Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Heirloom Tomatoes

Green Zebra tomatoes are easy to grow -- and even easier to eat!

Tomato-eating season has started, bringing with it some of the yummiest heirloom varieties you’ll find — Black Krim, Green Zebra, Purple Cherokee, Valenica, oh my! Typically defined as open-pollinated tomato cultivars, heirloom tomatoes are known for being much more flavorful than standard-issue supermarket (blech!) tomatoes — and more beautiful. They do have their own limitations, of which I am reminded every year when we inevitably lose fruit or entire plants to dreadful sounding things like fusarium wilt. It’s worth mentioning that even if a tomato isn’t an heirloom, as long as it was grown locally with care by someone using organic techniques, it will probably be just as tasty as an heirloom (see Tomato, Ramapo). Here’s what OpenTable diners are saying about the crown jewels of summer produce in recent reviews.

900 Wall, Bend, Oregon: “Adored the heirloom tomato risotto. Still trying to figure out a way to have it Fed Exed to Milwaukee!”

Bridges Restaurant, Grasonville, Maryland: “Great spot for dining on the water! Views, fun decor (check out the wine bottle chandelier), and good food. Four arrived in time for happy hour in the bar and took advantage of the specials (incredible clams in a wonderful bread-dunking broth, a tasty heirloom tomato pizza, and excellent housemade hummus).”

Carolina’s Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina: “Enjoyed a delicious dinner made with local ingredients from the arugula to the ‘pink’ snapper. All were beautifully presented with interesting food combinations. The lemon dressing highlighted the flavor of the arugula combined with the heirloom cherry tomatoes, okra, and small deep-fried circles of eggplant.”

Ecco, Atlanta, Georgia: ” I got the spaghetti with heirloom tomatoes; incredible and perfectly portioned.”

Il Piatto, Santa Fe, New Mexico: “Loved the squid ink pasta, heirloom tomato gazpacho, arugula salad with apples, and gorgonzola ravioli. Will definitely come back.”

Jaleo DC, Washington, D.C.: “Love Jaleo! We walked in and there was Chef Andrés himself at the front door. Had the heirloom tomato salad — don’t miss if it’s on the menu when you go.”

Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, Lexington, Kentucky: “The food is very fresh and flavorful. The heirloom tomato appetizer featured all tomatoes from their own garden with a variety of salts. Very memorable.”

Mas (farmhouse), New York, New York: “The yellowfin tuna appetizer is a winner as was the heirloom tomato tart.”

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Eight Dishes That Should Be 86’d; Caveman Cuisine; An iPhone As Dinner Date; Ellen and Lady Gaga to Open Eateries; Best New Restaurants in Canada

An OpenTable diner snapped this cellphone picture of the Geico cavemen dining at Sauvage in Berlin.

Dining and restaurant news…

* Give me liberty. The Liberty Tavern, that is. That’s where President Obama dined with four fortunate supporters last week. [Obama Foodorama]

* Your time is gonna come. And by come, the HuffPost foodies mean go, for these eight played-out dishes. [HuffPost Food]

* So easy a caveman could eat it! Food from the Paleolithic era is all the rage at a restaurant in Berlin. Bring your own club. [Daily Mail]

* In the foaming. Is molecular gastronomy hurting fine dining? I doubt it, but some people in D.C. seem to think it is. [NBC Washington]

* “And, my Blackberry will have….” You’re not dining alone if you have your smartphone. [Washington Post]

* And if you don’t have a smartphone? You can hire a dining companion, if you happen to be in Vegas. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Vegas, so maybe this isn’t as weird as it sounds? [Las Vegas Vegas]

* Somebody bring me some water. Apparently, it’s what most folks are drinking while dining out. [NY Daily News]

* The Art-ful Gaga. Lady Gaga’s father is set to open a new restaurant with Chef Art Smith (Art and Soul). Because of her aversion to the telephone, we’re hopeful it will be on OpenTable. [Delish]

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Printers as Chef; Chicago’s The Pump Room Returns; Restaurants Will Save Our Fish; Rayner Mad Over G9 Manifesto; Chef Sedlar Returns; Lakshmi Bores

Clearly, Padma should have suited up for The Moth.

Dining and restaurant news…

* Fishing for answers. Restaurants may hold the key to the sustainable seafood movement. [Forest Grove News Times]

* Meet chef Hewlett Packard. Printers can now make food. I’m not kidding. [SmartPlanet]

* Pump up the volume. Iconic Chicago restaurant The Pump Room is ready for its close up — and reservations! [Chicago Tribune]

* London calling. Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay answer, with new restaurants CUT 432 and Bread Street Kitchen, respectively. [Business Insider]

* Manifestos should be off the menu. Jay Rayner takes issue with and aim at the G9 chefs’ manifesto. [The Guardian]

* A call for clean cooking. Chef José Andrés (America Eats) joins the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. [Fox News Latino]

* Call it a comeback. Chef John Sedlar isn’t resting on the laurels of his past success, Saint Estèphe, as evidenced by Rivera and Playa. [LA Times]

* Pack your knives and go. Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi nearly bored the audience to tears at The Moth. [NY Post]

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Cakeage Fees Explained; Licenses Not Music to Restaurant Owners’ Ears; Kids Under 18 Banned at Restaurant; Insects Are Sustainable, But Are They Tasty?

Depending on how you slice it, cakeage fees could cost you more than the cake itself!

* Cakeage fees are climbing down under. To $10! As you may have guessed, diners aren’t happy. [Sydney Morning Herald]

* Please don’t stop the music. Although, it might be cheaper if restaurants did just that. [WRAL]

* Tweeting out. How social media is serving restaurants. [Sacramento Press]

* Much depends on dinner. Which is probably why moms are the ones who decide where the family will dine. [QSR]

* Diners behaving badly. In ten different ways. [Toronto Sun]

* Local restaurant survival guide. As told by three survivors. [Hickory Daily Record]

* Sign before you dine. D.C. restaurant Rogue 24 is asking guests to sign a two-page contract prior to dining. [Consumerist]

* Dishes on a diet. Top LA chefs give popular dishes a skinny twist. [LA Times]

* The secrets to restaurateur Danny Meyer’s success. There are 17! [Business Insider]

* Don’t look back. Unless you’re Alice Waters reflecting on 40 years of Chez Panisse. [Publisher’s Weekly]

*  Kids are banned at another restaurant. This time it’s those 18 and under, and some parents are outraged. I imagine some teenagers are glad they don’t have to dine out with mom and dad on a Saturday night. [Tennessean]

* Ketchup gives American cuisine a bad name. That’s what Jose Andres thinks. I disagree. Ketchup rules. [Seattle Times]

* Can’t afford to dine at The French Laundry? Make Thomas Keller’s chicken at home! [Foodie Chap]

* Bugging out. Insects are sustainable and edible. I’ll never eat them, but, you know, feel free. [Herald Sun]

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