20 Culinary Questions with San Francisco Food Writer Amy Sherman of ‘Cooking with Amy’

amyshermanAmy Sherman is a cook, eater, and culinary enthusiast based in San Francisco. She runs the popular cooking and dining blog Cooking with Amy. An avid gourmand and traveler, Sherman says, “Cooking and eating are one of the best ways to learn about yourself and world around you.” She adores sushi and would eat it every day if she could afford it, but reveals of a common breakfast staple, “For a long time I had an aversion to maple syrup. Just the smell of it freaked me out. Now I love the stuff! I’m particularly partial to maple syrup from Canada.” An OpenTable diner since 2003, she shares her our answers to our 20 dining Qs.

1. What are some of the best qualities of the San Francisco dining scene? San Francisco has so much variety; there are new hip and trendy places but also classics that are just as popular as ever. It’s not hard to find fantastic pizza, Chinese dumplings, Viennoiserie, fusion street food, and high-end contemporary cuisine on any night of the week. In general, though, the quality is high, in part because our produce is so fresh and beautiful. We really are spoiled here.

2.  Any restaurants at which you’re something of a regular? I feel very fortunate to live in such a great food neighborhood. Recently several new places have opened up and Stones Throw has quickly become a favorite. The creativity on the menu and great hospitality make me want to return again and again .

3. If I come to your hometown/city, where must I dine? It’s impossible to not find something to make you happy at Fog City. The restaurant has been reimagined and it’s better than ever. The menu now features everything from burgers to grilled local calamari and oven roasted baby carrots with black garlic mole, almonds and cotija. The smoked salmon and smoked egg salad sandwich at lunch is to die for, and please do order enough of the frozen custard or French crullers for the whole table.

4. Last best restaurant(s) you dined at? I had a great dinner at Verbena, the service is slow, but the dishes are worth waiting for and the vegetarian dishes are as good if not better than the non-vegetarian ones.

5. Restaurant(s) you’d most like to try but have yet to — anywhere? So many places! Even writing about restaurants professionally, it’s hard to keep up, but high on my list to try right now are Aveline, Plin, Urchin Bistrot, and Souvla.

6. Favorite city (cities) for dining outside your own? I’m pretty crazy about Honolulu. It’s a world class dining destination but many of the gems are under the radar. I made a Google map with over 50 of my favorite places. http://bit.ly/honoluludining

7. Destination dining cities you’d love to visit? I would love to go to Copenhagen. Truly, I plan most trips around the food, and, as a result, I’ve been to a lot of great cities! Tokyo, Bologna, Mexico City, and Chicago are a few of my favorites.

8. What’s your overall favorite type of cuisine? Italian is comfort food for me. I lived in Italy for a while and always crave pasta. Even my Italian hosts were impressed by my love for it.

9. Small shared plates, tasting menu or app/entrée dessert? Small plates for sure. Sharing is caring! I want to try as many dishes as I can, but I sometimes suffer from tasting menu fatigue. Grazing on pintxos in San Sebastian was a blast!

10.Dish you can’t resist ordering? Because of the foie gras ban in California, when I do see it on a menu out of state, I’m likely to order it.

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Top Chef Season 12 Cheftestants Revealed

Mark your calendars and program your DVRs, food TV fans! On October 15, 2014, season 12 of Top Chef premieres. Set in Boston, Massachusetts, look for episodes taking place at The Bull and Finch Pub (aka Cheers), Fenway Park, and Plimoth Plantation, plus challenges centered around the first Thanksgiving, the inaugural Top Chef food festival, a fan appreciation meal in the Top Chef kitchen, and cooking for Boston’s police and fire departments. Last Chance Kitchen will also return, so even if your favorites packs their knives, they may live to compete another day. This season’s cheftestants are:

TC Season 12Doug Adams, chef de cuisine, Imperial, Portland, Oregon

Stacy Cogswell, executive chef, The Regal Beagle, Boston Massachusetts

Joy Crump, formerly of Woodfire Grill, Atlanta, Georgia

Ron Eyester, executive chef/owner, Rosebud, Atlanta, Georgia

Gregory Gourdet, executive chef, Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Portland, Oregon

Aaron Grissom, chef, Bow & Truss, Los Angeles, California

Adam Harvey, chef, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, New York

Melissa King, former sous chef, The Ritz-Carlton Dining Room, San Francisco, California

Rebecca LaMalfa, executive sous chef, Trenchermen, Chicago, Illinois

Mei Lin, sous chef, ink., Los Angeles, California

George Pagonis, executive chef/partner, Kapnos, Washington, D.C.

Michael Patlazhan, private chef, Brooklyn, New York

James Rigato, executive chef, The Root Restaurant & Bar, White Lake, Michigan

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Ride There with Uber in the OpenTable App

Need a ride to your reservation? No problem! We’re pleased to announce our new Ride there with Uber feature. Starting today, you will be able to view availability and estimated pricing of Uber vehicles near your home or a restaurant, and tap to request a ride to your destination via Uber — all within the OpenTable app.

The Ride there with Uber feature displays on your upcoming reservation and confirmation screens for bookings made within three hours of a reservation time, as well as at the end of your meal when paying your check using the OpenTable iPhone app. And, to make your life even easier, the OpenTable app will automatically tell your driver where to go, so you can focus on more important things like what to eat when you get there!

Ride there with Uber is currently available in the OpenTable app for both iOS and Android devices in cities that Uber serves across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Germany, and Japan.

At OpenTable, powering great dining experiences is our mission; getting you to them is Uber’s. We hope you’ll appreciate the convenience of our latest — and quite literally — mobile feature.

Josh Garnier is the Senior Product Manager for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. 

Cheers to the 2014 Bon Appétit America’s Best New Restaurant Nominees

kin-khao-blog
Green papaya salad from nominee Kin Khao in San Francisco.

Bon Appétit has released its annual list of nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants of 2014. While not all of them are actually restaurants (such as Grand Central Market in Los Angeles), most are — and they’re on OpenTable. Neither New York nor San Francisco restaurants dominate the list; rather, the list features eateries in dozens of upcoming culinary cities. The finalists will be announced next week, so book your tables now to sample some of the most exciting food and drink being served around the nation.

Acorn, Denver, Colorado

Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, Massachusetts

CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas

Cured, San Antonio, Texas

Eat the Rich, Washington, D.C.

Edmund’s Oast, Charleston, South Carolina

El Camino, Louisville, Kentucky

High Street on Market, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Kin Khao, San Francisco, California

Luksus, Brooklyn, New York

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