Support Lovin’ Spoonfuls Food Rescue in Boston at a 6/10 Pop-Up Dinner with Zimmern, Bissonnette + More

Lovin' SpoonfulsOn June 10th, some of Boston’s most acclaimed chefs join food and television personality Andrew Zimmern to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization in Massachusetts, at a Pop-Up Dinner. In an absolute case of “This is not your mother’s stuffy fundraiser’, Lovin’ Spoonfuls founder Ashley Stanley reveals, “On Tuesday night, we’re bringing so many different kinds of people together —  to support our work, support their community, experience and share food, and have a great time. We’re beginning with great friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls (Josh Smith of Moody’s, Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow and Louis DiBiccari of Tavern Road), presenting delicious small plates of charcuterie, an incredible-sounding strawberry and parsnip dish, and delicious crudo.” Four courses prepared by chefs Zimmern, Jamie Bissonnette, Matthew Jennings, and Joanne Chang follow. The event will also feature a photo booth, a meet and greet with all the chefs, signature cocktails created by OffSite and others, wines selected by MS Walker, craft beer from PEAK, TJ Connelly spinning on the decks.  More than that, though, this is a terrific opportunity for folks to join in the fight against hunger and food waste.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls was founded in 2010 and is dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. This food is then delivered to community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact, such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Founder Ashley Stanley started Lovin’ Spoonfuls after learning how much food is thrown away, both in the U.S. and abroad, and realizing, “Wasting so much food in the face of what has felt like an unsolvable problem (hunger) has gone unaddressed.” She took to the streets, observing how much waste local supermarkets were producing and, then, tapping her skills as a former Division I soccer goalie, she stood in front of a dumpster “and tried to make the save.”

Since then, Lovin’ Spoonfuls has grown from Stanley and her car (and, presumably, her goalie gloves) to a fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles and seven full-time employees, rescuing and distributing more than 1.5 million pounds of fresh, healthy food to folks who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Stanley says, “For so long, we’ve been sort of punched in the face with the messages that hunger exists, and there’s not enough food to feed everyone. We’re challenging those messages. There is enough food — but the choices we make as a global community keep it from being harvested, getting it to where it needs to go. I want to support a solution to end hunger, not the cause. This is the most preventable problem that we’ve got.” Unfortunately, it is a growing one. She notes, “There are 49 million people (16 millions of them children) in this country who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s about 800,000 people in the Bay State, over 200,000 of them are kids. Hunger relief has to be able to evolve to meet the world where it’s at right now.”

Continue Reading

Celebrate Spring with #SolarVortex Dining Specials in Boston, Chicago, New York + Philadelphia!

Solar-Vortex-Logo-finalThe winter of 2013-14 was one of the most brutal in recent memories. Frigid temperatures and brutal snowstorms kept even the most devoted diners at home, curled up in comfy pants and, assumably, bingeing on House of Cards. Between the Polar Vortex, the back-to-back storms in early February, and more, restaurants in several major cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, have experienced declines in business of anywhere from 11% to a whopping 28%.

Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, confirms,”I’ve spoken with restaurateurs whose business went down 10-15%, if not more, due to the extreme winter conditions. It was also difficult for employees to get to and from work during the snowstorms and a challenge for restaurants to accept product deliveries.”

Chef Harold Dieterle, who operates acclaimed restaurants Kin Shop, Perilla, and The Marrow, and his staff braved these storms, having to shovel snow from their sidewalks regularly and even skip a few services, despite being located in the public transit oasis that is New York City. “We closed for some lunches at Kin Shop due to the storms. And, if guests aren’t coming in, while it definitely affects the restaurant’s bottom line, it also hurts the front-of-house staff who rely on tips. It’s been a challenging season for the restaurants and the staff, for sure.” Both Kin Shop and Perilla are offering #SolarVortex specials, and all three restaurants, including The Marrow have just launched exciting new spring menus. “It’s been a rough winter for sure. I’m definitely looking forward to some warm weather, even though it’s not happening today.”

Despite the chill, to help celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring, restaurants in Boston, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia are offering #SolarVortex dining specials today through March 28. Cooped-up diners are invited to take advantage of unique offers, from specialty cocktails, such as the ‘Rose Colored Glasses’ at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria in Manhattan and deep discounts, including $20 off dinner visit with a $50 minimum spend at Roy’s in Chicago, to almost-free lunch, like the $7 local-focused lunch special at Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington, and even free meals, such as Brandywine Prime’s in which diners receive a free brunch for two for every two guests. Continue Reading

Restaurant Week Season Continues: Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Louisville, Seattle + More

PDM2014Does winter have you feeling down? Cheer up with restaurant week savings in a city near you. 

* It’s finally 502 Restaurant Week in Louisville. Order up delicious dinners for $50.20 per couple or $50.20 per person through March 5.

* Annapolis Restaurant Week has arrived. Don’t miss $15.95 two-course lunches +  $32.95 three-course dinners through March 2.

* Bet on Atlantic City Restaurant Week!  Take advantage of $15.14 lunches + $33.14 dinners, March 2-March 8.

* Sink your teeth into Calgary’s The Big Taste. Enjoy steals on meals at the city’s best restaurants, March 7-March 16.

* Chicago Chef Week blows into the Windy City in a few weeks. Book now for three-course $22 lunches + $44 dinners, March 16-March 21.

* Count us in for Dine Out Boston. Save with $15, $20 + $25 lunches and $28,$33 + $38 dinners, March 16-21 and March 23-28.

* Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week continues. You’ll love $15 lunches + $30 dinners through March 2.

* Denver Restaurant Week is on in Mile-High City. Get on board for gourmet dinners for just $30 through February 28.

* Support local during Dine Around Seattle. Book a table for delicious prix-fixe meals, March 2-27 (excludes Friday + Saturday dinners, Saturday lunch, + Sunday brunch).

* Maryland’s Frederick Restaurant Week is almost upon us. Enjoy $15.14 + $20.14 lunches and $30.14 dinners, March 3-9.

* Hudson Valley Restaurant Week springs up in New York shortly. Make a reservation for $20.95 lunches + $29.95 dinners, March 10-23.

* It’s hip to eat out during Las Vegas Three Square Restaurant Week. Hit the open tables for $20.14 or $30.14 lunches + $30.14, $40.14, or $50.14 dinners, March 7-14.

* We’re mad about Minneapolis-St. Paul Restaurant Week. Book for $10-$20 lunches + $15-$30 dinners through February 28.

* Dine, drink, and discover during New Mexico Restaurant Week. Reserve for gourmet prix-fixe menus through March 2.

Continue Reading

OpenTable Releases Restaurant Industry Index for Q4 and Full Year 2013

We are pleased to release the OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index for the fourth quarter and full year 2013.

“Spurred by healthy economic growth and an unseasonally mild winter, the San Francisco Bay Area reservation-taking restaurant industry experienced a solid lift in the fourth quarter,” said our own Duncan Robertson, Chief Financial Officer of OpenTable. “The U.S. overall and most major metropolitan areas that we track experienced a modest lift with the exception of Chicago, which declined by three percent, and Atlanta, Boston and Washington D.C., which were essentially flat. The New York metropolitan area benefited from an easier comparable quarter by lapping Superstorm Sandy, which hit during the fourth quarter of 2012.”

OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index
The OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index is based on data gathered from more than 10,000 reservation-taking restaurants* sampled from the OpenTable network in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Each percentage indicates a year-over-year increase or decrease in the number of guests served in these reservation-taking restaurants, as recorded by the restaurants in their reservation books. Those guests include those who honored reservations made by phone or online as well as those who walked in without a reservation.Continue Reading