Congratulations to Chicago’s 2014 Jean Banchet Nominees

A scallop dumpling with black truffle from nominated restaurant L20.

The nominees for Chicago’s prestigious Jean Banchet Awards were announced yesterday. Held annually, the awards acknowledge culinary excellence in the Windy City. The winners will be announced early next year, on January 30, at the 18th annual Grand Chefs Gala to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Congratulations to all the nominees, including:

Restaurant of the yearBokaL20, and Moto

Best new restaurant: Parachute, Salero, and TETE Charcuterie

Best neighborhood restaurant: A10 Hyde Park

Chef of the year: Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice, Thomas Lents of Sixteen, Chris Pandel of Balena and The Bristol, and Lee Wolen of Boka

Rising chef of the Year: Ashlee Aubin of Salero

Best chef de cuisine: Chris Marchino of Spiaggia, Ali Ratcliffe-Bauer of Brindille, John Vermiglio of A10 Hyde Park, and Erling Wu-Bower of Nico Osteria

Pastry chef of the year: Dana Cree  of Blackbird, Claire Crenshaw of Moto, Meg Galus of NoMI, and Greg Mosko of North Pond

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Root Vegetables Rock: 15 Rave Reviews for Turnips

turnip blogIt warms my heart — and my stomach — that the unassuming turnip is turning up on more menus these days. The only longtime advocates I can personally recall of this root veggie are my mother, who served a giant bowl of mashed turnips each Thanksgiving (a practice started by her frugal father), and my instructors at the French Culinary Institute — we did a lot of tournage on turnips. A lot! A once-unsung ingredient in contemporary American cuisine, turnips are easy to grow and terrific for storage over the lean winter months. They’re also very low in carbohydrates, thus making them a great substitute for potatoes and other root produce with a high glycemic index. Read on for raves for turnips — in pizza, polenta, tacos, and more — from recent OpenTable reviews. 

Dressler’s, Charlotte, North Carolina: “Food, service, and overall dining experience was excellent. I had the steak with turnips and greens. Gave me a different outlook on turnips.”

The Gage, Chicago, Illinois: “Hubby had the prosciutto-wrapped trout stuffed with turnips and kale; he did not stop raving about his meal for two days after!”

Junto, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: “We split the ribeye (with potatoes, turnip, and arugula). The vegetables and bread were uncommonly excellent.”

The Helmand Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland: “My favorite entree is the vegetarian platter, but lamb dishes are also excellent. We almost always get the bindi (okra) as a side dish for the table, and these folks can make even turnips tasted like a gourmet find.”

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina: “Turnip pizza was a revelation, and so was pasta with braised brisket and a perfectly roasted chicken.”

Kanella, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The appetizers are wonderful. We had lamb dumplings in a wonderful sauce, a refreshing sliced turnip salad, and great fresh hummus that is light years from the supermarket kind.”

The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Somerville, Massachusetts: “Side dish of turnip was a heartwarming tribute to the fall.”

Legume, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “Perfect portion sizes saturated with flavor — we had swordfish with braised turnips, amazing grilled peach salad, jerk squid, and bluefish pâté. So good that we went back the next night.”

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San Francisco 2015 Michelin-Starred Restaurants: Book a Table Today!

SPQR BlogOpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2015. Forty restaurants are included, with four Bay Area restaurants receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, and six achieving two Michelin stars. Thirty restaurants earned one Michelin star. Kusakabe and Maruya are new to the list.

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 Chicago and New York. The MICHELIN Guide New York 2015 was published October 1, and the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2015 will be released on November 12.

Congratulations to all the recipients, including:

Three Stars: Benu, The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and Saison.

Two Stars: AcquerelloAtelier CrennCoiManresa, and Quince.

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OpenTable Diners Can Now Settle the Check with Apple Pay

We are pleased to announce that diners with an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8.1 using the Pay with OpenTable mobile payments feature can now settle the check using Apple Pay.

Diners who have enabled Apple Pay and book at participating Pay with OpenTable restaurants can simply view their check in the OpenTable iPhone app, select a gratuity amount and settle the check with a single touch. Diners can then get up and go whenever they’re ready.

Blog Apple Pay

Pay with OpenTable is currently available in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and we plan to roll out the feature across the nation by introducing it to a total of 20 cities before year end. To find out more about OpenTable mobile payments, watch “Life’s too short to wait for the check” and visit http://pay.opentable.com/ to view the current list of participating restaurants. Restaurants who are interested in providing their guests with the experience of paying with OpenTable can learn more at http://pay.opentable.com/restaurants.