OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal Top 100 Dining Hot Spots in America; Plus Exclusive Hottest Dishes Slideshow

We are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing restaurants with sophisticated chefs and a fashionable clientele, the complete list features award winners in 21 states and includes ABC Cocina in New York, ink. in Los Angeles, and RPM Italian in Chicago. California boasts the greatest number of winning restaurants with 21, followed by New York with 16, and Florida with 14. Illinois and Texas have eight and six, respectively. Georgia and Nevada both have five winning restaurants. Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania claim three winners apiece, while Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Tennessee have two. Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Carolina are represented as well.

International cuisines reign supreme at these hot spots, with winning restaurants serving Asian, Caribbean, Latin, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Peruvian fare, among others. Pizza, sushi, and tapas are also popular. Check out some of the hottest dishes at these top hot spot restaurants in our exclusive slideshow.

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

OT Mobile Payments iPhone Shot  2.6.2014With 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-blogHappy 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.”

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

NYRW-2014Just 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.