New York City restaurants are invited to stand with legendary restaurateurs Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini, Jeffrey Lefcourt, Drew Nieporent, Simon Oren, Eric Ripert, and Jeff Zalaznick as they join forces to partner with the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to launch the first annual Dine Out for Heroes, a one-day-only event on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Each participating restaurant will donate $1 per cover served to the BWF to help in the organization’s efforts to tackle the serious issues of long-term rehabilitation, care, and support of our injured veterans.
It is anticipated that hundreds of New York–area restaurants will join the Dine Out for Heroes initiative. By pledging to donate $1 per cover, participating restaurants will be part of an industry-wide movement to support the injured and their families as they integrate back into society. In addition, participating restaurants will encourage diners to donate to the BWF by visiting the organization’s website — at bobwoodrufffoundation.org.
“We are looking to the restaurant industry to help support the brave men and women who raised their hands to go when our country asked. From rehabilitation and recovery to education, employment, and quality of life — these programs are essential, and as participating members, our commitment to ‘Dine. Donate. Honor. Heal.’ will be critical,” said Penny Glazier, of The Glazier Group of restaurants.
Restaurants that are already on board include Jane, Le Bernardin, Michael Jordan’s The Steak House, and The Russian Tea Room, among others. Please sign up today to support Dine Out for Heroes on November 5, 2014.
The topic of babies and children in restaurants is a highly divisive one. Whenever we raise the issue on social media, the debate is heated, scorchingly so — and split down the middle. Many folks don’t think infants, toddlers, or young kids, well-behaved or not, belong in restaurants at all, while other diners are raising enthusiastic eaters by introducing them to the joys of fine dining at a very young age. Cry babies aside, a meal out at a restaurant can provide a few hours of respite to harried parents and help instill good table manners in little ones. Countless restaurants have taken note and are upping the ante on hospitality for parties that include young (and presumably well-behaved) children. From happily stashing strollers and providing slings to serving up creative cuisine for the Crayola set, here’s how 15 establishments have helped provide stellar dining experiences for hungry families, according to recent OpenTable restaurant reviews.
* Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, Columbus, Ohio: ”We have a 4-month old baby, and brunch at Cap City was a breeze. They had a sling available, and the background noise kept the little one content.”
* Cedar Restaurant, Washington, D.C.: ”I reserved a table for six, hoping they’d be okay that one guest was a baby. We were skeptical at first because they don’t have an elevator, but as soon as we got the baby and his necessary gear down to the restaurant, they were nothing but helpful. They stowed his stroller, brought a high chair (even though we said we could just put his car seat on a regular chair), and were even interested to know about the baby himself. [When leaving], they even let us use the service elevator they have.”
* Clay Pit, Austin, Texas: ”The best authentic Indian food in Austin, for sure. We went for an early dinner with our 10-month old and our server was so pleasant to him. Love a place that makes us feel welcome with a rambunctious kiddo!”
* Dish on Market, Louisville, Kentucky: ”I went to Dish with my 3-week old, son and the staff was amazingly kind. They sat us where there was room for my stroller. No one treated me like a pariah for dining with a baby. Both restrooms have large changing areas, too.”
* Firestone Restaurant and Bar, Lethbridge, Alberta: ”I had written in my reservation notes that we were two adults with two small children plus a baby who needed a high chair, and it was all ready when we arrived. The meals were all delivered in a very timely manner.”
* Great Maple, San Diego, California: ”My husband and I have been here many times and invited our friends and two kids (6 months and 3 years old) to join us for brunch last Saturday. Great Maple was very accommodating, and we had a great corner table outside with plenty of room for the stroller. Crayons and a paper menu for the little ones to stay entertained. Delicious food. Our waiter was very friendly and accommodating of our somewhat slow-to-get-it-all-together party (Hard to do with two kids and parents eating in shifts while trying to keep a baby from meltdown status!).”
* Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina: ”Service was outstanding! We reserved a table early (5:45pm) since we had my 11-month old with us. I was happy to see other babies there, too. The service staff were so accommodating and professional. I didn’t feel judged at all, and the server even offered to get my daughter some water, juice, or crackers…whatever she needed. ”
Amy Sherman is a cook, eater, and culinary enthusiast based in San Francisco. She runs the popular cooking and dining blog Cooking with Amy. An avid gourmand and traveler, Sherman says, “Cooking and eating are one of the best ways to learn about yourself and world around you.” She adores sushi and would eat it every day if she could afford it, but reveals of a common breakfast staple, “For a long time I had an aversion to maple syrup. Just the smell of it freaked me out. Now I love the stuff! I’m particularly partial to maple syrup from Canada.” An OpenTable diner since 2003, she shares her our answers to our 20 dining Qs.
