On Our Plate: Save on Taste of the Nation Tickets in LA + MSP; Grilled Romaine Lettuce; Portland Restaurant Month + More

MSP-HOTLIST
Taste of the Nation Minneapolis HOTList is one of the hottest events happening this month in the Twin Cities.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* Save 10% on tickets to Taste of the Nation in Los Angeles on June 9th. Click thru for exclusive discount code.

* Save $5 on tickets to Taste of the Nation Minneapolis HOTlist in the Twin Cities on June 10th. Click thru for exclusive discount code.

* Palm Springs Desert Resort Restaurant Week reservations are live. Reserve to enjoy special $26 or $38 dinners, May 31-June 16.

* Dine About Town San Francisco is almost here. Book now for $18.95 two-course lunches and $36.95 three-course dinners, June 1-15Continue Reading

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Grilled Romaine

Grilled-Romaine
The magical grilled romaine salad from South Edison restaurant.

I often think the world is divided into two groups: those who love salads and those who do not. I am squarely in the former and my husband is, unfortunately, in the latter. He’ll eat salads, but, more often than not, it is begrudgingly. Not so when we were at South Edison in Montauk, New York, recently. We had a char-grilled romaine salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette, and my husband declared that he would eat salad every day (!) if it were this very dish. Perhaps then, those who do not love salad haven’t yet tried this delicious variation on dressed greens. Romaine lettuce is perfectly suited to grilling because its hearty texture holds up over hot coals, which bring out its sweetness while adding smokey depth. Chock full of vitamins A and K, romaine lettuce is low in calories and high in fiber. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this summery spin on salad in recent reviews.

Alfio’s bon cibo, Cincinnati, Ohio: “Butternut squash soup was yummy, as was the wood-grilled romaine salad. Must be a genius in the kitchen.”

Bella’s Restaurant, Charlottesville, Virginia: “Do not miss the grilled romaine; it’s to die for!”

* BOCA, Cincinnati, Ohio: “Dinner at Boca was outstanding. The grilled romaine is a must.”

Bonfyre American Grille, Madison, Wisconsin: “My side Caesar salad was great. They grilled the romaine. Awesome flavor.”

Campania Cafe, Davidson, North Carolina: “Comfortable dinning, excellent food. I especially enjoyed the grilled romaine salad.”

* Chloé, Seattle, Washington: “They have several wonderful prix-fixe options; I tried the grilled romaine salad, steak, and creme brulee option for $25. Wasn’t sure how I’d feel about grilled lettuce, but it was delicious!” Continue Reading

Last Call at Jo’s in NYC: Too Brief a Treat

Jo's
The stylish-yet-seemingly-secret dining rooms at Jo’s in Nolita.

Every time a restaurant closes, a piece of my heart breaks — for a hundred different reasons. Primarily, though, it means a dream has, at least momentarily, been dashed.

So is the case with Jo’s in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood. Established four years ago by Jim Chu and Johnny Santiago, Jo’s sought to fill a unique gap — that of neighborhood watering hole and everyday restaurant with a warm, welcoming vibe. They courted their regulars, held fun contests (Pancakes!), created an anti-social media postcard campaign, and tweaked their menu very carefully, seeking out kitchen talent who understood their vision and respected the price point they had set for their unusually accessible menu. Chu and Santiago, both longtime veterans of New York City’s bar and restaurant scene (despite their youthful looks), gave cheeky seminars on how to semi-succeed in business, always maintaining their optimism and good humor. On any given night, either one or both could be found on premise, greeting diners, pitching in when duty called, and making sure guests were having a good time.

Despite these careful and creative efforts, Jo’s will shut its doors at the end of service tonight after not even half a decade in business. What led to its untimely demise? Well, this piece by Josh Ozersky regarding the state of dining, blogging, and PR in New York City may shed some light on why only those with the deepest of pockets seem destined to survive. But, ultimately, says co-owner Santiago, “I think for us the biggest issue was our space itself. The location was tough, the physical location. In the end, that’s what did us in.” Continue Reading

On Our Plate: Summer Restaurant Weeks Begin in Palm Springs, San Francisco, Portland + More

Coral-Gables-RWIt’s the most wonderful time of the year: summer restaurant week season has begun. For the next four months, most major metro areas across the U.S. will be hosting culinary celebrations of their cities, from Atlanta to San Diego and everything in between. First up, whet your appetite for steals on meals in these cities. And, remember to book your tables early as the hottest spots fill up fast!

* Palm Springs Desert Resort Restaurant Week reservations are live. Reserve to enjoy special $26 or $38 dinners, May 31-June 16.

* Dine About Town San Francisco is almost here. Book now for $18.95 two-course lunches and $36.95 three-course dinners, June 1-15.

* Portland Restaurant Month starts soon. Make a reservation for three-course gourmet meals for just $29, June 1-30.

* Triangle Restaurant Week kicks off in Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh area. Don’t miss $15 lunches and $20 and $30 dinners, June 3-9.

* Coral Gables Restaurant Week is two weeks away. Take advantage of special $17-$29 lunches and $17-$49 dinners, June 10-30.