Seven Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Next Culinary Trip

Ever since we unveiled the 2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants earlier this week, we’ve been planning our summer vacations and staycations. From eating adventures domestically and abroad in exotic locales or our own backyards, deliciousness awaits in the coming months. To help plot our and yours, we’ve rounded up seven Instagram accounts to inspire your next culinary trip.


Andrew Zimmern Pasta Nomad blogThe chef: Andrew Zimmern
He may be best known for his work with the Bizarre Foods franchise, but Zimmern doesn’t dabble solely in the extreme. There’s plenty of accessible and delicious food on his plate, in addition to the ultra-exotic. The three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher takes exquisite shots of his meals, most recently from New York’s The NoMad and Heyday in Minneapolis. If you’re road tripping across the US and find yourself near Kauffman Stadium in Missouri or Target Field in Minnesota, check his IG to see if AZ Canteen, Zimmern’s food truck, is open for business.


Dana Cowin IG Butterbean Salad at Butcher and Bee blog


The editor: Dana Cowin
They don’t call Dana Cowin the Food & Wine scout for nothing. Despite her spritely appearance, Cowin can down dishes with gourmands several times her size. Her enviable job takes her to the most delicious places, as she discovers the best new chefs, emerging cuisines, and forgotten traditions in and well beyond her New York stomping grounds.



Life and Thyme Golden Temple's kitchen blog


The publication: Life & Thyme
The folks at Life & Thyme truly think – and eat – globally. The new publication’s coverage spans the world and will make you want to expand your horizons (and your waistline). From coverage of authentic, old-school deli food at Wexler’s in Los Angeles to a look inside the free kitchen at Golden Temple in the western Indian city of Amritsar that feeds 10,000 people a day, you’ll be cashing in your frequent flier miles and packing your bags after a few views.


Anthony Bourdain Laksa blog


The TV personality: Anthony Bourdain
You can’t help but have wanderlust when you tune in to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown – and neither can we. Whether he’s highlighting the people and food of Las Vegas or Lyon, Bourdain and his self-deprecating wit will inspire you to fearlessly explore the world and its many cuisines, near and far.




apple tart david lebovitz blog


The ex-pat: David Lebovitz
Have you ever dreamed of quitting your day job and living the ex-pat life in Paris? (Duh! Of course you have!) Pastry chef David Lebovitz did just that in 1999. Since then, he’s written extensively about his life in the City of Lights and his cooking and dining explorations. If you’re jonesing for a jaunt on the Champs-Élysées in the coming months, his IG stream is required seeing.Continue Reading

Not Just for Kids: 15 Ice Cream Sundaes You Won’t Want to Share

The last day of school is fast approaching, and even though we’ve already graduated, we can’t help but crave an ice cream sundae at this time of year. Rather than stealing a spoonful of sweetness from the well-deserving students in our lives, we’re looking forward to ordering cool, adult-friendly desserts from restaurants across the U.S. Here are 15 ice cream sundaes you won’t want to share — including a $1,000 splurge of a sundae.

Cracker Jack Sundae, at American Cut, New York, New York
You can’t strike out with this treat. Dreamed up by pastry chef Tara Glick, this sundae will take you out to the ballgame with crunchy Cracker Jacks and popcorn ice cream.

American Cut_Crackerjack Sundae

Secret Sundae, Amis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Shhhh! Served by special request only, the secret sundaes at Amis include strawberry rhubarb granita with vanilla semifreddo from founder and chef Marc Vetri.

Amis_Secret Sundae
Sabrina Sundae, Barton G.: The Restaurant, Miami, Florida
The sparkling sundae is served in a giant martini glass filled with housemade ice creams and outrageous toppings. You won’t have a choice but to share, as it is built to serve four-six guest with fudge brownies, scoops of Valrhona chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla spice ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, and chantilly, and is topped with shaved chocolate shards, chocolate cigarettes, dark chocolate “B’s”, and maraschino cherries.

