Call of the Wild: 11 Wild Game Dishes to Try Now

As the leaves transition from green to a fiery array of blazing reds, electric yellows, and intense oranges and winter looms, the season for wild game is on. From ducks and pheasant to elk and venison, chefs showcase the bounty of the backwoods (including those at the 2015 100 Best Restaurants in America). These rusticated ingredients resonate with diners at this time of year because they evoke America’s pioneer roots and deep culinary traditions while being the kind of hearty, heartwarming fare that helps ward off the increasingly chilly days. Here are 11 wild game dishes to try now. 

Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.
It takes a full week for chef de Cuisine Brad Deboy to prepare his show-stopping roasted Rohan duck. He begins by drying the fowl and coating it with housemade Worcestershire sauce before cooking it for a day and finishing it with a spicy honey glaze. It arrives at the table whole, so you and your guest can ooh and aah, and then the succulent meat is carved for family-style service.

Wild Game Dishes Blue Duck Tavern

Sepia, Chicago, Illinois
You know the old saying: two birds on the plate are worth four in the bush. Or something like that. Chef Andrew Zimmerman offers pheasant two ways: simply seared and tucked into a pot pie. You could call it a tasting flight if you were so inclined to employ such bad puns.

Wild game dishes

The Wine Kitchen on the Creek, Frederick, Maryland
Time to sharpen your tusks. Executive chef Jeff Beard char-braises a wild boar shank, which comes out tender, but still toothsome. It’s served on a brushstroke of parsnip gratin with rounds of smoked pear and collard greens.

Wild Game Dishes

Two, Chicago, Illinois
Looking for a beef break? Elk tastes similar, but the flavor is richer. To highlight this superior protein, executive chef Kevin Cuddihee offers a grilled loin accompanied by bacon-roasted turnips, chanterelle mushrooms, and dollops of herb butter that melt over the meat for extra oomph.

Wild game dishes

Bastille, Alexandria, Virginia
Trust the French to do a très magnifique canard. Chefs and spouses Christophe and Michelle Poteaux offer a pepper-crusted breast in a piquant long pepper sauce. The spice is balanced out by a sweet mélange of roasted pears, figs, and grapes, along with a soothing swipe of earthy celeriac puree.

Wild Game Dishes

Et Voila, Washington, D.C.
It doesn’t get more autumnal than this. Chef-owner Claudio Pirollo makes a wild boar stew enriched with chestnuts and chanterelles and served with Jerusalem artichokes. Try not to make too much noise as you scrape your spoon along the bottom for the last drop.

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Dine Like a Caveman: 6 Delicious Paleo Dishes Perfect for #CrossFit Enthusiasts

If The Flintstones were to be believed, dining like a caveman meant sinking one’s teeth into a monster rack of brontosaurus ribs. Thankfully, there’s more to Paleo dishes than that. Paleo eaters can dine on an array of lean proteins, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. But can life without the carb-y goodness of pasta or rich dairy still be satisfying? Will you still have the energy you need for endless squats? Indeed. But don’t take our word for it. Check out these six nutritious and delicious Paleo dishes to feed your inner Fred or Wilma — and to help you keep fit for Crossfit.

The New York City Cut at American Cut, New York, New York
A 20-ounce, bone-in rib eye is dry-aged for 30 days and gets a true old New York twist with the addition of pastrami spices and smoke at this sexy steakhouse from chef Marc Forgione.

Pig Tails and Cherry Agrodolce at Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
At Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub, pigtails are brined in water, salt, sugar, and rosemary until fork tender. They are then topped with a paleo-friendly blend of fennel, garlic, red chili, and red onion and fried for a soulful-yet-carb-free dish. [Photo by Jason Varney]

Brick Chicken at Glen Ellen Star, California
Now’s the time for Paleo diners to heat to the Glen Ellen Star. Chef Ari Weiswasser is a devoted CrossFit enthusiast and is featuring seven weeks of Paleo-focused menus to align with the Lurong Living Championship Challenge. After your WOD, sink your teeth into the roast-y chicken served with caramelized squash, summer succotash, and dill oil.

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OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 30 Best BBQ Restaurants in America

Best BBQIn a nod to our nation’s longstanding love affair with barbecuing, we are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 30 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing regional styles and techniques, including dry rubs and wet brines, the winning eateries use a balance of nuanced spices and smoke to bring forth complex flavors in their barbecue dishes. The complete list includes notable restaurants in 12 states and Washington, D.C., such as Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem, Lambert’s Downtown BBQ in Austin, and Wexler’s in San Francisco. California has six award winners, followed by Illinois and New York with five each, Texas with four, and Ohio with two. Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also represented. Continue Reading

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Schnitzel

Dozens of countries serve their own style of schnitzel, from Austria to Ukraine.

Don’t call it a comeback — because schnitzel has never really been gone from our dining lexicon. However, schnitzel, in all its thin, crispy, breaded glory is showing up more and more often on menus in a city near you. From pork and veal to duck and sweetbread schnitzel — and everything in between, this simple dish has dozens and dozens of variations, old and new. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about schnitzel in recent reviews — and share your fave version of this dish in the comments section. 

* Blaue Gans, New York, New York: “Craving schnitzel? Check it out! If you are looking for a meal from the homeland, this is the place! Delish! Low key atmosphere, great vibe!”

Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.: “Lamb shank, chicken schnitzel, and burgers were very good.”

Chicken and the Egg, Marietta, Georgia: “My husband ordered what I think was called pork schnitzel and it was VERY good. This reminded me of a restaurant that you would find in Napa Valley.”

Cypress Nook, Pompano Beach, Florida: “The food was authentic and amazing! We sampled a few of the specials — the goulash soup, which was as good as the goulash we had in Vienna, Austria, a few years ago, along with the bratwurst and schnitzel!”

G.E.B. (Graham Elliot Bistro), Chicago, Illinois: “The pork schnitzel with a rye-based coating is both unusual and my favorite.”

Goldener Hirsch, Park City, Utah: “I have eaten at this restaurant many times. No matter whether you order fondue, oysters, quail, elk, sturgeon, or wiener schnitzel, you will not be disappointed.”

The Grille at Peerce’s, Phoenix, Maryland: “I tried the chicken schnitzel and it was great!”

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