July Restaurant Weeks: Summer Savings Ahead!

French RW NYC July Restaurant Weeks: Summer Savings Ahead!Whether you’re traveling or keeping things local with a staycation, your summer just got a bit more affordable, thanks to summer restaurant weeks. Here’s what’s coming your way in July. Start booking today to reserve your spot to save, and check back for additional offers in other cities.

* Toronto Summerlicious starts this week. Grab a table for $15, $20 or $25 lunches + $25, $35 or $45 dinners, July 4-20.

* Say ‘Oui!’ to NYC French Restaurant WeekCelebrate the wines of Roussillon and Bastille Day with special lunch and dinner menus at $17.89, $35.78 (includes beverage), and $178.90 (for two or four people including a bottle of wine), July 7-14.

* Let the good times roll during Restaurant Week Baton RougeEnjoy gourmet prix-fixe menus for $15-$35, July 14-19.

* dineLA is only two weeks away. Take advantage of $15, $20 or $25 lunches and $25, $35 or $45 dinners, July 14-27.

* Happy days are here again with University City Dining Days in Philadelphia. Feast on $15, $25, or $35 dinners, July 17-27.

* Queens Feast Charlotte Restaurant Week commences on July 18. Make a reservation for $30 three-course dinners, July 18-27.

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OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 100 Neighborhood Gems in America

gems OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 100 Neighborhood Gems in America In celebration of the local restaurants diners return to time and again, we are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Best Neighborhood Gem 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.

Highlighting eateries that contribute to the character of their neighborhoods, the complete list includes award winners in more than half the states in the nation and Washington, D.C., including Lucia’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Minneapolis, Red Gravy in Brooklyn, and The Yellow Porch in Nashville. California has 24 winning restaurants sprinkled throughout the state, followed by New York with 10, and New Jersey and Pennsylvania with six each. Both Florida and Georgia have five honorees, while Massachusetts and Texas each boast four. Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington, and Washington, D.C., all have three winners, and the states of  New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and South Carolina have two apiece. Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Utah are also represented.

Although American fare is the most popular cuisine, Italian cuisine was a close second, with 25 restaurants specializing in dishes inspired by Lo Stivale, or The Boot. French fare is popular as well, as are seafood and southern menus.

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Best Neighborhood Gem Restaurants in America are generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between June 1, 2013, and May 31, 2014. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration.  Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of qualifying reviews for which “neighborhood gem” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award Winners for the Top 100 Neighborhood Gem Restaurants in America, according to OpenTable diners: Continue reading…

Champagne + Sushi + Sommeliers: Oh, Matsuhisa!

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.

UrbanSitter + OpenTable Date Night: Save $30 on Dinner and a Sitter

Dinner and Sitter UrbanSitter Promo UrbanSitter + OpenTable Date Night: Save $30 on Dinner and a Sitter

You deserve a date today, and UrbanSitter and OpenTable are here to make it easier and more affordable!

Get $15 off a $100 OpenTable Gift
* Enter coupon code DATENIGHT at checkout.
Purchase an OpenTable Gift.

Get $15 credit from UrbanSitter
* Enter discount code DATENIGHT at sign up.
* Good for one sitter introduction.
Book a sitter on UrbanSitter for the evening.

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We Partied Our Aspen off at Jimmy’s Bodega with Don Julio Tequila!

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.

 

Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Sushi Rolls That Really Rock

Untitled 2 Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Sushi Rolls That Really RockIt’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.”

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A Fresh New Look for OpenTable on Android

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.

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The new app now kicks off an availability search upon launch so you can immediately view bookable restaurants in the area.

Josh Garnier is the Mobile Product Manager for Android and Windows Phone.

Viva Las Vegas: 36 Hours in Sin City

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.

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Are You a Foodie Under 40? Join James Beard Foundation Greens!

greens Are You a Foodie Under 40? Join James Beard Foundation Greens!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.