OpenTable Mobile Payments for iPhone Available at Participating Restaurants in San Francisco

OT Mobile Payments iPhone Shot 2.6.2014 OpenTable Mobile Payments for iPhone Available at Participating Restaurants in San FranciscoWith the latest update to the OpenTable iPhone app, diners can now use OpenTable mobile payments to settle their check at restaurants participating in our San Francisco-area pilot program.

To get started, make sure you are using the latest app version 6.2.1. Then make a reservation at a participating restaurant via the app, and follow the prompts to set up a credit or debit card.

Please note that OpenTable mobile payments are currently available only to those users with an iPhone running iOS 7.

To learn more about paying with OpenTable or to see the participating restaurants, visit pay.opentable.com.

Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Gumbo

gumbo blog Trending on Restaurant Reviews: GumboHappy Fat Tuesday, foodies! It’s the most delicious day of the year in New Orleans — and anywhere that embraces the spirit of Mardi Gras. Naturally, we’ve got NOLA’s best-known dishes on our minds, from crawfish étouffée and jambalaya to beignets and king cakes — and, of course, gumbo. Gumbo is one of those dishes about which everyone and their Cajun or Creole grandmother seems to have a strong (and often differing) opinion. This iconic stew takes its name from kingombo, the African word for okra, a once-paramount ingredient in gumbo. The foundation of a great gumbo is its roux, a blend of fat and flour that is cooked to a smoky, rich brown. Seafood, andouille, duck, and chicken are common ingredients used to round out this deeply satisfying dish. Find out what diners are saying about the gumbo they’ve been sampling at OpenTable restaurants recently. You may be surprised to find that you don’t need to travel to the Big Easy to experience authenticity. 

Atchafalaya, New Orleans, Louisiana: ”We were very tired. And hungry. Three parades in one day is probably too much for people travelling with infant twins and another child. We were sans kids for the first time in about a week just for dinner. The staff was very kind to us and rushed us some complimentary gumbo. It was about the best dark roux gumbo I have ever had and really hit the spot.”

Cajun Pacific, San Francisco, California: ”I am of Cajun descent, so I am picky and know what gumbo is. I had a bowl of the chicken and andouille version and was not disappointed. The wine list is short but well chosen and reasonable. Having passed the gumbo test (Most places don’t even know the difference between a gumbo and a creole dish), I will be back for something more substantial.”

* Cedar Creek, Glen Cove, New York: “Finding a good Cajun entree on the north shore is harder that finding an actual Cajun! Wasn’t expecting amazing gumbo, but that’s what I got!”

* The Chew Chew, Riverside, Illinois: ”One of the many nice things about the Chew Chew is the special menu and theme party offered during Mardi Gras. The restaurant is bedecked with beads, the staff dons masks, and on certain nights a costumed fortune teller visits patrons’ tables. We sip a Sazerac and wander through a small tasting plate of oysters, a cup of spicy (yet beautifully balanced) gumbo, a delightfully moist blackened redfish, and a trio of warm beignets dusted with powdered sugar and artfully poised in a swirl of raspberry coulis.”

Devon Seafood Grill, Hershey, Pennsylvania: ”My husband always orders the gumbo, which he says is as good as down south.”

Hammocks Trading Company, Sandy Springs, Georgia: ”My order was six delicious, filling grilled oysters stuffed with crab, cheese, and jalapeno. Oh my! Followed this with fried green tomatoes and their fabulous seafood gumbo with the thickest, darkest roux, six nicely sized shrimp plus crabmeat you could see and taste — my favorite dish.”

Continue reading…

Take a Bite out of the Big Apple During NYC Restaurant Week

NYRW 2014 Take a Bite out of the Big Apple During NYC Restaurant Week Just like most foodies, we heart New York. And we heart it just a little more during New York City Restaurant Week! Twice a year, the folks at NYC & Company bring the city’s best restaurants together to offer diners amazing deals on delicious meals. An ideal opportunity to try new restaurants and revisit old favorites, New York City Restaurant Week features $25 three-course lunches and $38 three-course dinners.

There are hundreds of participating restaurants, including Ai Fiori, Casa Mono, The Dutch, Kin Shop, Lafayette, The Marrow, Perry Street, Red Rooster Harlem, Saul, Telepan, and Zengo.

Book your New York City Restaurant Week tables now through March 7th.

2014 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant + Chef Semifinalists

JBF 2104 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant + Chef SemifinalistsForget the Academy Awards. We’re more excited for the Beard Awards! Our friends at the James Beard Foundation have released their list of semi-finalists for nominations in the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards, otherwise known as the “Oscars” of the food world. Congratulations — and good luck — to all the semi-finalists. Click here for a full list of nominated chefs, restaurants, and restaurateurs, including regional nominations. The final nominees will be revealed on March 18th. Congratulations and best of luck to all those who have made it this far.

