu. Available February 8-13, it will include special provincial-style fare, such as “Lo Hei” Yusheng Raw Fish Salad, a traditional dish that symbolizes prosperity and good fortune (Did you know that the higher you toss this salad the more prosperity you will have? It will be tossed tableside at La Chine, but, according to Tschuschnig, not so high that guests should fear wearing the salad rather than eating it.), BBQ Buddhist Duck, Beijing-style Dong Bo Pork Belly, Sesame Rice Dumplings, and the luxe Traditional Braised Abalone with White Truffle Drops. After each meal, based on the tradition of hongbao, diners will receive a lucky red envelope. There’s not money inside, but there is a chance to win a prize, such as dinner for 2, Champagne, or dessert. Make a reservation for Chinese New Year 2016 at La Chine.

Chinese New Year 2016

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, Los Angeles, California
The Chinese New Year celebration at WP24 kicks off on February 9 with Wolfgang Puck’s first Traveling Night Market. The evening begins with a traditional lion’s dance at 6:30pm and continues with the Night Market featuring live-action stations preparing Chinese delicacies such as Alaskan King Crab Lo Mai and a Whole Roasted Peking Duckling and concludes with a sumptuous three-course dinner prepared by chef John Lechleidner, including 5 Spice Marinated Colorado Lamb Chops and Szechuan Peppercorn Crusted American Wagyu Rib Eye with oxtail Shanghai noodles. A special six- or eight-course Chinese New Year tasting menu will also be available February 10-19. Incorporating elements of heat throughout, the menus feature flavorful dishes such as a Red Chili Braised Kurobuta Pork Shank and “Szechuan Style” American Wagyu Rib Eye. WP24 continues its tradition of finishing the Chinese New Year meal with its classic Wishing Tree adorned with red envelopes. Guests may select an envelope which holds a proverb, message, or special gift, such as a complimentary spa treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Spa or a cocktail. Make a reservation for Chinese New Year at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck.

Chinese New Year 2016

Hinoki & The Bird, Los Angeles, California
Executive chef Brandon Kida has created a unique spin on the Chinese dessert that is the mooncake at LA eatery Hinoki & The Bird, which serves cuisine inspired by travels along the Silk Road. His Adzuki Bean Cheesecake is served with honey mocha, coconut anglaise, and coconut crisp, and it will be on the menu the week of February 8. Typically consumed during the Mid-Autumn festival, mooncakes are also popular for Chinese New Year and year round. They were once believed to give the eater special powers, and we can guarantee you’ll feel special after feasting on Kida’s twist on this classic. Make a reservation at Hinoki & The Bird for Chinese New Year 2016.

Chinese New Year 2016Continue Reading

Enter the OpenTable Canada #savourthelove 2016 Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Dinner is on us this Valentine’s Day – if you win our OpenTable #savourthelove 2016 Valentine’s Day giveaway!

To enter, follow @OpenTableCanada on Twitter and share a photo, video, or tweet of your most loved food, foodie, or restaurant using the hashtag #savourthelove for a chance to win one of five $100 MasterCard Gift cards we’ll be giving away, starting Monday, February 1, 2016, through Friday, February 12, 2016. One entry per person each day allowed. Be sure to follow us on Twitter so we can contact you via direct message if you’ve won a prize.

CA Giveaway Blog

Entry examples: “My dream date is to #savourthelove while dining with my beau at @CafeBelong.” “.@OpenTableCanada I want to #savourthelove with my fiancee.” “.@OpenTableCanada I’d like to #savourthelove of amazing food with my bff @tavolavancouver.”

Be sure to check your direct messages on Twitter on February 19 so we can award your prize quickly. The full terms and conditions are after the jump.

And, don’t forget to reserve a table for you and your favourite foodie on Valentine’s DayContinue Reading

Best Bets: Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area This Sunday

February has 29 delicious days in it, thanks to Leap Year, so we’re celebrating all month long with #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary. Reason #1? The bowl is coming to town, and you don’t really want to hover around your television at home and binge on stale chips, do you? Thankfully, you are not limited to rowdy sports bars either. This year, with the game taking place in Santa Clara, many Bay Area restaurants are getting in on the action. Whether you go close to the stadium, stay in San Francisco, or head away from the crowds up in Napa, you’ll be able to enjoy the game in high style. Here’s where to watch the big game in the Bay Area.

Birk’s
Located just a mile from the stadium in Santa Clara, Birk’s is installing a luxury heated outdoor tent to accommodate the crowds expected prior to the game, and will be screening the game on Sunday. On the week leading up to the game there will be special happy hour offerings and on the big day there will be a pre-game lunch, then specials on oysters, oyster shooters, braised pork belly sliders, and carnitas tacos. Make a reservation at Birk’s.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Hog & Rocks
There might be gridlock ahead of the players hitting the gridiron, but the Mission district is easily accessible by public transportation — and there’s a parking garage on 21st, just a couple of blocks away from Hog & Rocks, for determined drivers. In addition to the regular menu, you can slurp down $1 oysters for the entire game or indulge in a combo of beer, a shot, and Korean-style spicy wings. Make a reservation at Hog & Rocks.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Nostra Spaghetteria + Bar Mia
Nostra and Bar Mia, also located in the Mission District, will be showing the bowl on their two TV’s in the bar. On Sunday, February 7, they’ll open at 3PM — just in time for kickoff. Happy hour prices will be available at the bar throughout the entire game. Make a reservation at Nostra Spaghetteria.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Palm House
In the Marina district, Palm House will extend their hours, opening an hour before the game to accommodate fans jockeying for the perfect viewing spot. Specials will most likely include tasty bites, such as mango chipotle BBQ wings, spiced tropical beer nut,s and Cuban fried chicken sliders. Make a reservation at Palm House.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay Area

Bob’s Steak and Chop House
Right downtown, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, located at the Omni, will be adding even more TV’s to the lobby so everyone can easily see the game. The bar will have extended hours and a game day-themed menu with wings, nachos, quesadillas, chili cheese fries, and more. Budweiser and Bud Light, the official beers of the bowl, will be on tap. Make a reservation at Bob’s Steak and Chop House.

Where to Watch the Big Game in the Bay AreaContinue Reading

2016 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America

As we celebrate love and romance in honor of Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to announce the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

ULU

Featuring beloved restaurants adept at delivering hospitality with a personal touch, often from owner-operators, the complete list spans 33 states and includes honorees such as The Cellars in Virginia Beach, Forbes Island in San Francisco, and Zenkichi in Brooklyn. California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York and Virginia with 8 apiece, Colorado with 7, and Arizona, Florida, and Texas with six each. Hawaii and Nevada each have five winners while North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina each boast four. Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington count two winners per state. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah are also represented.

Exceptional ambience is the common thread at the winning restaurants, from those set in historic buildings, such as the Rainbow Room atop 30 Rockefeller Center, to those associated with cozy inns and luxe resorts, including Duling Kurtz House and Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Establishments serving American and French cuisines dominate the list; however, Italian restaurants and steakhouses also proved popular, as did those specializing in perennial favorite fondue.

The list of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between December 7, 2014, and December 6, 2015. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were then sorted according to Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of qualifying reviews for which “romantic” was selected as a special feature. “

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 2016 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America, according to OpenTable diners:Continue Reading