1. What are some of the best qualities of the San Francisco dining scene? San Francisco has so much variety; there are new hip and trendy places but also classics that are just as popular as ever. It’s not hard to find fantastic pizza, Chinese dumplings, Viennoiserie, fusion street food, and high-end contemporary cuisine on any night of the week. In general, though, the quality is high, in part because our produce is so fresh and beautiful. We really are spoiled here.
2. Any restaurants at which you’re something of a regular? I feel very fortunate to live in such a great food neighborhood. Recently several new places have opened up and Stones Throw has quickly become a favorite. The creativity on the menu and great hospitality make me want to return again and again .
3. If I come to your hometown/city, where must I dine? It’s impossible to not find something to make you happy at Fog City. The restaurant has been reimagined and it’s better than ever. The menu now features everything from burgers to grilled local calamari and oven roasted baby carrots with black garlic mole, almonds and cotija. The smoked salmon and smoked egg salad sandwich at lunch is to die for, and please do order enough of the frozen custard or French crullers for the whole table.
4. Last best restaurant(s) you dined at? I had a great dinner at Verbena, the service is slow, but the dishes are worth waiting for and the vegetarian dishes are as good if not better than the non-vegetarian ones.
5. Restaurant(s) you’d most like to try but have yet to — anywhere? So many places! Even writing about restaurants professionally, it’s hard to keep up, but high on my list to try right now are Aveline, Plin, Urchin Bistrot, and Souvla.
6. Favorite city (cities) for dining outside your own? I’m pretty crazy about Honolulu. It’s a world class dining destination but many of the gems are under the radar. I made a Google map with over 50 of my favorite places. http://bit.ly/honoluludining
7. Destination dining cities you’d love to visit? I would love to go to Copenhagen. Truly, I plan most trips around the food, and, as a result, I’ve been to a lot of great cities! Tokyo, Bologna, Mexico City, and Chicago are a few of my favorites.
8. What’s your overall favorite type of cuisine? Italian is comfort food for me. I lived in Italy for a while and always crave pasta. Even my Italian hosts were impressed by my love for it.
9. Small shared plates, tasting menu or app/entrée dessert? Small plates for sure. Sharing is caring! I want to try as many dishes as I can, but I sometimes suffer from tasting menu fatigue. Grazing on pintxos in San Sebastian was a blast!
10.Dish you can’t resist ordering? Because of the foie gras ban in California, when I do see it on a menu out of state, I’m likely to order it.
Mark your calendars and program your DVRs, food TV fans! On October 15, 2014, season 12 of Top Chef premieres. Set in Boston, Massachusetts, look for episodes taking place at The Bull and Finch Pub (aka Cheers), Fenway Park, and Plimoth Plantation, plus challenges centered around the first Thanksgiving, the inaugural Top Chef food festival, a fan appreciation meal in the Top Chef kitchen, and cooking for Boston’s police and fire departments. Last Chance Kitchen will also return, so even if your favorites packs their knives, they may live to compete another day. This season’s cheftestants are:
Doug Adams, chef de cuisine, Imperial, Portland, Oregon
Stacy Cogswell, executive chef, The Regal Beagle, Boston Massachusetts
Joy Crump, formerly of Woodfire Grill, Atlanta, Georgia
Ron Eyester, executive chef/owner, Rosebud, Atlanta, Georgia
Gregory Gourdet, executive chef, Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Portland, Oregon
Aaron Grissom, chef, Bow & Truss, Los Angeles, California
Adam Harvey, chef, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, New York
Melissa King, former sous chef, The Ritz-Carlton Dining Room, San Francisco, California
Rebecca LaMalfa, executive sous chef, Trenchermen, Chicago, Illinois
Mei Lin, sous chef, ink., Los Angeles, California
George Pagonis, executive chef/partner, Kapnos, Washington, D.C.
Michael Patlazhan, private chef, Brooklyn, New York
James Rigato, executive chef, The Root Restaurant & Bar, White Lake, Michigan
Need a ride to your reservation? No problem! We’re pleased to announce our new Ride there with Uber feature. Starting today, you will be able to view availability and estimated pricing of Uber vehicles near your home or a restaurant, and tap to request a ride to your destination via Uber — all within the OpenTable app.
