On Our Plate: Dine Around Seattle Returns; Restaurant Week Boston Reservations Are Open; Crying Kids in Restaurants; Dish Trip Atlanta

"What do you mean you're out of the risotto?!"

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* The Town Dish folks took a delicious Dish Trip to Atlanta and all we got were these guest blog posts.

* We’re wondering if restaurants should ban crying kids. What do you think?

* Restaurant Weeks in Atlantic CityBurlingtonCalgaryDenver, Pikes Peak, and Seattle are happening now. Don’t miss your chance to dine out for less in your city.

* Restaurant reservations are now available for additional Winter Restaurant Weeks, such as Boston, Chicago Chef, The HamptonsHudson Valleyand Portsmouth.

* Food & Wine has released its list of nominees for Food & Wine 2012 People’s Best New Chef. Vote for your fave up and comer thru March 11.

And, we’re still hiring! We’re staffing up and looking for talented people to join our team. Check out openings in customer supportengineeringfield operationsfinanceIT and technical servicesoperations, and sales.

* Speaking of working here — meet OpenTable’s own Tori Tsu and find out what she’s eating on her Lunch Break.

On Our Plate: Best American Restaurants; Thanksgiving Reservations Around the Nation; Dine Around Seattle Continues; and Matchbooks as Mementos

The fabled Maxwell's Plum closed more than 20 years ago, but its bar is now housed in the Tribeca Grill, which is on OpenTable.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* We’re celebrating the 100 restaurants that have won 2011 Diners’ Choice Awards for Best American Fare. Find out if your favorite is among the honorees.

* On Thanksgiving, leave the cooking — and the dishes — to someone else and dine out!

* Dining out was a big part of my parents’ social lives in New York City, and they saved a lot of matchbooks from their favorite restaurants. As a result, I have a pretty nifty collection, which includes Maxwell’s Plum and Toots Shor’s. While many restaurants have stopped printing matchbooks, some still do. It got me to wondering, “Should restaurants give out matchbooks?” Vote in our poll.

* Also, should wait staffers automatically serve water to diners?

* Restaurant Weeks happening this week include Dine Around Seattle.

* OpenTable is hiring! We’re growing and looking for folks to join us. We’ve got openings in field operationsfinanceoperations, and sales.


On Our Plate: Michelin Stars in San Francisco, Cleveland Restaurant Week, Dine Around Seattle, South Jersey Restaurant Week, and Top Chef: Texas Premieres

Padma's odd dress aside, we're really excited for the premiere of Top Chef: Texas.

Happenings on and around OpenTable this week…

* We’re thrilled for the 2012 San Francisco Michelin star recipients. Congratulations to all the honorees!

* Opportunities to give back while dining out include Dine Out + Donate to StreetSmart 4 Kids in San Francisco from September 15 to November 15 and Food for Thought in San Francisco on November 9.

* Restaurant Weeks happening this week include Cleveland Restaurant Week, Jersey Shore Restaurant Week, Dine Out Lauderdale, Dine Around Seattle, and South Jersey Restaurant Week.

* Looking ahead, reservations are open for additional restaurant weeks, including Long Island Restaurant Week and Ventura Restaurant Week.

* Top Chef: Texas premieres tonight, and we’ll be watching along with chef Ed Hardy. Check back for our weekly recaps, starting tomorrow!

* Prime Restaurant in Atlanta is celebrating its 15th anniversary with week-long specials and offers, as well as fundraising for local charities. We’ll have all the details here tomorrow!

* OpenTable is hiring! We’re growing and looking for folks to join us. We’ve got openings in field operationsfinanceoperations, and sales.


Dine Around Seattle Celebrates a Decade of Fine Dining in Seatown

Happy 10th Anniversary, Dine Around Seattle!

The start of March brings the start of Dine Around Seattle. Now in its tenth year, Dine Around Seattle fetes the best of the Seattle dining scene for a whole month. Featuring $15 lunches and $30 dinners, more than 40 restaurants are proudly participating in what has become a Seattle tradition. Organizer Lissa Gruman shared her advice and reflections on Dine Around Seattle and this landmark anniversary.

What was the impetus for starting Dine Around Seattle 10 years ago?

It was right after 9-11 — March 2002 — to be exact, which meant the restaurants were really hurting, but, really, it was Richard Malia of Ponti Seafood Grill that wanted to do this, his vision, based on New York Restaurant Week.  He wanted to bring restaurants together for a collaborative event, but we had tons of resistance, at first. That is why we started as 25 for $25. We could only convince 25 restaurants to participate, but it took off like mad once we launched. We always felt that one week alone would not be enough time to make an impression in this market.

How has Dine Around Seattle evolved since its inception?

I think Dine Around Seattle has built a brand that consumers know, trust, and anticipate. We have held to high standards over the years to deliver a fantastic experience, and the dining public believes our commitment to the promise.

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