Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! 10 Comforting Roasted Chicken Dishes

Much like the little black dress or the perfectly shaken martini, roasted chicken — in all its crisp-skinned, golden browned glory — never goes out of style. Whether roasted on a rolling rotisserie or in a wood-fired oven, seasoned with an Italian or Latin American flair, prepared simply or complexly, all forms of this classic dish have the superpower to comfort with rich flavor and heady aroma. So as winter finally descends, find a foil to the deep freeze. Here are 10 spots across the country that serve up some deliciously comforting roasted chicken.

The NoMad, New York, New York
Perhaps the most lavish bird of the bunch, The NoMad’s Whole-Roasted Chicken for Two features foie gras, black truffle, and brioche, and it is plated with seasonal accompaniments — currently cauliflower, lentils, and currants. Pair it with a Le Poulet, the Belgian-inspired brown ale Brooklyn Brewery created just for this occasion, and relax in one of the restaurant’s warm, darkly wooded spaces. The fireplace, with its marble mantle direct from a French château, is particularly inviting on a freezing winter evening. Make a reservation at The NoMad.

Roasted Chicken

Fork, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This beloved contemporary American restaurant in Old City has received 15 Best of Philly awards from Philadelphia Magazine and for good reason — the supremely fresh ingredients and inventive flavor combinations continue to impress (to wit: the delicately handmade chicken liver ravioli with pickled swiss chard, ginger, and coriander, or bright vitello tonnato with raw veal, tuna, and capered cucumbers.) But on frigid winter nights, the classic Lancaster Farm Chicken, served with dirty rice and herb salad, is unbeatable. Make a reservation at Fork.

Roasted Chicken

Isla, Austin, Texas
Chef Roman Murphy’s Cast Iron Lime Chicken spends a full 48 hours in a bright bath of orange and lemon juices, garlic, vinegar, and spices, for a decidedly island-inspired twist on the classic at this Caribbean cantina in Austin’s Warehouse District. Pan-seared and then oven-roasted, the juicy result is paired with a side dish — choose from elote, Cuban beans, rice, or caramelized sweet potatoes, among others. Add a Prickly Pear Margarita or spicy Cantina Mule, made with tequila, lime juice, jalapeño, and ginger beer, to really get into the Island spirit. Make a reservation at Isla.

Roasted Chicken

Kapnos, Washington, D.C.
Chefs Mike Isabella and George Pagonis make good use of the wood-fired grills at his modern Greek restaurant on D.C.’s 14th Street Corridor, spit roasting whole animals like lamb, goat, and suckling pig to smoky perfection. The chicken is seasoned with a traditional blend of Greek spices, cooked rotisserie-style over the hickory fire, and served alongside lemon potatoes. If sitting next to a lamb on a spit weren’t enough, start with a “kegged” spiked lemonade and shareable mezze plates or spreads served with fresh, stone-baked flat bread to fully channel a Greek feast. Make a reservation at Kapnos.

Roasted Chicken

Xico, Portland, Oregon
The aroma of hot corn tortillas delightfully permeates Portland’s Division Street Mexican eatery. You can sample them, freshly stamped from the housemade masa, with any number of perfectly spiced dishes, including the Chicken Dinner for two. Organic chicken is brined in a bath of hot and sweet chiles, dusted with ground avocado leaf and more chiles, and then basted with house chile vinegar while it slow roasts, rotisserie-style. The fiery, fragrant dish, accompanied by black beans, Mexican rice, red onion escabeche, and house salsas, is guaranteed to liven up any dreary winter day. Make a reservation at Xico.

Roasted Chicken

Untitled, New York, New York
Normally, fried chicken edges out its roasted counterpart by the sheer fact that it’s fried. In fat. But not at Untitled, Danny Meyer’s latest pillar of perfection at the recently relocated Whitney Museum. In a crisp, sun-filled space, tuck into the dish of remarkably tender Roasted (on a rotisserie) and Fried (post-soy garlic marinade) Chicken with kale and radicchio — and wonder how each bite tastes better than the last. Make a reservation at Untitled.

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Tap That Sap: 13 Amazing Maple Cocktails

As winter announces its overdue presence and maple harvest time looms, we yearn for maple syrup more than ever. We pour it on pancakes, use it to glaze bacon for our burgers, and drizzle it over snowball-sized scoops of ice cream. However, there’s no place we like it more than at the bar. That’s because the amber liquid has a rich, deeply flavorful sweetness, which works well to mellow out liquor’s sharper tones. Here are 13 amazing maple cocktails.

Charcut, Calgary, Canada
Bar manager Mackenzie Oullette has fond childhood memories of making lollipops by pouring boiling maple syrup into the snow. Now she makes a similar maple taffy to garnish her whiskey rich Fléche cocktail, which gets a sugary lift from even more Grade A syrup. Make a reservation at Charcut.

Maple Cocktails

Burritt Room & Tavern, San Francisco, California
The phrase ‘study abroad’ used to conjure images of drinking in foreign countries while trying to improve international relations one hookup at a time. But now that we’re older, slightly wiser, and a tad more refined, the phrase makes us think fondly of this cocktail with the same name. Bourbon based, it’s sweetened with dark Grade B maple syrup and given some nuance through the inclusion of pear liqueur, allspice dram, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Burritt Room & Tavern.

Maple Cocktails

Almanac, New York, New York
Simply called the Maple, this cocktail is essentially a seasonally accented Old Fashioned. The kick of the Overholt Rye and the botanicals of the dry vermouth are smoothed out by a dose of salted maple syrup and a couple of dashes of housemade orange bitters. Make a reservation at Almanac.

