Brunch is serious business in most major cities — and everywhere, come to think of it. After all, who doesn’t want to celebrate the weekend with a midday cocktail and sweet and savory eats? Brunch also brings out folks in large numbers, especially if you’re popular like @TroyPayne. Did you know you can find tables for up to 20 people on OpenTable? You can! For breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner — any meal. You can find availability for large groups through a basic search, or you can also consult your local Diners’ Choice listing for Good for Groups. Thanks for the shoutout, @TroyPayne. Enjoy what we hope is an epic brunch!
Long before offal was in vogue in this country, I once (Once!) tried tripe. I was a kid attending a very Sopranos-like gathering at a friend’s home. Trays of old-school Italian and Italian-American delights were spread out buffet-style for guests. As I made my way down the line, I happened upon one that appeared to be yet another tray of saucy, cheesy goodness with some sort of protein, so I greedily heaped a healthy serving on my plate. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but even before someone told me it was tripe, I knew it wasn’t for me. Since then, to the joy of more adventurous eaters, tripe and other forms of offal have taken center plate, if you will, at restaurants. Beyond frugality, offal offers diners different tastes and textures, and enlightened chefs consider it the best way to honor the animal — by carefully and creatively using every bit. Tripe, otherwise known as the lining of an animal’s stomach, typically cow, is turning up on scores of menus. While I won’t be ordering it, many folks are. Find out they’re saying about this offal offering.
* Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “Our dinner was like an evening in the French countryside. The sweetbreads on the menu were done perfectly. The tripe on special was very flavorful. These items are not commonly found on U.S. menus.”
* Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon: “The menu has unique preparation of Italian favorites, and everything we ordered was just great and flavorful. Best tripe I’ve had, including Batali’s.”
* Babbo Ristorante, New York, New York: “Sweetbreads are to die for, the best tripe ever, testa luscious and unctuous as anything you’ve had. Hard to go wrong with nearly anything on the menu.”
* Cafe 2825, Atlantic City, New Jersey: “It’ s traditional Italian done very well. My husband adores their tripe.”
* Charlie Bird, New York, New York: “Run, do not walk before word gets put. This place is amazing!!! Tripe was to die for!”
* Da Silvano, New York, New York: “Great food, great service, best tripe alla fiorentina, and best for people watching. ”
* Daniela’s Restaurant, Naples, Florida: “Food is prepared a little different than in my region of Romania, but very good. Tripe soup is to die for! We will definitely be back.”
* Franco, St. Louis, Missouri: “Our server recommended the tripe appetizer. My wife and I were intrigued by the offer to sample fried cow stomach (tripe, for the unknowing), and it was exceptionally well prepared and delicious. ”
* Le Virtu, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The tripe keeps me coming back! The first time I had it, I wanted to cry because it tasted just like my mom used to make on Saturday afternoons. Please never take it off the menu!”
* Maialino, New York, New York: “I am a foodie and a Rome native. Thus, I was looking forward to dining at Maialino. I had the tripe as an appetizer. Romans make the best tripe, and the tripe at Maialino did not disappoint. Excellent.”
OpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide New York City 2014. Sixty-seven restaurants are included, with seven New York restaurants receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, with five achieving two Michelin stars. Fifty-five restaurants earned one Michelin star, with nine new additions, including Carbone, Lincoln Ristorante, and The Musket Room.
Being included in the respected MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In the U.S., New York is one of only three cities where Michelin publishes an annual guide. The others are San Francisco and Chicago. The MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2014, the city’s seventh edition, will be introduced Oct. 23, and the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2014 will be published on Nov. 13.
Congratulations to all the recipients, including:
One Star: 15 East, Ai Fiori, Aldea, Annisa, Aquavit, Aureole, A Voce Columbus, A Voce Madison, Babbo Ristorante, Blue Hill, Bouley, Brushstroke, Cafe Boulud, Carbone, Casa Mono, Caviar Russe, Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen, Del Posto, Dovetail, Gotham Bar and Grill, Gramercy Tavern, Hakkasan, Jewel Bako, Junoon, Kajitsu, Lincoln Ristorante, Minetta Tavern, The Modern, The Musket Room, The NoMad, Oceana, Public, Rosanjin, Rouge Tomate, Seasonal Restaurant and Weinbar, Sushi of Gari, Tamarind-Tribeca, Telepan, Torrisi Italian Specialities, Tulsi, Wallsé, wd~50, and Yakitori Tori Shin.
Iconic San Francisco restaurant Fog City is now open. Housed in the location of the legendary Fog City Diner, Fog City has been completely renovated and reimagined by founders Bill Higgins and Bill Upson and talented local chef Bruce Hill, of Bix, Picco, and Zero Zero.
The offerings, very much a reflection of San Francisco’s rich culinary landscape, were conceived by chef Hill and will be executed by chef Erik Lowe, former chef de cuisine at Bix. “Some people call it personal cuisine, others might call it modern eclectic, but it’s really just the food that my chef and I and my partners love to eat,” says Hill. Virtually everything is made in-house, including buns, cheese, crullers, and barrel-aged hot sauces.
What’s not made in Fog City comes from the area’s finest farmers, fishermen, breweries, and distilleries. Chef Hill says, “I am incredibly grateful for all of my farmers and the people who are our suppliers. My relationships with some of my farmers go back almost 30 years!” Fog City specializes in grilled Brandt beef and other meats, such as chicken and lamb, cooked in the restaurant’s expansive wood-fired grill. Pastry chef Aaron Toensing oversees the pastry program, which includes house-made Straus Family Creamery frozen custard, made fresh daily. Hill, who actually worked as a chef at Fog City Diner in the early 2000s, notes, “Fog City is another name for the city of San Francisco. So, this is really a San Francisco restaurant. We have a local patriotism we’re capturing here.”
Rather than be daunted by the prospect of revamping an iconic brand and location, Hill was excited. “Having worked at Fog City Diner, even spending 9-11 there, watching the towers fall, I have a lot of emotional connection to the space. We absolutely took the history into consideration, but, other than the adventurous spirit of the original, we didn’t want to carry anything over.” The process has been in the works for three years. Hill was able to work on the opening while also operating several other successful Bay Area restaurants, something he credits to open lines of communication. “The key is my connection to my managers and my chefs, which is on a daily basis,” he reveals.