Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Green Garlic

Green Garlic Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Green GarlicGreen garlic isn’t really wholly green, just its stalk. Thus, a more accurate name might be baby garlic — because that’s just what it is. Garlic is sown in the fall and mature heads are harvested in early summer. If you pick it prematurely — right about now in New York, for example — you’ll wind up with young garlic, or green garlic, as it is most commonly known. Its flavor is far more mild than its older counterpart, and it is a popular substitute for leeks, onions, or scallions. Creative chefs, however, are taking this ingenue of an aromatic and making it the headliner. Look for it in everything from consomme and creamy soup to flan and risotto. Find out what diners are raving about in recent restaurant reviews — and don’t miss your chance to sample this short-season savory star. 

Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: ”We had a wonderful meal at Angele. The highlight was my green garlic risotto, which was fabulous.”

BayWolf, Oakland, California: ”Such very pleasant ambiance, service, and an interesting menu. The green garlic flan starter melted in one’s mouth.”

Bocanova, Oakland, California: ”Loved the roasted beets with goat cheese, green garlic, and hazelnuts.”

* Cafe Juanita, Seattle, Washington: “The green garlic flan was a great duck accompaniment. We will definitely be going back for more.”

Chez Panisse Cafe, Berkeley, California: ”I had four exquisite meals at Chez Panisse. One dish, as an example, that I’ll never forget: slivers of baby artichoke and sunchoke, green garlic, olive oil, a hint of lemon, and truffles. So understated, but my dining companion and I stopped talking in order to assimilate and admire the simple genius of this dish.”

Fish Story, Napa, California: ”Beautiful location, great looking menu. The seafood was fresh, and the chilled green garlic soup was very fresh and tasty.”

* Fruition Restaurant, Denver, Colorado: “I started with the green garlic consomme and was blown away by the complex flavors and the little surprises in the dish. I’m not going to go into great detail here because I want you to try it. This was the star of the night for me.”

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OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 100 Best Brunches in America + Brunch Slideshow

As restaurants around the nation prepare for a delicious weekend of Mother’s Day dining, we are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Awards winners for the Top 100 Best Restaurants for Brunch in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Highlighting restaurants serving inspired twists on brunch classics, the complete list includes award winners in 28 states and Washington, D.C., such as Chicken and the Egg in Marietta, Georgia, Hundred Acres in New York City, and South End Buttery in Boston. California claims the greatest number of winning restaurants with 12, followed by New York with 10, and Washington, D.C., with eight. Florida and Texas have seven each, while Illinois has six and Pennsylvania has five. Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina boast four winners apiece, while Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington have three. Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New Jersey each have two honorees. Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin are also represented.

The majority of best brunch restaurants specialize in American cuisine, but several international fares are popular, including Belgian, French, Latin, and Mediterranean. Check out some of the yummiest brunch dishes at these top restaurants in our exclusive slideshow.

 

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#MomTexts Mother’s Day Giveaway: Tweet to Win 1 of 14 $100 OpenTable Gifts

momtextsscreen #MomTexts Mothers Day Giveaway: Tweet to Win 1 of 14 $100 OpenTable GiftsDo you want to treat your mom to a meal to remember? Does your mother send you #MomTexts? Then, enter the OpenTable #MomTexts Mother’s Day Giveaway! Every day between April 28 and May 11, we’re giving away a $100 OpenTable Gift to a diner who shares their best #MomTexts. To enter, follow @OpenTable on Twitter. Then tweet @OpenTable a screenshot of your most memorable text from your mother using the hashtag #MomTexts.

The full rules and regulations are below, but remember it is limited to one entry per person/Twitter handle. And, don’t forget to follow us so we can notify you of your winning #MomTexts via direct message.

Not sure what #MomTexts are? Peep this clip from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon after the jump to learn more. Chances are you already have several #MomTexts on your mobile! Continue reading…

Introducing OpenTable Guest Center

Personalized hospitality is now beautifully simple with Guest Center. Guest Center seamlessly merges the leading restaurant reservation network with complete front-of-house management tools. In the video below, Matt Roberts, CEO, Joseph Essas, CTO, and Jon Morin, Product Lead, deliver the thinking, design and demo of the new, cloud-based, hospitality solution by OpenTable.

