Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year:
What’s better than throwing one party at the Food + Wine Classic in Aspen? Throwing two parties, of course! On Saturday night, OpenTable joined with master sommelier Dustin Wilson (wine director at Eleven Madison Park and star of the documentary Somm), Eric Railsback (sommelier and co-owner of Les Marchands Wine Bar in Santa Barbara), and Carlos Solorzano-Smith (beverage director of Matsuhisa) at Nobu’s Matsuhisa Aspen for a Champagne and sushi soiree.
There was dancing (although, sadly, not a dance-off), a Champagne waterfall, and culinary luminaries including chefs Matt Acarino (SPQR), Maria Sinskey (Robert Sinskey Vineyards), Bobby Stuckey (Frasca Food and Wine), Alex Stupak (Empellon Taqueria), and Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger), Dana Cowin, Ray Isle, and Kate Krader from Food + Wine, actress Ali Larter, and restaurateur Danny Meyer and wine director John Ragan of the Union Square Hospitality Group, among others.
Eyeball all the action in the slideshow below, with photos by Katrina Smith of The Smith Design.
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Like all good foodies, we headed to Aspen for the annual Food & Wine Classic. While we were there, we took the opportunity to fete a few of our restaurant-industry friends.
On Friday night, OpenTable joined with Don Julio Tequila to celebrate the opening of Jimmy Yeager’s Jimmy’s Bodega. The new sibling to Aspen hotspot Jimmy’s, Jimmy’s Bodega is a seafood and raw bar restaurant serving wine, bottled cocktails, and Mezcal, with chef Bryan Nelson behind the burner. There were delicious eats from chef Nelson and his crack culinary team, and refreshing signature cocktails, courtesy of Don Julio Tequila, including the sangrita green with cilantro and pineapple, a strawberry basil paloma featuring Don Julio Reposado, and an Anejo old fashioned.
Guests include chefs Barbara Lynch (Menton) and Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger), the Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer, La Caravelle Champagne founder Rita Jammet, and Eater editors Raphael Brion, Hillary Dixler, Paula Forbes, Kat Odell, and Andra Zepelin. Take a peek at the action by clicking through our exclusive slideshow below, courtesy of photographer Katrina Smith of The Smith Design.
It’s National Sushi Day! How fitting that this cuisine has its own day as it has become something of a staple in the diets of most American foodies. It can straddle both sides of the nutritional fence — clean and green (hand rolls packed with veggies and brown rice) or fatty and decadent (Hello, foie gras, mayo, and uni!), meaning there’s something for all comers. We’re celebrating the day by ordering sushi, taking inspiration from what diners are saying about the inventive and delightful sushi rolls that have them raving in recent restaurant reviews.
* Blowfish Sushi, San Francisco, California: ”The food was divine. We ordered a vegetarian roll that was served warm and was outstanding. The shishito peppers melt in your mouth, and they are topped with thin sliced caramelized leeks! I have never tasted leeks in a better form.”
* The Bluefish-Greenville Ave., Dallas, Texas: “We drive from OKC to eat dinner at Blue Fish. The service is always the best and we’ve never had a roll there that we didn’t like. Our favorite is the rainforest.”
* Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar Lodo, Denver, Colorado: ”We loved the multiple orgasm roll and the rock ‘n roll spicy shrimp roll!”
* Insignia Prime Steak & Sushi, Smithtown, New York: ”You *have* to order some type of special sushi; the insignia roll is a favorite!”
* Irori Sushi, Marina Del Ray, California: ”The blue crab and salmon roll is the best sushi roll I have ever tasted!”
* Katsuya Hollywood SBE, Los Angeles, California: ”I had blue fin sashimi, and a version of a spicy California roll with seared ahi on top; my daughter had a roll with shrimp on top — all totally amazing! As a fan of Food Network, you always hear them talk about how in a really good dish, you can taste all the elements without anything overpowering it — this was the first time I have ever had that experience (and I just turned 50!).”
* The Olde Pink House Restaurant, Savannah, Georgia: ”I tried southern sushi, which was a fried roll filled with shrimp and grits…brilliant.”
With Google I/O just around the corner, we thought it was the perfect time to put our proverbial pencils down and release a sharp new update for our loyal Android diners. Today’s release is a complete redesign of the Android experience, with an all-new look and feel and sets the stage for us to deliver even greater functionality at a faster pace in the future. Click through the slideshow to learn about the new design.
Josh Garnier is the Mobile Product Manager for Android and Windows Phone.
I did something I never thought I would do — willingly go to Las Vegas. For pleasure. In June. The reason I say willingly is that I’m not at all into gambling, and it is perilously hot in Vegas in June (Triple digits hot!). My best friend Michele and I made the trek to the desert to witness what was rumored to be the final Guns ‘N Roses show, either ever or for quite some time. The concert was so disappointing that the former might be for the best; Axl should hang up his Hot Topic jacket and oversized caballero hat for good. The bright spot in the brief trip was the incredible dining — three amazing and decadent-yet-relatively-affordable meals at highly regarded restaurants: Bouchon, Nobu, and Otto. Please note that I say affordable as each of our meals included multiple courses and glasses — plus a bottle — of wine or sake. Compare this with the $36 (!) we spent on two meager, over-iced Bloody Marys at the casino bar, for some perspective.
