Perfect Pot Roast: The Roasts with the Most #slowfood

We live in a society that values speed. We push a button on our phones to conjure a ride, then stare at the screen as the car inches closer. We watch an entire season of a buzzy new show in a weekend because waiting a week between episodes would be sheer insanity. In a time when the world is moving at warp speeds, let’s pause to celebrate the things that take a little more time, starting with pot roast. Braised and simmered for hours to tender, flaky perfection, the classic pot roast is the O.G. of slow food and the antithesis of instant gratification in the best possible way. See how chefs around the country put their own signature spin on the beloved American dish that is perfect pot roast.

The Red Cat, New York, New York
Wrap up a stroll around Chelsea’s art galleries with a visit to this charming neighborhood staple. For most artists, the process is as important as the end result, and the same could be said for chef Mike Cooperman’s carefully crafted Brisket Pot Roast. Braised with onion, garlic, red wine, and veal stock, the whole brisket is cut before he adds a horseradish-bread crust to each piece and returns it to the oven for a final slow roast. He makes the accompanying spaetzle by hand-pressing dough through the holes of a colander, boiling, and then pan-crisping the deliciously irregular noodles with broccoli. Finished with a Dijon mustard sauce and broccoli puree, each bite is a work of art. (The dish is being offered as a special in March.) Make a reservation at The Red Cat.

Perfect Pot Roast

Washington Place, Cleveland, Ohio
By all means, order the traditional, perfectly prepared pot roast with mashed potatoes for dinner at this inviting bistro in Cleveland’s Little Italy, but if you’re visiting for brunch don’t miss the Pot Roast Hash. General manager Megan LeFebvre explains, “Brunch is a really big part of what we do at Washington Place. Tying one of our signature comfort food entrees to brunch was a priority to us, and we loved the idea of replacing the traditional corned beef with our fork tender pot roast.” Served with a poached egg, potato hash, white cheddar sauce, and toasted challah, it’s definitive proof that pot roast is a great way to start the day. Make a reservation at Washington Place.

Perfect Pot Roast

Mity Nice, Chicago, Illinois
On Tuesday nights at Mity Nice, two classic comfort dishes become one. The stylish spot on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile serves a Pot Roast-Stuffed Shells special — we’ll pause while your mind is blown — blanketed in fontina and Asiago cheeses and marinara sauce. With each rich, creamy bite, wonder why no one’s thought of this before. Make a reservation at Mity Nice.

Perfect Pot Roast

Beatrix Streeterville, Chicago, Illinois
This popular spot in Chicago’s Near North Side is open all day — from coffee and pastries to dinner and cocktails. In the morning, upgrade your breakfast BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese) with the hearty Braised Pot Roast & Egg Sandwich, featuring aged white cheddar and jalapeno relish for a little kick to get your day going. Circle back for your dinnertime pot roast fix with their Slow Braised Short Rib Farrotto and a slice of the Oh My! Caramel Pie. Finally, congratulate yourself on a banner day of eating. Make a reservation at Beatrix Streeterville.

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50 Most Romantic Restaurants in the US: OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award 2011

Did your favorite romantic spot make this year's list?

With less than three weeks until Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to announce the 50 winners of the 2011 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards for Most Romantic Restaurants. The list of winners is derived from 7 million+ reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

California is the stand-out state on the list, with nine Golden State restaurants earning spots; New York is home to just four winners, which begs the question, “Should Sleepless in Seattle have culminated atop the Golden Gate Bridge rather than the Empire State Building?” And, while we normally associate French and Italian foods with romance (see Julie & Julia and Lady and the Tramp), this list proves that home is where the heart is: American cuisine accounted for 14 slots on the list. If you follow our Diners’ Choice Awards each year, you’ll know how very romantical our diners find fondue — and that’s still true; melted cheese and chocolate continue to inspire amore.

A perfect guide to help you plan your best Valentine’s Day dining experiences yet, this list ensures you’ll book a table that would make Cupid proud!

American Cuisine: What Does It Really Mean?

americaOpenTable diners recently selected their 50 favorite restaurants for American cuisine. But the Chicago Tribune‘s Bill Daley wonders if anyone can even agree on what American cuisine specifically refers to. The James Beard Foundation posits that the U.S. is a nation of regional cuisines rather than one with a unifying national style of cooking. However, the wise Wylie Dufresne, the American master of molecular gastronomy, tells Daley, “What I like about the term ‘American cuisine’ is that it can encompass ingredients and techniques from around the world because that’s what it is.”

While the winners of the OpenTable 2009 Diners’ Choice awards for Best American Cuisine may vary in both method and menus, all do precisely what Mr. Dufresne, chef-owner of wd-50,  asserts — and, according to you, they do it very well.

Reserve a table to celebrate our country’s birthday in style this weekend.

Best Restaurants for American Cuisine: Your 50 Favorites

american-flag.jpgAre you feeling particularly patriotic as Independence Day draws near? Celebrate by dining out at one of the national winners of the OpenTable 2009 Diners’ Choice awards for Best American Cuisine, as selected by OpenTable diners. Based on 2.5 million reviews of more than 9,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, you can be sure this is one democratic list.

With winners in 23 states, the odds of finding the best American food in your neck of the woods are pretty high. And, proving the coastal states don’t dominate this cuisine, middle America makes a strong showing, with four winners in Missouri and three in both Colorado and Illinois, among others.

So, leave the barbecue behind this 4th of July, and book a table at any of these top restaurants that will make you proud to be an American foodie.