What the Turducken: 5 Takes on Thanksgiving’s Tasty Triple Threat

Take down three birds with one fork. Traditionally, turducken is a stuffing filled chicken pushed inside a duck, which is then shoved inside a turkey. This Frankenstein of fowl was created at Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana, back in 1985. However, chef Paul Prudhomme made it famous with an assist from sports commentator John Madden, who featured the dish during his Thanksgiving Day game broadcasts. This season, chefs are showcasing their takes on the tasty triple threat.

Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon
Not content to simply rehash the classic, chef Gabriel Rucker created the Quailducken. His elegant re-imagination subs in quail for the traditional turkey. It arrives on an artfully composed plate filled out with spice-poached quince, crispy Brussels sprouts, sunbursts of sweet potato puree, duck bacon, and a luxuriant bone marrow and port sauce. Make a reservation at Le Pigeon.

Turducken

Holsteins Shakes and Buns, Las Vegas, Nevada
Turducken — now in burger form. An herbed turkey patty gets topped with duck confit dressing and a ladleful of roast chicken gravy. To add further depth, there’s a poppy, perky cranberry relish, and straight-outta-NOLA Creole-herb mayonnaise. It comes with a side of sweet potato fries for good measure. Make a reservation at Holstein Shakes and Buns.

Turducken

Alvin & Friends, New Rochelle, New York
Executive chef Raymond Jackson believes each bird in his Turducken deserves a special stuffing. The turkey receives a smoked oyster and cornbread version accented with sage, thyme, and parsley. The chicken gets one starring andouille sausage. And the duck is paired with a grilled apple and walnut stuffing. Because if you’re already eating a turducken, it’s not like a few extra calories are going to matter. Make a reservation at Alvin & Friends.

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Well Done! The 100 Best Steakhouses in America 2016 #OpenTable100

As we look forward to the holiday dining season, we are thrilled to unveil the 100 Best Steakhouses in America 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

100 Best Steakhouses in America 2016

Highlighting both traditional steakhouses and novel takes on the concept, the complete list features restaurants in 28 states and the District of Columbia and includes Maple & Ash in Chicago (pictured above), Keens Steakhouse in New York and STK in Las Vegas. California, Illinois, and Texas each have 17 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 14 and Nevada with 12. Massachusetts has eight honorees, and Ohio and Pennsylvania boast six apiece. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., each have five honorees. South Carolina has three restaurants, while Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington all have two standout steakhouses. Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, and Rhode Island are also represented.

Check out a slideshow of 10 of the most mouthwatering plates of meat from winning restaurants on the list.

 

The list of the 100 Best Steakhouses in America is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016. All restaurants in the “steak” cuisine category with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to their overall food rating.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Steakhouses in America according to OpenTable diners:Continue Reading

Spooky Sips: Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

There is only one antidote for an overdose of Halloween candy and jack-o-lanterns — and that’s a drink or two. Tricks are for kids; treat yourself to one of these Halloween and Day of the Dead cocktails to get in the spirit of things.

Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
Creatures of the night will be reaching for the new Sleepy Hollow cocktail just in time for Halloween. Made with mescal, allspice Dram liqueur, and an absinthe rinse, this creation is garnished with toasted rosemary. Wisps of smoke emanating from it resemble an eerie fog. Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Dusk at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida
The Witches Brew is a rich concoction of Absolut Elyx, Cointreau, POM Blueberry juice, and a hint of sweet and sour. Some dry ice and a black sugar rim give this fruity cocktail a sinister look and feel to get you in the mood. Make a reservation at Dusk at the Ritz-Carlton.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Holsteins-The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada
Holsteins Shakes and Buns will offer the Graveyard Bam-BOOzled shake from through Halloween. This seasonal shake is created with vanilla ice cream and cherry vodka and is garnished with a graveyard made from Oreos, cherry sauce, a gummy skull, a mummy lollipop, a marshmallow Peep tombstone, bloody bones hard candy, and whipped cream finished with a candy corn-frosted rim. Get your drink and your candy fix all in one! Make a reservation at Holsteins-The Cosmopolitan.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Rosa Mexicano-Tribeca, New York, New York
To celebrate Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos, certified mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf created the Rising of the Dead cocktail. It’s a spicy margarita with pineapple and basil, playfully garnished with two red chiles de arbol standing upright to resemble someone rising from the grave. Every sip is equal parts mysterious and spicy. Make a reservation at Rosa Mexicano.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Calavera, Oakland, California
At this Mexican restaurant in uptown Oakland, you’ll find the Ancient Corn Old Fashioned just in time for the Day of the Dead and Halloween. It combines Mezcal Vago ‘Elote’ harvest mezcal, bourbon, housemade pumpkin-spiced bitters, carved rock, and a homemade spiced caramel lollipop – the best flavors of fall in a single glass. Make a reservation at Calavera.