OpenTable is the proud to be the official house purveyor of hospitality solutions for the prestigious James Beard Foundation and the historic James Beard House in New York. And, today, we are pleased to share a delicious opportunity for New York City-area food lovers, ages 21-39.
You are cordially invited to join James Beard Foundation Greens. JBF Greens provides insider access to the city’s hottest new restaurants, chefs, and culinary trends, all while enjoying great food and drinks. While these events are open to the public, a JBF Greens membership entitles diners to reduced pricing for all events, early access to event booking, entrance to special members-only gatherings, and many other great benefits, including meeting likeminded folks with a passion for New York’s rich food culture.
Specific perks include:
* Advance notice of Greens events, which are held about once a month
* Member-priced tickets for two people for all Greens events (does not apply to non-Greens events)
* BF Notes, our bimonthly newsletter exclusively for JBF members
* Beard Bites member version, our biweekly e-newsletter with exclusive content for members
* Access to exclusive members content on jamesbeard.org
* Special monthly invitations by email to purchase tickets at a Greens Table at select Beard House events.* This is your opportunity to experience dining at the Beard House at a discounted rate of only $85 while being seated with other Greens members!
Dues are just $75 per year. Please visit www.jamesbeard.org/greens to sign up today! Diners can also book reservations and learn more about upcoming general events and dinners at the James Beard House by visiting JBF Events
*Please note that JBF Greens members receive member-level prices for Greens events only. Greens members do not receive the member rate for regular JBF dining events at the James Beard House and special events. There are at least a dozen JBF Greens events throughout the year.
On June 10th, some of Boston’s most acclaimed chefs join food and television personality Andrew Zimmern to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization in Massachusetts, at a Pop-Up Dinner. In an absolute case of “This is not your mother’s stuffy fundraiser’, Lovin’ Spoonfuls founder Ashley Stanley reveals, “On Tuesday night, we’re bringing so many different kinds of people together — to support our work, support their community, experience and share food, and have a great time. We’re beginning with great friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls (Josh Smith of Moody’s, Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow and Louis DiBiccari of Tavern Road), presenting delicious small plates of charcuterie, an incredible-sounding strawberry and parsnip dish, and delicious crudo.” Four courses prepared by chefs Zimmern, Jamie Bissonnette, Matthew Jennings, and Joanne Chang follow. The event will also feature a photo booth, a meet and greet with all the chefs, signature cocktails created by OffSite and others, wines selected by MS Walker, craft beer from PEAK, TJ Connelly spinning on the decks. More than that, though, this is a terrific opportunity for folks to join in the fight against hunger and food waste.
Lovin’ Spoonfuls was founded in 2010 and is dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. This food is then delivered to community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact, such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Founder Ashley Stanley started Lovin’ Spoonfuls after learning how much food is thrown away, both in the U.S. and abroad, and realizing, “Wasting so much food in the face of what has felt like an unsolvable problem (hunger) has gone unaddressed.” She took to the streets, observing how much waste local supermarkets were producing and, then, tapping her skills as a former Division I soccer goalie, she stood in front of a dumpster “and tried to make the save.”
Since then, Lovin’ Spoonfuls has grown from Stanley and her car (and, presumably, her goalie gloves) to a fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles and seven full-time employees, rescuing and distributing more than 1.5 million pounds of fresh, healthy food to folks who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Stanley says, “For so long, we’ve been sort of punched in the face with the messages that hunger exists, and there’s not enough food to feed everyone. We’re challenging those messages. There is enough food — but the choices we make as a global community keep it from being harvested, getting it to where it needs to go. I want to support a solution to end hunger, not the cause. This is the most preventable problem that we’ve got.” Unfortunately, it is a growing one. She notes, “There are 49 million people (16 millions of them children) in this country who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s about 800,000 people in the Bay State, over 200,000 of them are kids. Hunger relief has to be able to evolve to meet the world where it’s at right now.”
Ricotta is one of the easiest cheeses to make. It requires no aging, so it can be eaten — literally — minutes after it is made. The simplicity of ricotta coupled with its rich flavor and creamy texture have made it a popular choice for housemade cheeses at restaurants around the U.S. Chefs are using ricotta alongside ingredients both sweet and savory, and in courses ranging from appetizers to desserts. Like the diner at Market Table, below, I recently discovered the pleasures of ricotta cavatelli and remain positively addicted. If you have not tried them, run, don’t walk. They are that good. Find out what folks have been saying about the dishes featuring this fresh cheese in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews.
* A Toute Heurre, Cranford, New Jersey: ”I had the ricotta and mozzarella pasta, and two days later woke up reminiscing about it.”
* ABC Kitchen, New York, New York: ”A great meal! Love the ricotta and rhubarb appetizer.”
* Anna Maria Pasteria, Chicago, Illinois: ”We finished with the dessert of the evening — a ricotta cheese parfait with cherry sauce. Perfect.”
* Belli Osteria, Berkeley, California: ”Started off sharing the fresh ricotta with honey, walnuts, and arugula, and it reminds me what ‘fresh’ is all about. Perfect starter.”
* Bills Sydney, Honolulu, Hawaii: ”Ricotta hotcakes for dinner a new favourite.”
* Cesca, New York, New York: ”Ricotta fritters at dessert fabulous”
* County, New York, New York: “The ricotta honey appetizer was perfect.”
* Graffiato, Washington, D.C.: ”The gnocchi with whipped ricotta and crispy rosemary alone is worth the trip!”