The Ride there with Uber feature displays on your upcoming reservation and confirmation screens for bookings made within three hours of a reservation time, as well as at the end of your meal when paying your check using the OpenTable iPhone app. And, to make your life even easier, the OpenTable app will automatically tell your driver where to go, so you can focus on more important things like what to eat when you get there!
Ride there with Uber is currently available in the OpenTable app for both iOS and Android devices in cities that Uber serves across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Germany, and Japan.
At OpenTable, powering great dining experiences is our mission; getting you to them is Uber’s. We hope you’ll appreciate the convenience of our latest — and quite literally — mobile feature.
Josh Garnier is the Senior Product Manager for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Bon Appétit has released its annual list of nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants of 2014. While not all of them are actually restaurants (such as Grand Central Market in Los Angeles), most are — and they’re on OpenTable. Neither New York nor San Francisco restaurants dominate the list; rather, the list features eateries in dozens of upcoming culinary cities. The finalists will be announced next week, so book your tables now to sample some of the most exciting food and drink being served around the nation.
Acorn, Denver, Colorado
Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, Massachusetts
CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
Cured, San Antonio, Texas
Eat the Rich, Washington, D.C.
Edmund’s Oast, Charleston, South Carolina
El Camino, Louisville, Kentucky
High Street on Market, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kin Khao, San Francisco, California
Luksus, Brooklyn, New York
Gazpacho is almost as much fun to say as it is to eat. Almost. While scores of foodies adore traditional tangy gazpacho, chefs are thinking outside the red tomato and letting other fruits and vegetables be the stars. This chilled soup, which is positively synonymous with summer, is being prepared with ingredients from cucumbers to watermelon — and everything in between. Check out what diners are saying about gazpacho served 20 different ways, in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews.
* Artichoke, Albuquerque, New Mexico: ”The yellow tomato gazpacho was garlicky and good.”
* Atchafalaya, New Orleans, Louisiana: ”The soup of the day was to die for — watermelon-tomatillo gazpacho. It was absolutely wonderful.”
* Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, Maryland: ”The food was amazing! Starting with a mango-honey dew gazpacho…mmmm!”
* Bishop’s, Vancouver, British Columbia: ”Delicious creamy gazpacho from sungold tomatoes with a spoonful of fennel sorbet and poached prawns was amazing!”
* Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri: ”The gazpacho martini is the single most delish cocktail I’ve ever imbibed.”
* Charley G’s Seafood Grill, Lafeyette, Louisiana: ”My wife got the watermelon gazpacho soup with lump crab meat which was out of this world.”
* Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, North Carolina: ”I highly recommend the sungold tomato and peach gazpacho. What an exciting surprise offering a delectable variety of tastes.”
* Coohills, Denver, Colorado: ”The green tomato gazpacho was not your run-of the-mill soup but a medley of great flavors.”
* Dovetail, New York, New York: ”The melon gazpacho for a first course on a warm summer day was refreshing and wonderfully flavored.”
* Gotham Bar and Grill, New York, New York: “I had the very best gazpacho of my life next. I didn’t want to finish it because I didn’t want the amazing blend of compressed yellow peppers, watermelon, cucumber, garlic, strawberry, and tomato to end!”
After a successful mobile payment pilot program in San Francisco, we are pleased to announce that the pay with OpenTable feature is expanding nationally. In addition to the New York City launch, mobile payments will be introduced in 18 additional cities before the year’s end. We also plan to further expand the presence of payments in San Francisco.
To pay with OpenTable, make sure you are using the latest version of the OpenTable iPhone app. Diners who book a participating restaurant can add a credit card, which enables them to view and pay their check at participating restaurants with a few taps. It’s that easy; there’s no separate app to download, no table number to enter, and no scanning or barcodes involved. Diners who settle their check via the OpenTable app can simply get up and go whenever they’re ready!
For additional information about mobile payments and view the current list of participating restaurants, visit http://pay.opentable.com/. If you have a restaurant and are interested in providing your guests with our mobile payments experience, you can learn more at http://pay.opentable.com/restaurants.
In honor of summer vacation season, we are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Featuring restaurants showcasing both natural and urban beauty that attract locals and travelers alike, the complete list includes award winners in 28 states, such as Chart House Restaurant in Monterey, California, Top of Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Water’s Edge in Long Island City, New York. The geographically diverse state of California handily dominates with 38 winning restaurants. Washington follows with seven honorees, Hawaii with five, and Florida with four. Arizona, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming each have three award winners. Michigan and New Jersey have two apiece. Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia are also represented.