Believe it or not, the holiday season is almost here. We’ve got Thanksgiving in Canada on Monday. And, Thanksgiving comes to the states on November 28– as does Hannukah (a convergence being called Thanksgivukkah, according to The Wall Street Journal), followed by all of the fun of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. If you’re a planner like I am, you’re probably already giving a lot of thought to your holiday dining. At OpenTable, we try to make it easy for diners to find a terrific table for every holiday through special promotion pages. We urge our restaurant partners to share their information on their holiday and seasonal offerings early and often, just like the folks at The Russian House in Austin, Texas (aka @RussianHouseATX) have. Restaurants can easily and quickly join these free promotions and reach more holiday diners by visiting Restaurant Center.
Farro is an ancient grain, as old, at least, as ancient Rome. Long the food of peasants (who always seemed to be ahead of the curve when it comes to food that is sustainable, healthful, and tasty, if you really think about it), farro has been growing in popularity in this country for the last two decades and is fast becoming a staple on restaurant menus. There seems to be a bit of controversy as to what farro really is; however, according to The New York Times, “Farro is…a plant and grain all its own.” Known as emmer wheat in English, farro is nutty in flavor, toothy in texture, and a solid source of fiber, magnesium, and vitamin B. A word of caution: farro is not suitable for those who suffer from celiac disease or gluten/wheat sensitivities. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this great-for-you grain.
* AOC, Los Angeles, California: ”We tried multiple dishes — the black rice with farro and Spanish fried chicken were standouts, but everything we tried was top notch. ”
* Camino, Oakland, California: “Every accompanying side was incredible! The sausage was also very good, and the farro was so crunchy and flavorful; we were amazed.”
* DIG, Delray Beach, Florida: “ I had one of the specials — a trout dish that came with farro and grilled vegetables. The fish, a generous portion, was cooked en cartoccio (in paper), and was very moist. The vegetables were crisp tender, and the farro was seasoned beautifully.”
* Fishing With Dynamite, Manhattan Beach, California: ”The beet and farro salad was lightly dressed and balanced with creamy feta, pistachios, orange, beet chip, and arugula.”
* Flora, Oakland, California: “At my last visit, I enjoyed the farro with wild mushrooms and eggs, and ended brunch with a delicious apple cake.”
* Gilt Bar, Chicago, Illinois: ”The grape and farro salad was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.”
* Levant, Portland, Oregon: ”The special of farro and chanterelles was beautiful.”
I like to order a bottle of wine (or two!) when dining out. The wines I order tend to hover around the $200 or less mark. I often wonder, though, if you order a super-spendy bottle of wine, do you — or should you — calculate your 20% tip on the total, even though it takes roughly the same level of service to pour a $100 bottle of wine as it does a $1,000 bottle? Share your thoughts in our poll.
The 3rd Annual Charlie Awards are just around the corner — and your votes will help determine the best of the best of Minneapolis-St. Paul restaurants, foods, chefs — and more! A Twin Cities event that recognizes the exceptional contributions the metro area restaurant, food, and drink industry make to ensure a diverse, vibrant and creative Twin Cities lifestyle and economy, The Charlie Awards will be held on Sunday, November 17, 2013.
Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® is the nation’s premier culinary benefit dedicated to making sure no kid grows up hungry. Each spring and summer, the nation’s hottest chefs and mixologists donate their time, talent ,and passion at nearly 40 events across the United States and Canada, with one goal in mind: to raise the critical funds needed to support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign to end childhood hunger. Taste of the Nation is nationally sponsored by American Express, Sysco, Food Network, and S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $86 million.
Brunch is serious business in most major cities — and everywhere, come to think of it. After all, who doesn’t want to celebrate the weekend with a midday cocktail and sweet and savory eats? Brunch also brings out folks in large numbers, especially if you’re popular like @TroyPayne. Did you know you can find tables for up to 20 people on OpenTable? You can! For breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner — any meal. You can find availability for large groups through a basic search, or you can also consult your local Diners’ Choice listing for Good for Groups. Thanks for the shoutout, @TroyPayne. Enjoy what we hope is an epic brunch!
Long before offal was in vogue in this country, I once (Once!) tried tripe. I was a kid attending a very Sopranos-like gathering at a friend’s home. Trays of old-school Italian and Italian-American delights were spread out buffet-style for guests. As I made my way down the line, I happened upon one that appeared to be yet another tray of saucy, cheesy goodness with some sort of protein, so I greedily heaped a healthy serving on my plate. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but even before someone told me it was tripe, I knew it wasn’t for me. Since then, to the joy of more adventurous eaters, tripe and other forms of offal have taken center plate, if you will, at restaurants. Beyond frugality, offal offers diners different tastes and textures, and enlightened chefs consider it the best way to honor the animal — by carefully and creatively using every bit. Tripe, otherwise known as the lining of an animal’s stomach, typically cow, is turning up on scores of menus. While I won’t be ordering it, many folks are. Find out they’re saying about this offal offering.
* Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “Our dinner was like an evening in the French countryside. The sweetbreads on the menu were done perfectly. The tripe on special was very flavorful. These items are not commonly found on U.S. menus.”
* Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon: “The menu has unique preparation of Italian favorites, and everything we ordered was just great and flavorful. Best tripe I’ve had, including Batali’s.”
* Babbo Ristorante, New York, New York: “Sweetbreads are to die for, the best tripe ever, testa luscious and unctuous as anything you’ve had. Hard to go wrong with nearly anything on the menu.”
* Cafe 2825, Atlantic City, New Jersey: “It’ s traditional Italian done very well. My husband adores their tripe.”
* Charlie Bird, New York, New York: “Run, do not walk before word gets put. This place is amazing!!! Tripe was to die for!”
* COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Our party tried some favorites — squash blossom-truffle oil flatbread from the wood burning oven, housemade pate, tripe, and beef cheeks. All were delicious.”
* Da Silvano, New York, New York: “Great food, great service, best tripe alla fiorentina, and best for people watching. ”
* Daniela’s Restaurant, Naples, Florida: “Food is prepared a little different than in my region of Romania, but very good. Tripe soup is to die for! We will definitely be back.”
* Franco, St. Louis, Missouri: “Our server recommended the tripe appetizer. My wife and I were intrigued by the offer to sample fried cow stomach (tripe, for the unknowing), and it was exceptionally well prepared and delicious. ”
* Le Virtu, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The tripe keeps me coming back! The first time I had it, I wanted to cry because it tasted just like my mom used to make on Saturday afternoons. Please never take it off the menu!”
* Maialino, New York, New York: “I am a foodie and a Rome native. Thus, I was looking forward to dining at Maialino. I had the tripe as an appetizer. Romans make the best tripe, and the tripe at Maialino did not disappoint. Excellent.”
OpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide New York City 2014. Sixty-seven restaurants are included, with seven New York restaurants receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, with five achieving two Michelin stars. Fifty-five restaurants earned one Michelin star, with nine new additions, including Carbone, Lincoln Ristorante, and The Musket Room.
Being included in the respected MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In the U.S., New York is one of only three cities where Michelin publishes an annual guide. The others are San Francisco and Chicago. The MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2014, the city’s seventh edition, will be introduced Oct. 23, and the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2014 will be published on Nov. 13.