Root Vegetables Rock: 15 Rave Reviews for Turnips

turnip blogIt warms my heart — and my stomach — that the unassuming turnip is turning up on more menus these days. The only longtime advocates I can personally recall of this root veggie are my mother, who served a giant bowl of mashed turnips each Thanksgiving (a practice started by her frugal father), and my instructors at the French Culinary Institute — we did a lot of tournage on turnips. A lot! A once-unsung ingredient in contemporary American cuisine, turnips are easy to grow and terrific for storage over the lean winter months. They’re also very low in carbohydrates, thus making them a great substitute for potatoes and other root produce with a high glycemic index. Read on for raves for turnips — in pizza, polenta, tacos, and more — from recent OpenTable reviews. 

Dressler’s, Charlotte, North Carolina: “Food, service, and overall dining experience was excellent. I had the steak with turnips and greens. Gave me a different outlook on turnips.”

The Gage, Chicago, Illinois: “Hubby had the prosciutto-wrapped trout stuffed with turnips and kale; he did not stop raving about his meal for two days after!”

Junto, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: “We split the ribeye (with potatoes, turnip, and arugula). The vegetables and bread were uncommonly excellent.”

The Helmand Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland: “My favorite entree is the vegetarian platter, but lamb dishes are also excellent. We almost always get the bindi (okra) as a side dish for the table, and these folks can make even turnips tasted like a gourmet find.”

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina: “Turnip pizza was a revelation, and so was pasta with braised brisket and a perfectly roasted chicken.”

Kanella, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The appetizers are wonderful. We had lamb dumplings in a wonderful sauce, a refreshing sliced turnip salad, and great fresh hummus that is light years from the supermarket kind.”

The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Somerville, Massachusetts: “Side dish of turnip was a heartwarming tribute to the fall.”

Legume, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “Perfect portion sizes saturated with flavor — we had swordfish with braised turnips, amazing grilled peach salad, jerk squid, and bluefish pâté. So good that we went back the next night.”

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It’s the Great Pumpkin: 15 Rave Reviews for Gourmet Gourd

pumpkin blogForget artificially flavored pumpkin spice lattes (and don’t get me started on pumpkin ales!); this fall, it’s all about fresh pumpkin. A true superfood, pumpkin has almost everything an eater could want in a single ingredient — protein, fiber, carotenoids, flavor, versatility, and much more. It’s a variety of squash and it can be used dozens — if not hundreds! — of ways when placed in the hands of a creative chef. Diners who are partaking of the real thing are encountering deeply satisfying dishes that capture the essence of autumn in every bite. Find out what they’re sharing in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews. And, ICYMI, here is a picture of the world’s largest pumpkin.

* Dettera Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ambler, Pennsylvania: “My dessert was pumpkin stuffed doughnuts with salted caramel ice cream. The doughnuts were light, the pumpkin smooth with just the right amount of sweetness, and the ice cream was sweet and very caramel-y.”

* Eddie Papa’s American Hangout, Pleasanton, California: “We also shared the seasonal pumpkin egg rolls and would definitely order them again!”

* Floriana, Washington, D.C.: “The pumpkin jalapeno beignets were out of this world!”

* Grove, Grand Rapids, Michigan: “Dessert was pumpkin puree, graham cracker, cinnamon ice cream, and toasted marshmallows. Grove never disappoints!”

The Helmand Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland: “Delicious starters, the kaddo bowrani baked pumpkin is not to be missed — perfect with the entree as a side for a contrast to the savory spices in the entree.”

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina: “The pumpkin semifreddo were as tasty as anything we’ve ever eaten in Charleston.”

Mark’s American Cuisine, Houston, Texas: “Munchkin pumpkins made their seasonal debut this past weekend — which was great news for me as I have been a big fan of these lobster-stuffed goodies over the years that they have appeared on Mark’s menu.”

Pamir Restaurant, Morristown, New Jersey: “Wonderful eggplant stew, and delicious pumpkin kadu soup. A real treat from the Middle East. Kabobs were tasty, but the best were the pumpkin-filled turnovers.”

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Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Tacos

Behold the mushroom tacos at ABC Cocina.

I’ve had tacos on my brain since Tuesday (and not just because of taco Tuesdays). You see, that’s when I had one of executive chef Dan Kluger’s most perfect mushroom tacos (among other perfect dishes) at ABC Cocina. It was gone in 60 seconds, but what a ride. Mole, kale, and lime round out the mushrooms and corn tortilla, and, if I’m being honest, I could probably have eaten five or six without stopping. In my mind, tacos are like sandwiches — the ideal foundation upon which you can layer flavors and ingredients to create a yummy, portable, eat-it-with-your-hands, often-one-of-a-kind delight. While most Mexican restaurants serve tacos, other restaurants do, too. See what your fellow diners are saying about the tasty tacos they’ve ordered in recent restaurant reviews. 

* ABC Cocina, New York, New York: “We had the shrimp, chorizo-stuffed calamari, mushroom tacos, and fish tacos (grilled). We also had the mango iced tea and the homemade ginger soda. Everything was seasoned perfectly, cooked just right, and presented quite beautifully.”

Cantina Feliz, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: “Husband ordered the carnitas tacos for the first time; liked it so much he ordered another to go also so our son could try them.”

COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Coco500 has a wonderful range of dishes that are terrific for sharing and ever-so-tasty. The fried green beans, mole tacos, truffled mushroom flatbread, and a fantastic New York strip with arugula, perfectly cooked and sliced for sharing, are all absolute must-haves.”

Del Frisco’s Grille, Atlanta, Georgia: “The ahi tuna tacos are fantastic — highly recommend those!”

* Harper’s Table, Suffolk, Virginia: “We are all Hampton Roads, Virginia, natives so we love the hint of ‘heritage’ cooking, and the new twists- – fried oyster tacos!! Highly recommended.”

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Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Turkey

Who knew you could fit all of Thanksgiving into a single burger?

Thanksgiving — the best holiday in the world because it’s all about food — is less than a week away. We cannot wait, and based on these reviews, chefs and OpenTable diners can’t either. Turkey is getting tucked into everything from meatballs and pates to sandwiches and tacos — and more. Turkey is a terrific source of lean protein as well as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about turkey lately. 

* Butcher & the Boar, Minneapolis, Minnesota: “Don’t miss the wood-fired oysters or the turkey braunschweiger pate on the meat sampler plate.”

Cafe Provence, Brandon, Vermont: “With Thanksgiving on my mind, I ordered the turkey pot pie. Much to my surprise, this amazingly tasty dish was filled with all of my Thanksgiving favorites. Tasty gravy with chunks of turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney, asparagus, stuffing — YUM!”

* Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe, Darien, Illinois: “Roast turkey with mole was savory and also fantastic.”

Einstein’s, Atlanta, Georgia: “We have tried multiple things on the menu and continue to be impressed. The E=Grill (turkey club on French toast) is out of this world.”

Jake’s, Palm Springs, California:  The turkey BLT was excellent! Would definitely come back!”

L. Woods Tap and Pine Lodge, Lincolnwood, Illinois: “I was all set to order my favorite meal there when I thought I would give their special a try — BBQ turkey meatloaf. Let’s just say I have a new favorite meal now!”

* Mama Ricotta’s, Charlotte, North Carolina: “Turkey meatball was phenomenal. We were talking about going back for lunch the next day after the race, and we hadn’t even finished dinner!”

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