September 2016 Restaurant Weeks: Late Summer Savings

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Summer is coming to an end, but September 2016 restaurant weeks are still in season. 

Flavor Palm Beach has kicked off with $10 + $20 lunches and $30, $35, $40 + $45 dinners through September 30. Make a reservation.

* Charleston Restaurant Week features delightful deals on three-course dinners and lunches through September 18. Make a reservation.

Downtown Dine O’ Round Salt Lake City is almost here. Order $5 + $10 lunches and $15 + $35 dinners, September 9-25. Make a reservation.

Midtown Atlanta Restaurant Week is coming with $15 + $25 lunches and brunches and $25 + $35 dinners, September 10-18. Make a reservation.

Dining Out for Life Baltimore brings you a chance to do good while you dine out. Eat at a participating restaurant and 25-100% of your bill will be donated to Moveable Feast on September 15. Make a reservation.

* Brandywine Valley Restaurant Week has $15 two-course lunches + $35 three-course dinners through September 18. Make a reservation.

Restaurant Week New Orleans lets the good times roll with $20 two-course lunches + $39 three-course dinners, September 12-18. Make a reservation.

Omaha Restaurant Week is 10 full nights of belt-busting fun that benefits the Food Bank for the Heartland with $20, $30, $40 + $50 dinners, September 16-25. Make a reservation.

* Cobb County Restaurant Week has a trifecta of savings with $15, $25 + $35 brunches, lunches, and dinners, September 17-24. Make a reservation.

Center City District Restaurant Week comes to the PHL with $20 lunches + $35 dinners, September 11-16 and September 18-23. Make a reservation.Continue Reading

Pop-Up Power: Two Chefs Get Creative at Mission D&A

Mission D&A

The power of the pop-up to launch new concepts or garner attention for chefs with a wide range of culinary talent is one to be harnessed; from Lazy Bear to Mission Chinese Food, so many of our beloved favorites have popped out of oblivion into wild success. The spontaneity of the format, combined with temporary nature of the project, enables a chef to flex his/her culinary muscles and play, especially before committing to a longer term project like a full restaurant.

Undeniably cool East Bay native David Nayfeld and partner-in-crime Angela Pinkerton met at New York City’s temple to fine dining Eleven Madison Park, where they both honed their skills. Now, as they await the opening of their new pasta-forward restaurant, Che Fico, slated to open on Divisadero Street in San Francisco’s popular NOPA neighborhood in several months, they’ve popped up an experience of their own.

“The idea spurred when Angela and I had been waiting for our restaurant to be built,” explains Nayfeld. “We were in the market to do something creative — and pay our bills while we’re at it.” The timing was perfect as the Roosevelt Tamale Parlor in SF’s Mission was on the verge of selling, so the restaurateurs hopped on the opportunity to bring to life their little creative experiment.

Mission D&A

“This is very much like an art project for us—I go to the market, see something cool, and then do whatever we want. We get to be creative and have a chance to do something we don’t usually get a chance to do.” Sounds fun, no?

The fruit of their labor is Mission D&A, a rotating dinner series that has sallied from Nayfeld’s roots in the Russian Jewish cooking of his mother Gallina to the heart of bistronomie, a la restaurants such as Frenchie, Septime, and Chateaubriand in Paris. With the diversity of menu styles the team has concocted for the pop up, they are able to offer the same quality of ingredients and rigorous technique of a restaurant like Eleven Madison at a fraction of the cost (the three-course prix fixe clocks in at just $50 per person.)

And then there’s every chef’s dream brought to life — flippin’ patties. On Wednesday, the restaurant transforms into fast casual service, with a grass-fed burger topped with Dijonnaise on a fresh potato roll, artisanal fries, and other “Pickled Thangs.” It’s 15 bucks. We’re into it.Continue Reading

In Season: 10 Top Corn Dishes to Order Now

Corn is summer’s comfort food, especially as the sunshine season comes to an end and you want to hang on to its best flavors. Fresh corn on the cob with drippy butter and those plastic metal pronged holders is a #ThrowbackThursday childhood food memory for sure. Fast forward to, well, now, when you’ll find corn has husked its boring boiled reputation and reinvented itself in some dishes you may not  recognize — but will surely want to get to know. Here are 10 top corn dishes to order now — from the classic cob to more creative takes on the yellow summer goddess, such as spicy elote (translation: Mexican street corn).