To experience Guest Center, a solution designed to make tailored hospitality even easier, please email sales@opentable.com.

Roof to Table: 10 Rooftop Restaurant Gardens

Bachelor Farmer Rooftop Roof to Table: 10 Rooftop Restaurant GardensHappy Earth Day! In honor of the 44th year of putting the green back into the globe, we present 10 restaurants with their own rooftop gardens. Diners can savor the super-freshly grown flavor just hours after these hyper-local fruits, vegetables, and herbs were harvested by restaurant staffers. While rooftop gardens cannot provide a restaurant with all of its produce (Yet!), the culinary pros at these restaurants find inspiration from and clever uses for everything they are able to sow.

1. The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis, Minnesota

It’s only fitting that a restaurant with farmer in its name have a microfarm on its roof. Located in a lovingly refurbished warehouse, the Bachelor Farmer team grows herbs and hearty greens on their first-of-its-kind Twin Cities rooftop garden. Relying on containers, they use a series of vessels for the plants they nurture, including blue kiddie pools. Serving Nordic cuisine, The Bachelor Farmer carefully sources additional produce from area farms. Its rooftop farm dates back to the restaurant’s opening in 2011.

2. Bastille Cafe & Bar, Seattle, Washington

Bastille restaurant has one of the most successful and copied rooftop gardens in the country. Growing an impressive 12-15% of the produce and herbs served at the eatery in 2,500 square feet of space, Jason Stoneburner shared that they find great success “with various heirloom varieties of radish, carrots, turnips and arugula. These staples grow apace and are easy to cultivate.We do experiment with lesser known greens, veggies and flowers such as spilanthes, shunkyo radish, curry plant, ice plant, anise hyssop and winter density romaine. Just to name a few.” Diners can tour the garden, which was installed in 2009, during the high season by appointment for $10, which includes a tasty Pimms Cup cocktail.

3. Cedar, Washington, D.C.

Atop Cedar in the nation’s capital, chef Aaron McCloud sows a healthy portion of the produce that diners at his ‘field and stream meets urban’ restaurant. He favors herbs, tomatoes, and squash, but he also grows and serves edible flowers, including marigolds. “Marigolds are really pretty, but they have this nice little aromatic bite that I think enhance a salad or a garnish — that works really well,” he said.

4. flour + water, San Francisco, California

As Thomas McNaughton, David White, and David Steele were putting pizza on the map in San Francisco, they were also raising the roof — with a garden. With just 450 square feet, they revealed that they are able to source 5 percent of flour + water’s produce from the garden. There is also a beehive, and the resulting honey finds its way into dishes as well. Sister restaurant Central Kitchen also boasts a rooftop garden, where artichokes, peas, young favas, foraged greens and herbs are grown.

5. Fountain at The Four Seasons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Even the folks at the swanky Four Seasons aren’t immune to the charms of digging in the dirt. These early-adopters added a rooftop garden in 2009. Eight stories above the city, in nine raised beds, Fountain staffers grow herbs, peas, bok choi, peppers, and more, all of which find their way into the dishes served at the restaurant. The green doesn’t end there, tho’. The Four Seasons also composts 128 tons annually of leftovers (off-site) and uses the end product to fertilize the beds and the grounds of the hotel.

6. Noble Rot, Portland, Oregon

Their website proclaims, “The garden is the soul at Noble Rot in Portland.” Even with that noble and fuzzy statement, though, these horticultural-culinary mad scientists take a rather mercenary approach to their garden. That which does not thrive does not stick around for long. And, as they continue to tinker with what they sow, they do the same with their systems, learning as they grow (or not). A whopping 3,000 square-feet, irrigated by an aquifer beneath the building, the garden provides menu items almost year-round (indicated in capital letters on the Noble Rot menu). There are free garden tours on Tuesdays at 5:00PM.

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Enter to Win a Gourmet Getaway to LA

LAgetaway ads1 Enter to Win a Gourmet Getaway to LA

OpenTable is pleased to partner with MYHABIT and Tasting Table to bring you a chance to win the ultimate gourmet getaway to Los Angeles. Entering is easy — and free! — and the prize is the stuff that foodie dreams are made of:

* Roundtrip airfare and a swanky hotel stay.