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Good Gourd: 12 Pumpkin Desserts to Celebrate the Season

Once a humble, orange gourd best known for adorning dining room tables and decorating doorsteps, pumpkin has become a divisive element of the fall culinary landscape. Each year, pumpkin in all forms appears in coffee shops, grocery stores, and restaurants across the country, to the delight of some and exhaustion of others. We’re taking a stance, though, however controversial: we love pumpkin. Whether it be the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte, a creamy, comforting bowl of soup, or a hot-from-the-oven bread, we’re all in. However, pumpkin desserts reign supreme in our diets. From tiramisu to fritters to the most distinctly autumn ice cream sandwich, check out how chefs from around the country do justice to our favorite fall flavors.

Ginger Snap Cookie and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich, CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
This modern-yet-inviting brasserie in the heart of downtown Dallas is open all day, but make sure to stop in for lunch or dinner for a taste of fall on a plate. Executive pastry chef Keith Cedotal combined two of the season’s best, most quintessential flavors in his Gingersnap Cookie Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich with housemade cookies and a coating of pumpkin seeds for a little added texture. If we could dole these out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, we’d officially be the most popular house on the block. Make a reservation at CBD Provisions.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Spice Gelato, Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Among the many reasons to love chef Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub is the extensive beer selection (including the Victory Verde, a saison made exclusively for the Vetri family restaurants,) the comforting yet impressive, pork-centric menu, and, not least, the soft serve gelato. Flavors change seasonally, but this fall enjoy a Pumpkin Spice swirl in a cup, on a cone, or, for a little pick me up, an affogato with a shot of espresso. Make a reservation at Alla Spina.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Basque Cake, The Bristol, Chicago, Illinois
Renowned chef Grant Achatz has called the Basque cake at this beloved American restaurant in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood one of his favorite desserts in the city. A staple on the menu, pastry chef Amanda Rockman has given the cake an autumn spin, adding pumpkin marmalade — made from scratch by cooking a mixture of small diced pumpkin tossed in maple sugar and lemon zest — and a garnish of candied sage, spiced pumpkin seeds, and maple chantilly to the classic Spanish dessert. “If you can find them, the best pumpkin for marmalade that I have found is called a Long Island Cheese Squash,” asserts Chef Rockman. “Odd name, but great pumpkin.” Make a reservation at The Bristol.

Pumpkin desserts

Tiramisu’ Alla Zucca, Lago, Las Vegas, Nevada
At this stylish spot in the Bellagio, get a front row seat to the resort’s famous fountain show while enjoying plates like crudo, small pizzas, and focaccia. And for those celebrating Thanksgiving in town, don’t miss the seasonal spin on the traditional Italian dessert. Tiramusu’ Alla Zucca layers pumpkin mascarpone mousse onto espresso-soaked lady fingers in an indulgent, impressive — and appropriately Vegas — presentation. Make a reservation at Lago.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Cake in a Box, BOA Steakhouse, Santa Monica, California
The classic steakhouse gets an L.A. twist at this perpetually buzzing Santa Monica hot spot. After treating yourself to a juicy steak — the 40-day, dry-aged New York Strip or bone-in Kansas City filet mignon are among the many menu heavy-hitters — the Cake in a Box is an apt ending. With moist, spiced pumpkin cake, vanilla cream cheese icing, anisette cream, and candied pecans, the “box” aspect of this dessert means taking it to go is just as easy as diving in on site. Make a reservation at BOA Steakhouse.

Pumpkin Desserts

Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, Taste on Melrose, West Hollywood, California
Paired with a hot coffee at brunch or saved for dessert at lunch or dinnertime, the Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut — made with a soft pumpkin brioche, drenched in butter, and covered in cinnamon and sugar — makes for a perfectly autumn indulgence at this warm little neighborhood spot. Or, opt for the spicy Pumpkin Crumb Cake, topped with an almond nutmeg crumb layer. With ample outdoor seating for L.A.’s 364 days of sunshine, enjoy either one of executive pastry chef Katie Shyne’s house-baked creations and win fall. Make a reservation at Taste on Melrose.

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