Nominated restaurants include:

Best New Restaurant
The 404 Kitchen, Nashville, Tennessee
Aragona, Seattle, Washington
Bar Sajor, Seattle Washington
Betony, New York, New York
Carbone, New York, New York
Casa Rubia at Trinity Groves, Dallas, Texas
The Cavalier, San Francisco, California
Chi Spacca, Los Angeles, California
Connie and Ted’s, West Hollywood, California
Coqueta, San Francisco, California
The Elm, Brooklyn, New York
Laurel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
MWRestaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii
Nico Osteria, Chicago, Illinois
Peche Seafood Grill, New Orleans, Louisiana
Serpico, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Virtu Honest Craft, Scottsdale, Arizona

Outstanding Restaurant
Canlis, Seattle, Washington
Fearrington House, Pittsboro, North Carolina
Fore Street, Portland, Maine
Foreign Cinema, San Francisco, California
Fork, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Greens Restaurant, San Francisco, California
Hamersley’s Bistro, Boston, Massachusetts
Hearth, New York, New York
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
Melisse, Santa Monica, California
Primo, Rockland, Maine
The Slanted Door, San Francisco, California
Spiaggia, Chicago, Illinois
Terra, St. Helena, California
Vidalia, Washington, D.C.
wd~50, New York, New York

Outstanding Service
Abacus, Dallas, Texas
Bacchanalia, Atlanta, Georgia
Blue Hill, New York, New YOrk
Brigsten’s, New Orleands, Louisiana
Café Juanita, Kirkland, Washington
L’Espalier, Boston Massachusetts
L20, Chicago, Illinois
Lucques, West Hollywood, California
Masone Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas, Texas
Marcel’s, Washington, D.C.
McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina
Persimmon, Bristol, Rhode Island
Providence, Los Angeles, California
Quince, San Francisco, California
Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, California
Topolobampo, Chicago, Illinois
Vetri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco, California
Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego, California
Bar Boulud, New York, New York
Café on the Green at the Four Seasons Dallas, Irving, Texas
CityZen, Washington, D.C.
FIG, Charleston, South Carolina
The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
Marcel’s, Washington, D.C.
Picasso – Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada
Press, St. Helena, California
Rouge Tomate, New York, New York
Sepia, Chicago, Illinois
Spago, Beverly Hills, California
Troquet, Boston, Massachusetts
Yono’s Restaurant, Albany, New York

Nominated chefs include:

Outstanding Chef
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, New York, New York
Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina
Andrew Carmellini, Locanda Verde, New York, New York
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, West Hollywood, California
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans, Louisiana
Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago, Illinois
Nancy Oakes, Boulevard, San Francisco, California
Ann Quatrano, Bacchanalia, Atlanta, Georgia
Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida
Julian Serrano, Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles, California
Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, Massachusetts
John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle, Washington
Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco
Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia

Rising Star Chef of the Year Continue reading…

Restaurant Week Season Continues: Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Louisville, Seattle + More

PDM2014 Restaurant Week Season Continues: Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Louisville, Seattle + MoreDoes winter have you feeling down? Cheer up with restaurant week savings in a city near you. 

* It’s finally 502 Restaurant Week in Louisville. Order up delicious dinners for $50.20 per couple or $50.20 per person through March 5.

* Annapolis Restaurant Week has arrived. Don’t miss $15.95 two-course lunches +  $32.95 three-course dinners through March 2.

* Bet on Atlantic City Restaurant Week!  Take advantage of $15.14 lunches + $33.14 dinners, March 2-March 8.

* Sink your teeth into Calgary’s The Big Taste. Enjoy steals on meals at the city’s best restaurants, March 7-March 16.

* Chicago Chef Week blows into the Windy City in a few weeks. Book now for three-course $22 lunches + $44 dinners, March 16-March 21.

* Count us in for Dine Out Boston. Save with $15, $20 + $25 lunches and $28,$33 + $38 dinners, March 16-21 and March 23-28.

* Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week continues. You’ll love $15 lunches + $30 dinners through March 2.

* Denver Restaurant Week is on in Mile-High City. Get on board for gourmet dinners for just $30 through February 28.

* Support local during Dine Around Seattle. Book a table for delicious prix-fixe meals, March 2-27 (excludes Friday + Saturday dinners, Saturday lunch, + Sunday brunch).

* Maryland’s Frederick Restaurant Week is almost upon us. Enjoy $15.14 + $20.14 lunches and $30.14 dinners, March 3-9.

* Hudson Valley Restaurant Week springs up in New York shortly. Make a reservation for $20.95 lunches + $29.95 dinners, March 10-23.

* It’s hip to eat out during Las Vegas Three Square Restaurant Week. Hit the open tables for $20.14 or $30.14 lunches + $30.14, $40.14, or $50.14 dinners, March 7-14.

* We’re mad about Minneapolis-St. Paul Restaurant Week. Book for $10-$20 lunches + $15-$30 dinners through February 28.

* Dine, drink, and discover during New Mexico Restaurant Week. Reserve for gourmet prix-fixe menus through March 2.

Continue reading…

OpenTable Releases Restaurant Industry Index for Q4 and Full Year 2013

We are pleased to release the OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index for the fourth quarter and full year 2013.

