Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Ricotta

Ricotta-toast-blogRicotta is one of the easiest cheeses to make. It requires no aging, so it can be eaten — literally — minutes after it is made. The simplicity of ricotta coupled with its rich flavor and creamy texture have made it a popular choice for housemade cheeses at restaurants around the U.S. Chefs are using ricotta alongside ingredients both sweet and savory, and in courses ranging from appetizers to desserts. Like the diner at Market Table, below, I recently discovered the pleasures of ricotta cavatelli and remain positively addicted. If you have not tried them, run, don’t walk. They are that good. Find out what folks have been saying about the dishes featuring this fresh cheese in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews.

A Toute Heurre, Cranford, New Jersey: “I had the ricotta and mozzarella pasta, and two days later woke up reminiscing about it.”

ABC Kitchen, New York, New York: “A great meal! Love the ricotta and rhubarb appetizer.”

Anna Maria Pasteria, Chicago, Illinois: “We finished with the dessert of the evening — a ricotta cheese parfait with cherry sauce. Perfect.”

Belli Osteria, Berkeley, California: “Started off sharing the fresh ricotta with honey, walnuts, and arugula, and it reminds me what ‘fresh’ is all about. Perfect starter.”

Bills Sydney, Honolulu, Hawaii: “Ricotta hotcakes for dinner a new favourite.”

Cesca, New York, New York: “Ricotta fritters at dessert fabulous”

* County, New York, New York: “The ricotta honey appetizer was perfect.”

Graffiato, Washington, D.C.: “The gnocchi with whipped ricotta and crispy rosemary alone is worth the trip!”

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Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Avocado

This is a picture of the storied roasted carrot and avocado salad served at ABC Kitchen in New York moments before I devoured it.

I just ate two avocados for lunch. They were in that perfect-yet-fleeting moment — unbruised, soft, silky — so, really, it was a race against time, and I just had to eat them both. Anyway, it got me thinking about the  increasing popularity of avocado in dishes that are not guacamole (although there’s nothing wrong with guacamole). Nature’s most decadent vegetable (Yes, I know it’s technically a fruit!) because of its rich taste and texture — and high (for a veggie) fat content, avocado is very beneficial to your health. According to the California Avocado Commission, “Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They also act as a ‘nutrient booster’ by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.” Additionally, avocado is alleged to be an aphrodisiac. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this good mood food in recent restaurant reviews.

43 North, Madison, Wisconsin: “The written menu fails entirely to describe the exceptional food. My husband and I opted to share a large salad and three small plates. Each dish was beautifully presented with surprising small flourishes, such as avocado fritters with the green salad.”

* ABC Kitchen, New York, New York: “Amazing brunch at ABC Kitchen. My wife started with the roasted carrot and avocado salad, which she loved.”

Aqua Terra Restaurant, Fallbrook, California: “We shared the garlicky baked avocado appetizer. Fallbrook is the heart of avocado country, and this was a fine presentation.”

Brigantine Coronado, Coronado, California: “I had the restaurant’s signature dish — swordfish with lemon avocado butter and blue cheese potato salad and vegetables. This was the best fish dish I have ever had in my life. It was so delicious; just perfect.”

* Candle 79, New York, New York: “Our appetizers were phenomenal — the warm Brussels sprout salad, beet salad ,and avocado tartare stood out.”

Contigo, San Francisco, California: “I love this place. I find the food to be consistently outstanding. Their little toasts are perfection — the sardine/avocado/pickled onion/salt one is my favorite.”

Eveleigh, West Hollywood: “On a 70+ degree day in LA, it was gorgeous. The food was right up our alley, too. We had the avocado toast and baked eggs, and they were outstanding. Perfect amount for sharing.”

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Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Lobster

This is the delectable Fourchu lobster special I had last time I dined at ABC Kitchen.

I won’t debate the existence of global warming (only because I happen to believe it is absolutely a real thing!), but, wherever you stand on it, you may have noticed that an unseasonably mild winter and a scorcher of a summer have been causing some problems in certain parts of the  food world. Farmers in the midwest are facing the worst drought conditions in a generation, and there is a large surplus of lobsters, which is leading to lower income for lobstermen. OpenTable diners have been doing their part to help by ordering up the terribly tasty crustacean creatures in droves. Find out what they’re saying about the inventive lobster dishes they’ve been eating.

801 Chophouse Leawood, Leawood, Kansas: ” I started with the lobster corn chowder, which was a true treat. One of the best soups I have had in a long time.”

Adara, Montclair, New Jersey: “We couldn’t wait to see what each new course would bring! The rolls were wonderful, and the lobster in a veil was a treat.”

Alma Nove, Hingham, Massachusetts: “The lobster salad sandwich was a big hit.”

Brava Bistro, Calgary, Alberta: “Presentation was beautiful and the taste matched. Lobster gnocchi was especially good!”

* Brown’s Beach House, Kohala Coast, Hawaii: “Make sure to try the lobster with the vanilla beurre blanc. Superb.”

Cameron’s American Bistro, Columbus, Ohio: “This is our new favorite place to go. The lobster perogies and calamari are sensational.”

Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.: “Fun atmosphere, exceptional food, friendly and efficient service. Cheese puff pastry appetizer, crab cake, gazpacho soup, lobster burger, and scallops are especially noteworthy.”

Cili, Las Vegas, Nevada: “This is the best lobster salad on the planet!”

* The Cottage Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts: “We had terrific omelets, a great lobster cobb salad, and delicious French toast.”

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Trending in Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Carrots

You can overwinter carrots and enjoy Bugs Bunny's favorite almost all year round!

Some wonderful friends have just moved back to New York after spending time in San Francisco, and we visited their new digs yesterday. On the wall was a list of restaurants they must try, and it included ABC Kitchen. I insisted they order ABC’s now-famous roasted carrot and avocado salad. As a result, I find myself craving carrots, so I thought I’d see what diners are saying about 14-karat carrot dishes!

ABC Kitchen, New York, New York: “The turkey sandwich, fries, hamburger, shrimp salad, crab sandwich, and carrot and avocado salads were all super yummy. All wholesome ingredients, surprising spices, crisp fresh bread, and fries; we would go back in a heartbeat.” [Ed. note: See what I mean about this salad?]

Acme, New York, New York: ” If they have carrots with lardo on the menu try it — fabulous.”

Affare, Kansas City, Missouri: “My wife started with the ravioli with a carrot puree. They were so good she didn’t want to share.”

Bread & Wine, Chicago, Illinois: “A great time. The food was excellent, from the cheese and charcuterie plate to the carrot fettucine, and the wine was great.”

Chart House, Annapolis, Maryland: “My wife and I went to the Chart House on Memorial Day. It was delicious! We started with some drinks and an app: ‘Calamari & Friends.’ The ‘friends’ were fried carrots and peppers.”

Final Cut Steakhouse, Kansas City, Kansas: “Sea bass and glazed carrots were melt-in-your-mouth good.”

* Five-O-Three, West Linn, Oregon: “I requested vegan food when I made the reservation, and we were told the soup of the day was a vegan curry-carrot, which was amazing. A very nice accommodation for a restaurant that doesn’t really have anything vegan on the menu but is willing to provide good options.”

* Flour Italian Kitchen, Moreland Hills, Ohio: “We began with a perfectly cooked scallop appetizer over a bed of carrot risotto. The most flavorful scallop we’ve ever had.”

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