OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.

What’s your recipe for romantic dining? A fireside table? Fine wine? Or the right dining companion?

As we look forward to the romance of Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The list of winners, which includes Canlis in Seattle, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Calif., and White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, spans 32 states. California restaurants earned 16 spots on the list, followed by Hawaii with 10 winners and Florida with eight. Virginia boasts seven winning restaurants, trailed by Ohio and Texas with six honorees apiece. Nevada, New York, and Tennessee all have five winning restaurants, while Arizona and Utah have four each. Colorado restaurants earned three spots, as did those in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington restaurants are also included, among others.

Cheese pleases, as fondue, especially that which is served at nationwide The Melting Pot restaurants, proved extremely popular for the fourth year in a row. American regional fare accounted for almost half the spots on the list. French cuisine was also well represented. Other popular cuisines included Italian, European/continental, and seafood.Continue Reading

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Avocado

This is a picture of the storied roasted carrot and avocado salad served at ABC Kitchen in New York moments before I devoured it.

I just ate two avocados for lunch. They were in that perfect-yet-fleeting moment — unbruised, soft, silky — so, really, it was a race against time, and I just had to eat them both. Anyway, it got me thinking about the  increasing popularity of avocado in dishes that are not guacamole (although there’s nothing wrong with guacamole). Nature’s most decadent vegetable (Yes, I know it’s technically a fruit!) because of its rich taste and texture — and high (for a veggie) fat content, avocado is very beneficial to your health. According to the California Avocado Commission, “Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They also act as a ‘nutrient booster’ by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.” Additionally, avocado is alleged to be an aphrodisiac. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this good mood food in recent restaurant reviews.

43 North, Madison, Wisconsin: “The written menu fails entirely to describe the exceptional food. My husband and I opted to share a large salad and three small plates. Each dish was beautifully presented with surprising small flourishes, such as avocado fritters with the green salad.”

* ABC Kitchen, New York, New York: “Amazing brunch at ABC Kitchen. My wife started with the roasted carrot and avocado salad, which she loved.”

Aqua Terra Restaurant, Fallbrook, California: “We shared the garlicky baked avocado appetizer. Fallbrook is the heart of avocado country, and this was a fine presentation.”

Brigantine Coronado, Coronado, California: “I had the restaurant’s signature dish — swordfish with lemon avocado butter and blue cheese potato salad and vegetables. This was the best fish dish I have ever had in my life. It was so delicious; just perfect.”

* Candle 79, New York, New York: “Our appetizers were phenomenal — the warm Brussels sprout salad, beet salad ,and avocado tartare stood out.”

Contigo, San Francisco, California: “I love this place. I find the food to be consistently outstanding. Their little toasts are perfection — the sardine/avocado/pickled onion/salt one is my favorite.”

Eveleigh, West Hollywood: “On a 70+ degree day in LA, it was gorgeous. The food was right up our alley, too. We had the avocado toast and baked eggs, and they were outstanding. Perfect amount for sharing.”

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Portland’s Chefs Fired Up; High Cal Inaugural Lunch; Burgers Okay with Exercise

ESPN hires a new head chef. Hilarity ensues.

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* Didn’t get invited to the inaugural luncheon? Your waistline will thank you — it was a 3,000 calorie meal! [Washington Times]

* The tipping point. That moment when you start to hear a chef’s name everywhere. [Grub Street Chicago]

* Get the burger. And then get to the gym. [Business Insider]

* Portland’s chefs getting 86d. Some of the region’s best restaurants have parted ways with their revered chefs. [OregonLive]

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Tweet of the Week: Cheers to a Recap of Your Delicious Year!

Over the weekend, OpenTable sent diners a recap of their 2012 year in dining. Covering everything from how many reservations you made, the reviews you wrote, and how many Dining Cheques you received, the emails prompted a slew of fun tweets. Diners shared fond memories from the past year, boasted of their number of reservations (some as high as 90), and vowed to dine out even more in 2013. Thanks to @Dontignoretruth (aka Mark Lucas) for joining in the conversation.