Maple Cocktails

The Salty Sow, Austin, Texas
The Maple Glazed Old Fashioned sounds like it could be an amazing doughnut. It’s also the name of this self-explanatory sipper, which features the classic cocktail sweetened with…yeah, you guessed it. What gave it away? Make a reservation at The Salty Sow.

Maple Cocktails

Gather, Berkeley, California
Earl Grey-infused maple syrup perks up this scotchy sipper, which would most certainly appeal to Ron Burgundy. Dubbed the Northern Exposure, it’s filled out with lemon juice, egg whites, and bitters. Here it goes, down into our bellies. Make a reservation at Gather.

Maple Cocktails

Wildwood Kitchen, Bethesda, Maryland
The Sunday mornings cocktail evokes brunch in a glass. Bacon-washed bourbon is mellowed out with hickory-smoked maple syrup, and vanilla and cinnamon tincture. The glass is finished off with a Serrano ham chip and an orange peel. Make a reservation at Wildwood Kitchen.

Maple Cocktails

The Smith-Midtown, New York, New York
Named after the lovable pig in Charlotte’s Web, the Sweet Wilbur aims to evoke the countryside. Sugar maple liqueur is blended with bourbon, allspice dram, apple cider, and bacon bitters (an item that made it into our Christmas stocking). To complete the cocktail, the rim is rolled in vanilla salt. Make a reservation at The Smith-Midtown.

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2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America + 16 Delicious Instagrammable Dishes

The results of our most delicious annual awards are in! Work up an appetite and make a reservation at one of the OpenTable 2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing both new and established restaurants in some of the nation’s most rapidly growing dining destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and includes Al’s Place in San Francisco, La Vara in Brooklyn, and Parachute in Chicago. The honorees show a commitment to local, sustainable sourcing and the creation of craft cocktails, soulful plates, many of which are finished in wood-fired ovens, and warm hospitality. Check out these 16 dishes from the winning restaurants that should be on every foodie’s must-try list.

Newer restaurants proved most popular, with a quarter of the eateries having opened in 2015 alone, and the majority of honorees were founded in the last five years. Restaurants serving American fare dominate the awards; however, the list represents cuisines from every corner of the globe, including Asian, Basque, French, Israeli, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian. Geographically speaking, New York has 12 winning restaurants, followed by California with 11, Texas with nine, and Minnesota and Oregon with eight each. Colorado, Illinois, and Pennsylvania each have six honorees, while Washington boasts five. Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia have three each. Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin all have two eateries. Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio are also represented.Continue Reading

Dinner Theater: 7 Restaurants with Great People-Watching

A great dining experience is the culmination of many key elements. From the quality of the food to the service, the setting, and, finally, one of the most important factors that can make or break a meal: the people. And it’s not just the people you intentionally choose to dine with that will affect your meal, but those others around you whose conversations you will inadvertently hear, whose fashions you will admire, whose names you may even learn. Welcome to the delicious sport of people-watching!

What makes a great people-watching restaurant? For me, it is all about diversity. I want to see people I don’t see in my home or on my phone, in my neighborhood, or at my workplace. I want my imagination teased as I play an unauthorized version of What’s My Line, guessing at their professions, aspirations, and passions. From around the nation, here are seven restaurants with great people-watching.

Betelnut Pejiu Wu, San Francisco, California
The extensive menu of Asian fusion cuisine at Betelnut Pejiu Wu (literally, “beer hall” in Chinese) will satisfy you to no end. But it’s the liveliness of the room itself that will make you feel at ease. At this happening Cow Hollow joint, the best of Asian street eats meets up with large mugs of cold beer that refresh and fortify. Expert tip: Grab a streetside table and observe San Francisco’s passers-by in all their fabulousness.

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Cascina Spinasse, Seattle, Washington
Sometimes great people-watching is the result of a positive shared experience. At Seattle’s Cascina Spinasse, you’ll be joined by foodies in search of culinary greatness (be prepared to hear a lot of “mmm” sounds). Here, in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, authentic Italian cuisine comes to life in an atmosphere that is classy yet cozy. Fans rave about both the great presentation of the oft-changing menu and the beauty of the quaint room. Drinks at Spinasse’s adjacent ARTUSI, a modern aperitivo bar, are not to be missed. [Photo Credit: Tom Barwick]

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Girl & The Goat, Chicago, Illinois
Top Chef winner and executive chef Stephanie Izard’s Girl & The Goat is the place to see and be seen in Chicago’s West Loop. Reservations are hard to come by, but patrons insist the culinary creations are well worth the intense OpenTable’ing. Choose from a wide array of seating choices in the warmth of spacious, wood-framed rooms from which you can enjoy contemporary American small plates, local craft beers, and wines from around the world. Look for Izard working her magic in the open kitchen — as well as for Chicago’s trendsetters who flock there to admire it. [Photo credit: Anthony Thalier]

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Le Cirque, Las Vegas, Nevada
If you’re looking for an interesting cross-section of the population, you can do much worse than visiting Las Vegas. And if you’re a high roller (or just want to eat like one), you’ll want to make the scene at Le Cirque. The festive dining room at restaurateur Sirio Maccioni’s AAA Five Diamond-rated restaurant is drenched in color and whimsy. This is opulent French cuisine at its best. It is also one of Las Vegas’s most treasured gastronomic destinations, so make sure you occasionally glance up from the stunning visions on your plate to see who is sharing the room with you.

No Va, Austin, Texas
Rainey Street is a popular historic district in downtown Austin known for its bungalow-style homes and businesses. No Va (Spanish for “It doesn’t go”), located in a renovated two-story house, is home to one of Austin’s most beloved happy hours. Whether you grab a booth or a seat on the upstairs balcony, you’ll have plenty of sights to take in along with your meal. The spaciousness of No Va and the light of the Austin sun will charm you as much as the wonderful people that help keep Austin weird.

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