Slate, New York, New York
Chef Darryl Harmon has introduced Elote to his late summer menu — corn with Ancho-lime spiked sauce and cotija cheese. The Jersey corn comes to this Flatiron District restaurant from a family-owned-and-operated New Jersey farm. Sweet. Make a reservation at Slate.

Top Corn Dishes

The Clam, New York, New York
Think corn-on-the-cob for dummies. It’s called Charred Sweet Corn Off the Cob — basically, it’s sweet corn (taken straight off the cob), charred, and seasoned with some chili, parmesan and a squeeze of lime. Easier to eat and no more corn-stuck-in-teeth Instagram shots. Make a reservation at The Clam.

Top Corn Dishes

Sarsaparilla Club at The Shelbourne, South Beach, Florida
This just-opened American Dim Sum restaurant in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel South Beach honors the iconic late-summer treat with its Corn 4 Ways dish. It’s grilled sweet corn, cornbread butter, cornbread crumbs and lemon popcorn — a ménage a quatre. Make a reservation at Sarsaparilla Club at The Shelbourne.

Top Corn Dishes

Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
Executive chef-owner Ken has debuted a twist on traditional pot de crème to his menu, adding fresh corn and blueberries to the French classic. The corn is roasted, the cobs are shucked, and the kernels are pureed and added to the custard mixture. It’s then crowned with fresh blueberry preserves. Voila! Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.

Top Corn Dishes

Marrow, Indianapolis, Indiana
The elote at this Indy restaurant is dolled up with ancho mayo, cobija chili, and lime. And, by the way, Indiana makes the top-five-states-list for mass production of corn and this year’s crop is the second-largest corn crop in Indiana history (and the season is still youngish.) Now you know. Make a reservation at Marrow.

Top Corn Dishes

Therapy, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Fire Roasted Street Corn here is great therapy for end-of-summer blues. It’s made with fire-roasted corn, obvs, and seasoned with lime aioli, chili pepper, and parmesan cheese. The fresh corn comes from Simoni & Massoni Farms out of Byron, California. Make a reservation at Therapy.

Top Corn DishesContinue Reading

You Got (Dis)Served: 7 Signs You’re Receiving Bad Restaurant Service #hackdining

Signs you're receiving bad restaurant service

Alton Brown once said, “Good service can save a bad meal, but there is no level of food that can save bad service.” Oftentimes the errors can be glaring, but sometimes the slights to the guest are more subtle. So what are the signs you’re receiving bad restaurant service?

To find out, we spoke to front-of-house all-star William Washington. A managing partner at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Washington, D.C., he’s a veteran of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Blue Duck Tavern, and the Inn at Little Washington. He clued us into seven common service slip-ups that can turn what should have been a great meal into an unforgettable disaster.

You’re not seated at the time of your reservation.

“After five minutes of waiting for your table, it’s okay to check in with the host to make sure you’re on their radar, but this doesn’t mean you should be complaining. If they’re 15 minutes behind schedule, it’s more than reasonable to ask for a manager. They should do something for you at that point – at the very least an apology, but maybe a drink, too. At 30 minutes you have a right to be infuriated and the restaurant should definitely do something for you.”

A staff member doesn’t acknowledge you when you’re seated.

“Someone should greet you within two to three minutes of you arriving at your table. Within five minutes, you should have a server getting your drink order and addressing any issues with the table or the experience. You don’t have the right to ask them to change the music necessarily, but if it’s a hot summer night and you’re sweating, you can ask them to check to see if air conditioning is working.”

You don’t have a drink in hand within 10 minutes.

“And it should only take that long for craft cocktails. Also, the sommelier should visit the table while you still have the wine list open – not after you’ve ordered.”

You’re not noshing on appetizers within 15 minutes.

“Unless it’s something convoluted. In that case, a server should tell you up front, ‘The shrimp soufflé takes extra time, so please be aware.’ If you only order mains, they should be to you within 20 minutes.”Continue Reading