“Spurred by healthy economic growth and an unseasonally mild winter, the San Francisco Bay Area reservation-taking restaurant industry experienced a solid lift in the fourth quarter,” said our own Duncan Robertson, Chief Financial Officer of OpenTable. “The U.S. overall and most major metropolitan areas that we track experienced a modest lift with the exception of Chicago, which declined by three percent, and Atlanta, Boston and Washington D.C., which were essentially flat. The New York metropolitan area benefited from an easier comparable quarter by lapping Superstorm Sandy, which hit during the fourth quarter of 2012.”

OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index
The OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index is based on data gathered from more than 10,000 reservation-taking restaurants* sampled from the OpenTable network in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Each percentage indicates a year-over-year increase or decrease in the number of guests served in these reservation-taking restaurants, as recorded by the restaurants in their reservation books. Those guests include those who honored reservations made by phone or online as well as those who walked in without a reservation. Continue reading…

Calling All Chefs: Top Chef Season 12 Auditions in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles + NYC

TCNOLA Calling All Chefs: Top Chef Season 12 Auditions in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles + NYCSeason 11 of Top Chef just wrapped (Congrats, Nicholas Elmi!), but we’re already looking forward to the next mouthwatering competition. If you’ve always aspired to compete on the show that has helped usher in the next generation of America’s best chefs, come on down! Casting calls for season 12 of Top Chef are being held in cities across the U.S. This is the ideal opportunity to get in front of the folks who have had a hand in furthering the cooking careers of dozens of Top Chef winners and cheftestants.

Auditions begin TODAY in Atlanta and Dallas and head to other cities in the coming weeks. The current schedule is:

* ATLANTA: February 18 10AM-1PM, at The Spence, 75 Fifth Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia.

* CHICAGO: February 24, 10AM-1PM, at Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

* DALLAS: February 18, 10AM-1PM, at Hotel Palomar Dallas, 5300 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.

Continue reading…

Dining Happily Ever After: Meet Pat and David

winner4 Dining Happily Ever After: Meet Pat and DavidOMG! It’s Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, here’s another Romantic Dining Stories Giveaway winner who has been dining out with her husband for 50+ happy years.

Name: Patricia H.

Romantic Dining Partner: David H.

Married: February 22, 1958.

Hometown: Coppell, Texas.

Half a century of surprises: “My husband of almost 56 years, has surprised me so many times it would be difficult to pick just one. When we were first married, he would fly me from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery for dinner with friends.”

What do you enjoy most about dining out with your husband? “We have always enjoyed eating out.  When we were dating, we would pool our money to dine out. Now, it tastes better when I don’t have to cook it.  That has just happened.  I remember my mom saying she didn’t like what she cooked as she got older.”

Do you have a favorite restaurant? Continue reading…

A Romantic Surprise: Meet Sharyn + Dan

 A Romantic Surprise: Meet Sharyn + DanValentine’s Day is tomorrow! Here’s another Romantic Dining Stories Giveaway winner with her tale of how her husband surprised her with a well-planned dinner, even securing some very qualified sitters for their kids. 

Name: Sharyn L.

Romantic Dining Partner: Husband Dan.

Married: 1997.

Hometown: Winter Garden, Florida.

The fake out: “My husband is usually somewhat unromantic, so I never expect that much on Valentine’s Day. Last year, however, I came home from work to find my parents in our house, already feeding the kids dinner. My husband pops out of our bedroom, all dressed up, and tells me to hurry up and get dressed because our reservations are for 6:30pm! We had a wonderful time at a very nice restaurant, and I didn’t have to worry about the kids at all. It was awesome!”

What restaurant did you go to? Continue reading…

A Slice to Remember: Meet Romantic Diners Michelle + Tom

Winners 2 A Slice to Remember: Meet Romantic Diners Michelle + TomWe’ve got Valentine’s Day on our brain! Here’s another Romantic Dining Stories Giveaway winner with her tale of how her beau stole her heart with a visit to a legendary pizzeria. 

Name: Michelle S.

Romantic dining partner: Husband Tom.

Married: August 1994.

Hometown: Huntington, New York.

Oh, what a slice: “After many years attending graduate school at NYU Stern School of Business part time, I was finally graduating. When I asked my boyfriend Tom (now my husband) how he would like to celebrate, he told me to leave it up to him. So, for weeks, I ruminated on which great NYC restaurant he would take me to. Would it be Bouley, One if By Land Two if By Sea, or La Grenouille — or maybe some new restaurant that we had never been to? As the day approached, I donned my best white dress and attended graduation ceremonies. He would still not tell me where we were headed, and as we began to walk,  he said that it wasn’t a long walk. All he would tell me was that it was a Greenwich Village institution, and since was I was part-time student (working the other half) and had not had the chance to really experience the area, he thought to make up for it. When we stopped in front of a pizza parlor named John’s, I was very taken aback and immediately disappointed. However, after he explained the significance of the restaurant, I began to calm down. And, after I had my first bite of the most wonderful pizza in the world, it will be a memory I will always treasure!”

Do you still consider pizza a romantical food? Continue reading…