Très Bien! Celebrate National Cassoulet Day

Blog BENOIT_NY_Cassoulet_Pierre Monetta copyYou know what we love about cassoulet? EVERYTHING. You know why? Because the delicious French dish comes in so many forms. There are the classic cassoulets from Carcassone, Castelnaudary, and Toulouse — and dozens of variations created by inventive chefs around the globe. (Pro tip: If you’re in a particular region in France, don’t say which you think is the one cassoulet to rule them all — you’re sure to get into quite a row if your answer hails from another location). So revered is it that, according to Saveur, there is even “a gastronomic brotherhood devoted to that epic French dish” known as the Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary. While we may not boast such an organization in the U.S., we do have National Cassoulet Day. And, many restaurants are extending the savory celebration. Instated by Alain Ducasse’s bistro Benoit in New York City, this year, more than 30 of the country’s top restaurants will honor the hearty French winter classic all week long.

From January 9–15, Benoit and participating restaurants, ranging from French restaurants, steakhouses, and farm-to-table New American concepts to Italian and even vegan eateries, will offer their own interpretations of cassoulet. Benoit will prepare a special three-course Cassoulet Experience. To start, guests can expect a selection of hors d’oeuvres including celery root and red cabbage remoulade and for dessert, a Vacherin with pineapple and vanilla.

The full list of restaurants can be found here. Dozens of other restaurants are participating unofficially or merely serving this dish because they (as we) are crazy for cassoulet. Below are a few of our faves to inspire you to celebrate National Cassoulet Day today. 

Benoit Restaurant and Bar, New York, New York
Chef and U.S. Cassoulet Ambassador, from the Universal Cassoulet Academy in Carcassone, Philippe Bertineau’s iconic one-pot meal of white beans, pork, and duck is served in its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole. Make a reservation at Benoit Restaurant and Bar.

National Cassoulet Day

River Roast, Chicago, Illinois
Throughout his career Chef Hogan worked with the some of the finest French chef’s – including Chef Jean Joho – and even spent time studying the culinary arts in France. These experiences have shaped a deep love of traditional French cuisine.  He is a master of charcuterie, which he incorporates in all of the elements of this dish — from the duck confit to the pork sausage. Combining all of these elements allows him to make a truly traditional French cassoulet which also includes pork shoulder,  white beans, white wine, garlic, and smoked bacon. Make a reservation at River Roast.

National Cassoulet Day

The Breslin Bar and Dining Room, New York, New York
April Bloomfield and her Christina Lecki executive chef at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room are participating in Cassoulet Week, serving their take on Cassoulet for Two: Duck confit, Toulouse sausage, and lamb belly, ayocote beans, and herbed bread crumbs for $65. Make a reservation at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room.

National Cassoulet DayContinue Reading

OpenTable Reviews Reveal Inaugural #DinersChoice Top 100 Best Restaurants in Canada

five sailsWe are excited to announce our first ever Top 100 Best Restaurants in Canada list. The list reflects the combined opinions of more than 275,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 1,500 restaurants in Canada.

The Top 100 list includes award winners from eight provinces, with restaurants as far west as British Columbia’s Wolf in the Fog and as far east as Newfoundland’s Raymonds.

A unique trend seen this past year in Canada was the popularity of wineries, which made up 20 per cent of the Top 100 including Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, Peller Estates Winery Restaurant, and Trius Winery Restaurant.

Ontario dominated the list with an impressive 38 restaurants making the Top 100, followed by Québec with 21, British Columbia with 19, and Alberta with 15.

French fare was the most popular choice among Canadian diners, with Italian trailing closely behind. Canada’s diverse culinary landscape was well represented with cuisines such as Japanese, Mediterranean, Syrian, and Turkish ranking in the Top 100.

Continue Reading

OpenTable Diners Reveal 2012 Valentine’s Day Dining and Reservation Trends

As Cupid prepares to pull back his bow on February 14th, OpenTable has surveyed our network of diners to find out how and when you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which celebs you’d most like to dine with, and what types of foods put you in the mood. Get all the details in our fun infographic below!


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!