* $1,000 toward dining out and cooking classes of your choice.

* A $1,0000 MyHabit credit to make sure you’re styling in the City of Angels.

Enter today to cook and dine your way through LA.

Gather Around the Fire at Shibui Robata in Toronto

Toronto diners seeking authentic Japanese robata cuisine need look no further than Shibui Robata, now open in the city’s downtown neighborhood. Brought to you by the operators of Toronto’s popular Copacabana restaurants, Shibui Robata perfectly captures the techniques and flavors of authentic Japanese robata cooking.

Robata means “around the fireplace” in Japanese and refers to the centuries-old method of cooking over an open fire in the home. This tradition later gave rise to robata restaurants around Japan, at which highly skilled chefs embraced its unique challenges. Now, restaurateur Michael Rudan and chef Masaki Nakayam invite you to experience the rustic elegance that is live-fire robata cuisine at Shibui Robata.

Robata ingredients are simple – fresh fish, beef, lamb, pork, and vegetables. Its tools are few — charcoal, fire, salt, and pepper. Yet, under the talented eyes and hands of a seasoned robata chef, such as chef Nakayama, the end result is magic. Nakayama, who perfected his method at top restaurants in Miami and New York, was drawn to the robata style of cooking by its deceptive level of difficulty. He notes, “The fire is live, and you have to control the heat, the temperatures of the fire. That is very challenging.”

With diners having a front-row seat to the action, does chef Nakayama get nervous cooking for a crowd? “I love that people can see me cook. It’s like a show. I have to make it fun for the customer, and that’s fun for me, too.” Along with just-out-of-the-fire robata dishes, the Shibui menu features sublime starters, such as hamachi ceviche with tart green apple and kiwi, and inventive rolls, like the eel oshi zushi, featuring pressed sushi, avocado, masago, and cream cheese. The next time you dine in Toronto, pull up a seat near the fire at Shibui Robata, where traditional technique meets a decidedly modern presentation.

Shibui Robata is open for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Monday-Saturday. Book a table!

OpenTable Implements Security Patch for the Heartbleed Bug

The so-called Heartbleed Internet bug has been making headlines this week and prompting a wave of increased security measures at online companies around the world, including OpenTable. We do not have any evidence that any of our systems were compromised; however, we have taken preemptive action to secure the OpenTable authentication infrastructure — and your personal information — against Heartbleed.

Our engineering team monitors our systems around the clock to maintain the integrity of our site to protect both diners and restaurants. However, when the OpenSSL project issued a Security Advisory that detailed a serious vulnerability in the encryption software in use by a large percentage of the internet (including OpenTable), we immediately implemented a security patch.

As an additional cautionary measure, we recommend that all diners reset their OpenTable passwords. Our engineering team will continue its mission to protect our diners and restaurant customers from this and any future threats.

Click here now to change your password.​​

Joseph Essas is the Chief Technology Officer at OpenTable.

Mad Men Restaurants: Los Angeles Edition

Mad Men‘s seventh and final season kicks off on Sunday. Unlike previous seasons, much of the action will take place in sunny Los Angeles. We’ve talked about where Don Draper and friends have dined and should dine in New York. Now, we’ve rounded up sumptuous suggestions for where we’d like to see the Sterling, Cooper & Partners crew dine in the City of Angels, circa 1969, including The Galley, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, The Smokehouse, and more.

 

Restaurant: Dal Rae
Location: 9023 E. Washington Boulevard, Pico Rivera, California
Now and then: Your favorite mid-century classics reign supreme at the Dal Rae, which began serving diners at this location in 1958. Its truly retro and not-at-all ironic menu features the staples that defined upscale American cuisine for an entire generation, including Chateaubriand, Rack of Lamb, Pepper Steak, and Cherries Jubilee. Known for their world-class hospitality, the Dal Rae is operated by brothers and second-generation owners Kevin and Lorin Smith. Recognizable from afar thanks to its neon, atomic-age signage, the Dal Rae features live entertainment in the piano bar.
Tasty tidbit: The Smith brothers note, “The Dal Rae is where the drinks are strong enough for Roger, and the steaks are man enough for Don.”
Classic dish not to miss: Steak Diane, Lobster Thermidor, Veal Oscar, and the tableside Caesar Salad, just to name a few.
Book it!

