#Hellastorm Affecting San Francisco: Please Call to Confirm a Restaurant Is #OpeninSF

San Francisco is experiencing severe weather and some areas are without power. While most restaurants are open for business, due to the intense nature of the storm, we encourage diners to phone restaurants to confirm reservations until conditions improve.

We wish everyone affected by this storm a safe few days.

Christmas Eve Dining: 15 Rave Reviews for the Feast of the Seven Fishes

bouill blogSure, we’re just now able to button our pants after last week’s indulgent Thanksgiving dinner and, yet, we’re already dreaming of more holiday dining. If you’re of Italian descent, or if you just LOVE Italian cuisine (which we know you do), you’re probably familiar with the Christmas Eve culinary tradition of the feast of the seven fishes. A delicious ritual that began in southern Italy, the feast of the seven fishes has ties to Catholicism and the practice of eschewing meat on Christmas Eve. Restaurants have embraced the custom, offering up gourmet spins on different fish dishes to diners on December 24. My family and I indulged at Oceana last year, and every bite was pious perfection. Find out what other diners had to say about their experiences with this fabulous holiday treat — and book your feast of the seven fishes reservations for Christmas Eve. More than just being delicious and festive, the meal is said to bring luck in the new year. 

Bar Eolo: Sicilian Kitchen & Wines, New York, New York: “Our family came here for the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve and had a delightful dinner. The seafood lovers in the family enjoyed it the most, of course, but everyone managed to find something to their taste. The recommended wine was delicious and reasonably priced and the restaurant was very festive with friendly service — a great evening!”

Bella Tuscany, Windermere, Florida: “Bella Tuscany has had consistently good reviews and they lived up to their reputation on Christmas Eve with both their full menu and the fixed price (or a la carte) feast of the seven fishes. The five-course menu included generous servings of lobster bisque, scallops, a seafood linguini course with mussels, clams, and calamari, and a main course of mahi mahi and super-sweet lobster tail. Bella finished the evening with tiramisu and the creativity, presentation, and preparation were all right on.”

Bimini Twist, West Palm Beach, Florida: “The family went to Bimini Twist to celebrate the feast of the seven fishes. The restaurant had a great selection of fish dishes. The service was unreal…perfect. We had a GREAT waitress, bolstered by other wait staff. This restaurant is a definite stop again when in the area.”

* Blue Water Grill, New York, New York: “Blue Water Grill was open on Christmas Eve, which was a godsend as I was hosting my family for the holiday. I reserved the table a couple days in advance, ensuring a spot. We ate in the main dining room, and it was great. Surrounded by other families celebrating the holidays, the overall ambiance was warm. The food was great and diverse. With traditional Christmas fare, oysters, sushi and even a feast of the seven fishes special, everyone in my family was happy.”

Cinghiale Osteria, Baltimore, Maryland: “With my mother-in-law in town, my wife and I booked for the Christmas Eve feast at Cinghiale, which was the executive chef’s interpretation of a Christmas Eve fish feast. The feast was seven courses of absolute perfection. It is rare to encounter seafood prepared to perfection with consistency; usually it is overcooked and rubbery, but every dish was absolutely perfect, from the oyster starter to the fish filet (with perfectly prepared melt-in-your-mouth calimari). We loved every second of it.”

Fiola, Washington, D.C.: “My husband and I celebrated his birthday (Christmas Eve) at Fiola for the second time. Their feast of seven fishes is MAGNIFICENT! We splurged and got the wine pairing. Our server (who we knew from Fiola and Poste) was amazingly knowledgeable of both the food (preparation, what made each dish unique) and the wine. She was always present when each course was served, to give an overview of the dish and why the pairing was perfect. We had a wonderful experience, and would highly recommend the feast and pairing for future Christmas Eves!”

Imperial, Portland, Oregon: “Christmas Eve dinner with good friends and a meal fit for the three kings. The traditional feast of seven fishes” needs to make it to the main menu, this was one of the best executed Cioppinos I’ve ever had with a sauce that begged for the house bread to soak it up. Few establishments truly enjoy being open on a holiday night, but the staff of the Imperial expressed only joy. This has become a new tradition with many more visits in-between. Well done, Imperial!”

Continue Reading

OpenTable’s Website: Re-designed, Re-architected, Re-imagined

In 1998, we introduced diners to a brand new concept – booking restaurant reservations online. A lot has changed since then, though our website design has remained largely the same.

While the site has served us well over the years, it was time for an update. Today, the team at OpenTable is excited to launch a brand new web experience. Over the last several months, our team has been hard at work building new technology and designs that enhance the way diners discover and book restaurants on OpenTable.com.

The new site delivers a cohesive experience for diners who use OpenTable on the web, tablet, and mobile phones. It looks forward, with a scalable and flexible architecture to make it easier to introduce new features to enhance the overall dining experience. Our new search interface supports neighborhood, address, or specific restaurant names all in the same place, which means less clicking around. The design places new focus on the restaurant, bringing forward the content that inspires booking the perfect table. And after you make a reservation, we’ve made it easier to invite others and share.

Redesign

We hope that those who have used OpenTable for years and those who have just discovered us enjoy the new site. We will be hard at work from here on out to continue to make it the best place to visit for that perfect night out.

We are always eager to hear from you, and please let us know how we can make it even better.

 Jocelyn Mangan is Senior Vice President, Consumer Product Management. 

Support #NoKidHungry on #GivingTuesday + Donate to Our Annual Bake Sale!

It’s Giving Tuesday, and it’s our fourth fabulous year of holding an annual bake sale in support of No Kid Hungry. The avid home bakers who work at OpenTable have been knee deep in flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and more in preparation for this day of making and consuming mass quantities of divine sweet treats — all for a good cause!

Every cookie sold and every dollar donated can make a huge impact. One dollar can help provide a hungry child with 10 healthy meals, and $46 can help connect a child to meals all year long. Peep some pictures of our bake sale in action, and please donate to help No Kid Hungry end childhood hunger. Together we can bake a difference!

The Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry, presented by Domino® Sugar and C&H® Sugar is a national fundraising initiative that encourages people to host bake sales in their communities to help end childhood hunger. Donate now.