Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Meat-Free Dining During Lent

I'm not sure if there's ever a good time to be a fish, but I think it's safe to say that Lent is definitely not one of those times.

Today is the Great American Meat Out, during which many people are giving up meat for the day — or forever! At the same time, Lent is going on. Many diners eschew meat on Fridays or altogether until Easter Sunday. Dining out for these folks can be a challenge, See what diners are saying about meat-free dining during Lent in select OpenTable reviews from the last seven days!

Eddie Merlot’s, Columbus, Ohio: “We especially love the Lent special this year with the change to two lobsters.”

Karyn’s on Green, Chicago, Illinois: “For two meat eaters, trying a vegan restaurant was quite an experience, but we should have never had any doubts! We went to Karyn’s on a Friday during Lent and were very happy with the food and will be returning in the future. The ‘chorizo sliders’ were delicious and had we not known they weren’t real sausage, we would have never been able to tell.”

Le Cirque, New York, New York: “Went on a Friday during Lent so only ate fish/seafood. No complaints about our selections, all were great! From grilled octopus to whole turbot fish.”

Macello, Chicago, Illinois:  “We were looking for a good place to have dinner before a Blackhawks game and found Macello. We had a great experience. Two of the four of us were observing Lent (no meat on friday) and one was following a low carb diet. All four of us had many great options to choose from.”

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Dining Poll: Will You Observe the Great American Meat Out Tomorrow?

On March 20th, thousands of people are going to give up meat in honor of the Great American Meat Out, some for a day and some for far longer. Will you be joining in the Great American Meat Out tomorrow? Weigh in on our dining poll!



Trendspotting: Foraging for Food; Mixology with Meals; Pigs; Pop Rocks; Pop-Up Restaurants; Sharks; Sustainable Restaurants, and More

In food-related news from the blogosphere and your favorite food sections…

* Forget singing for your supper; it’s all about searching for it these days, thanks to a renewed interest in foraged ingredients. I don’t mind the practice, but this word is beginning to crop up on menus everywhere and it’s driving me a bit batty. [Nation’s Restaurant News] [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

* New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz wants to ban the use of salt in food prep at restaurants in New York State. In other words, he wants to ruin all the restaurant food in New York State. [Nation’s Restaurant News]

* Are Pop Rocks the new truffles? Probably not, but some restaurants in New York (Klee, Kefi, and Fishtail by David Burke) are embracing this clamorous candy and other 7-11 delights as ingredients in high-end dishes. [New York Post]

* I did not know that: Eggs aren’t dairy. Whew! I recently did a cleanse that excluded dairy, but I adore eggs so it was sheer (and, in hindsight, unnecessary) torture. Thanks to Carolina Santos-Neve and Epicurious for clearing this up.  [The Epi-Log]

* It’s not easy to not eat meat, but Chow’s Roxanne Webber has some insights as to how vegetarian and vegan chefs make their meat-free dishes so delicious. [Chow]

* First craft beers, now cocktails are being paired with food at fine restaurants. Can wine get a break? [The Atlantic] [Washington Post]

* Pop-up restaurants are, well, popping up all over New York, much to diners’ great joy. [Los Angeles Times]

* Restaurateurs are embracing sustainability in ways big and small, from building materials to menu items. [Los Angeles Times]

* Shark is not sustainable, in case you were wondering. [The Atlantic]

* In news sure to shake Miss Piggy to her stilettos, whole-pig restaurants are all the rage in Southern California. [Los Angeles Times]

* Despite their appetite for whole pigs, diners want to get healthier. [Nation’s Restaurant News]

* Diners also want to eat outdoors, especially in New York. [The New York Times]

* Food is my religion, and restaurants are my houses of worship. Thankfully, I am not alone. [The Grist]