Barton G Sabrina

Pistachio and Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae, CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
Pastry chef Ruben Torano is featuring fabulous sundaes on the menu all summer long in the Texas heat. The sundaes highlight local ingredients and Texas flavors, while all ice cream, gelatos, and garnishes are made in house. Don’t miss the pistachio and vanilla ice cream sundae with apricot rum syrup, toasted huckleberry cake, candied lemon, and meringue.

CBD Provisions Summer Sundae 1

Cinnamon & Pecan Bun Sundae, The Clam, New York, New York
Chef Mike Price has created a menu of classic American desserts at The Clam, such as this cinnamon and pecan bun sundae topped with housemade bourbon pecan gelato with warm chunks of cinnamon and pecan bun, and a drizzle of caramel, and finished with a dollop of whipped cream.

The Clam Cinnamon Bun Sundae

Corsair Ice Cream Sundae, Corsair, Miami
Scott Conant’s new Miami eatery offers an outrageous dessert. Created by pastry chef Michael Brock (who took this picture), it has smoked vanilla bean ice cream, blondie bites, ginger chantilly, salted caramel sauce, crystallized ginger, chocolate cookie crumbs and toasted marshmallow.

Corsair Sundae

Create-Your-Own Sundae, The Gander, New York, New York
At The Gander, chef Jesse Schenker launched its brand new sundae cart, which features a mobile ice cream station filled with housemade flavors, such as Tahitian vanilla bean and Valrhona 72% dark chocolate, with toppings including candied walnuts, rum-soaked raisins, fresh macerated berries, rhubarb jam, salted caramel sauce, and more. Bonus: Custom ice cream sandwiches are also built tableside.

The Gander Sundae_3 copy

The Victoria, Parlour at The Langham, Chicago, Illinois
The sundae to end all sundaes, the Victoria features typical ingredients, as well as over-the-top items such as 24kt Gold Leaf, 24kt Gold Dust, and Hennessy VSOP. It is served in a Wedgewood crystal bowl (Yours to keep!) with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon — all for only $1,000!Continue Reading

2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America + 10 Most Instagrammable Outdoor Seating Areas

Summer travel season is almost here! Fire up your Google Maps app. Hit up Priceline for travel deals. And get ready to make the most or your vacation or staycation dining with a meal at one of the OpenTable 2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America! These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Highlighting restaurants in some of the nation’s most coveted vacation destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 15 states, and includes Frida’s in Lahaina, Hawaii, Geoffrey’s in Malibu, and The Turtle Club in Naples, Florida. Many of the restaurants are associated with picturesque resorts conceived to highlight the natural splendor of their surroundings or situated on prime spots in some of the country’s most beautiful coastal states. Come armed with your appetite and your phone; these restaurants are ready for their close-ups on your summer travel stream. Don’t believe us? Check out 10 of the most Instagrammable outdoor seating settings from this year’s honorees below.


The sunny state of California has 45 winning restaurants, followed by Florida with 18 and Hawaii with 17. Arizona has seven winning restaurants. Nevada and South Carolina have two winning restaurants apiece. Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia are also represented. American fare proves most popular among the winners; however, regional Californian and Hawaiian cuisines are also common, as is seafood.Continue Reading

The S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015

EMP Blog 1After releasing the 51-100 World’s Best Restaurants last week (and thus letting some chefs know their restaurants had slipped out of the top 50), S. Pellegrino announced its annual rankings of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. A decidedly international list, only one American restaurant cracked the top 10 – Eleven Madison Park (No. 5).

Other winners of note on OpenTable include Dinner By Heston Blumenthal in London (No. 7), Pujol in Mexico City (No. 16), Le Bernardin in New York (No. 18), The Ledbury in London (No. 20), Aqua at The Ritz Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany (No. 33), Quintonil in Mexico City, Per Se in New York (No. 40), Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York (No. 49), and The French Laundry in Yountville, California (No. 50).Continue Reading