Restaurant: The Derby
Location: 233 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, California
Now and then: The Derby opened in 1922, but became The Derby in 1938, when it was purchased by legendary jockey George Woolf (known for riding Seabiscuit to victory over War Admiral in 1938). Walking through the doors of The Derby is definitely a stroll back in time to the heyday of California’s 1930′s horse racing culture. Pristine yet unfussy, this meat mecca attracts a hip crowd of all ages who appreciate a great steak, a stiff drink, and live music. Woolf’s ghost is said to haunt the establishment, spinning his favorite bar stool at closing time. A nostaglic Pete Campbell would definitely appreciate a meal at The Derby.
Classic dish not to miss: The Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon that made The Derby famous and Noni’s Brashioli.
Book it!

Restaurant: The Galley
Location: 2442 Main Street, Santa Monica, California
Now and then: Santa Monica’s oldest bar and restaurant, dating back to 1934, The Galley boasts a colorful interior that is a delightful contrast to its traditional menu, yet both are equally inviting. Operated by the always-entertaining Captain Ron, the restaurant features memorabilia from the 1934 movie Mutiny on the Bounty, including the boat’s steering wheel, which hangs from the ceiling. The Galley serves a more extensive menu than it did decades ago, offering an array of steaks, seafood, and chicken dishes. A spot at The Galley’s lively South Seas Bar remains one of the most coveted for cocktail enthusiasts.
Tasty tidbit: Bartender Anna would most like to serve Joan Harris. And, John Slattery is a regular at The Galley.
Classic dish not to missSteamed East Coast Clams served with clam broth and drawn butter, along with Shrimp Cocktail and the Top Sirloin Steak.
Book it!

Restaurant: Lawry’s The Prime Rib
Location: 100 North La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California
Now and then: A pioneer of the single-entrée — including the ‘choose-your-own-cut’ — dining experience, Lawry’s is famous for several aspects of its service, from its storied carts and spinning bowl salads, to servers’ uniforms that are literally straight out of 1938, as well as its signature Prime Rib. Established in 1938, Lawry’s The Prime Rib was started by Lawrence L. Frank and Walter Van De Kamp and remains family run to this day. The restaurant is said to be the birthplace of both the doggie bag and the practice of starting a meal with salad. Based on the success of the original location, there are Lawry’s The Prime Rib restaurants across the country and around the world (in case you can’t make it to Los Angeles).
Tasty tidbit: President and CEO (and 3rd generation operator) Richard R. Frank says, “We would’ve loved to have served Peggy, a real go-getter and ahead of her time! She most definitely would’ve passed on daintier cuts of prime rib and gone for our 24 oz. Diamond Jim Brady.”
Classic dish not to miss: The Prime Rib, the signature Spinning Salad, and the savory Yorkshire Pudding.
Book it!

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Make OpenTable Gifts Your Pick for Administrative Professionals Day

Blackbird Make OpenTable Gifts Your Pick for Administrative Professionals Day
A meal at Blackbird in Chicago is a much better gift than a stapler.

Administrative Professionals Day is April 23rd, and we can assure you that your favorite administrative professional doesn’t want a new pen holder or office supplies of any kind. Rather than reward the person who — let’s face it — makes your job possible with something related to work, we suggest you give the gift of fine dining.

With thousands of restaurants from which to choose, OpenTable Gifts is the easiest and most convenient way to send your MVAPs personalized online gift card to their favorite restaurants. And, you don’t need to even do the choosing.  When you visit https://gifts.opentable.com, if you select “Choose a restaurant,” you pick the city, the restaurant, and the amount. If you select “Let your friend choose,” you can buy a gift card that is good at any participating restaurant; you only decide on the amount. The gifts will be delivered via email, either instantly or at a future date. You can also print the gift card to present it to your valued administrative professional (assuming you know where the office printer is).

Join companies around the U.S. and the world who plan to celebrate millions “appys” on this day and throughout Administrative Professionals Week. Purchase an OpenTable Gift today!