Root Vegetables Rock: 15 Rave Reviews for Turnips

turnip blogIt warms my heart — and my stomach — that the unassuming turnip is turning up on more menus these days. The only longtime advocates I can personally recall of this root veggie are my mother, who served a giant bowl of mashed turnips each Thanksgiving (a practice started by her frugal father), and my instructors at the French Culinary Institute — we did a lot of tournage on turnips. A lot! A once-unsung ingredient in contemporary American cuisine, turnips are easy to grow and terrific for storage over the lean winter months. They’re also very low in carbohydrates, thus making them a great substitute for potatoes and other root produce with a high glycemic index. Read on for raves for turnips — in pizza, polenta, tacos, and more — from recent OpenTable reviews. 

Dressler’s, Charlotte, North Carolina: “Food, service, and overall dining experience was excellent. I had the steak with turnips and greens. Gave me a different outlook on turnips.”

The Gage, Chicago, Illinois: “Hubby had the prosciutto-wrapped trout stuffed with turnips and kale; he did not stop raving about his meal for two days after!”

Junto, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: “We split the ribeye (with potatoes, turnip, and arugula). The vegetables and bread were uncommonly excellent.”

The Helmand Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland: “My favorite entree is the vegetarian platter, but lamb dishes are also excellent. We almost always get the bindi (okra) as a side dish for the table, and these folks can make even turnips tasted like a gourmet find.”

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina: “Turnip pizza was a revelation, and so was pasta with braised brisket and a perfectly roasted chicken.”

Kanella, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The appetizers are wonderful. We had lamb dumplings in a wonderful sauce, a refreshing sliced turnip salad, and great fresh hummus that is light years from the supermarket kind.”

The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Somerville, Massachusetts: “Side dish of turnip was a heartwarming tribute to the fall.”

Legume, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “Perfect portion sizes saturated with flavor — we had swordfish with braised turnips, amazing grilled peach salad, jerk squid, and bluefish pâté. So good that we went back the next night.”

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It’s the Great Pumpkin: 15 Rave Reviews for Gourmet Gourd

pumpkin blogForget artificially flavored pumpkin spice lattes (and don’t get me started on pumpkin ales!); this fall, it’s all about fresh pumpkin. A true superfood, pumpkin has almost everything an eater could want in a single ingredient — protein, fiber, carotenoids, flavor, versatility, and much more. It’s a variety of squash and it can be used dozens — if not hundreds! — of ways when placed in the hands of a creative chef. Diners who are partaking of the real thing are encountering deeply satisfying dishes that capture the essence of autumn in every bite. Find out what they’re sharing in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews. And, ICYMI, here is a picture of the world’s largest pumpkin.

* Dettera Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ambler, Pennsylvania: “My dessert was pumpkin stuffed doughnuts with salted caramel ice cream. The doughnuts were light, the pumpkin smooth with just the right amount of sweetness, and the ice cream was sweet and very caramel-y.”

* Eddie Papa’s American Hangout, Pleasanton, California: “We also shared the seasonal pumpkin egg rolls and would definitely order them again!”

* Floriana, Washington, D.C.: “The pumpkin jalapeno beignets were out of this world!”

* Grove, Grand Rapids, Michigan: “Dessert was pumpkin puree, graham cracker, cinnamon ice cream, and toasted marshmallows. Grove never disappoints!”

The Helmand Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland: “Delicious starters, the kaddo bowrani baked pumpkin is not to be missed — perfect with the entree as a side for a contrast to the savory spices in the entree.”

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina: “The pumpkin semifreddo were as tasty as anything we’ve ever eaten in Charleston.”

Mark’s American Cuisine, Houston, Texas: “Munchkin pumpkins made their seasonal debut this past weekend — which was great news for me as I have been a big fan of these lobster-stuffed goodies over the years that they have appeared on Mark’s menu.”

Pamir Restaurant, Morristown, New Jersey: “Wonderful eggplant stew, and delicious pumpkin kadu soup. A real treat from the Middle East. Kabobs were tasty, but the best were the pumpkin-filled turnovers.”

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Child-Friendly Dining: 15 Ways Restaurants Are Welcoming Young Kids to the Table

sassafraz
Sassafraz may be kid friendly, but they’re certainly not kidding around when it comes to their cuisine.

The topic of babies and children in restaurants is a highly divisive one. Whenever we raise the issue on social media, the debate is heated, scorchingly so — and split down the middle. Many folks don’t think infants, toddlers, or young kids, well-behaved or not, belong in restaurants at all, while other diners are raising enthusiastic eaters by introducing them to the joys of fine dining at a very young age. Cry babies aside, a meal out at a restaurant can provide a few hours of respite to harried parents and help instill good table manners in little ones. Countless restaurants have taken note and are upping the ante on hospitality for parties that include young (and presumably well-behaved) children. From happily stashing strollers and providing slings to serving up creative cuisine for the Crayola set, here’s how 15 establishments have helped provide stellar dining experiences for hungry families, according to recent OpenTable restaurant reviews.

Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, Columbus, Ohio: “We have a 4-month old baby, and brunch at Cap City was a breeze. They had a sling available, and the background noise kept the little one content.”

Cedar Restaurant, Washington, D.C.: “I reserved a table for six, hoping they’d be okay that one guest was a baby. We were skeptical at first because they don’t have an elevator, but as soon as we got the baby and his necessary gear down to the restaurant, they were nothing but helpful. They stowed his stroller, brought a high chair (even though we said we could just put his car seat on a regular chair), and were even interested to know about the baby himself. [When leaving], they even let us use the service elevator they have.”

Clay Pit, Austin, Texas: “The best authentic Indian food in Austin, for sure. We went for an early dinner with our 10-month old and our server was so pleasant to him. Love a place that makes us feel welcome with a rambunctious kiddo!”

Dish on Market, Louisville, Kentucky: “I went to Dish with my 3-week old, son and the staff was amazingly kind. They sat us where there was room for my stroller. No one treated me like a pariah for dining with a baby. Both restrooms have large changing areas, too.”

Firestone Restaurant and Bar, Lethbridge, Alberta: “I had written in my reservation notes that we were two adults with two small children plus a baby who needed a high chair, and it was all ready when we arrived. The meals were all delivered in a very timely manner.”

Great Maple, San Diego, California: “My husband and I have been here many times and invited our friends and two kids (6 months and 3 years old) to join us for brunch last Saturday. Great Maple was very accommodating, and we had a great corner table outside with plenty of room for the stroller. Crayons and a paper menu for the little ones to stay entertained. Delicious food. Our waiter was very friendly and accommodating of our somewhat slow-to-get-it-all-together party (Hard to do with two kids and parents eating in shifts while trying to keep a baby from meltdown status!).”

Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina: “Service was outstanding! We reserved a table early (5:45pm) since we had my 11-month old with us. I was happy to see other babies there, too. The service staff were so accommodating and professional. I didn’t feel judged at all, and the server even offered to get my daughter some water, juice, or crackers…whatever she needed. ”

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20 Raves for Gazpacho 20 Ways: Trending on Restaurant Reviews

gazpacho-blogGazpacho is almost as much fun to say as it is to eat. Almost. While scores of foodies adore traditional tangy gazpacho, chefs are thinking outside the red tomato and letting other fruits and vegetables be the stars. This chilled soup, which is positively synonymous with summer, is being prepared with ingredients from cucumbers to watermelon — and everything in between. Check out what diners are saying about gazpacho served 20 different ways, in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews. 

Artichoke, Albuquerque, New Mexico: “The yellow tomato gazpacho was garlicky and good.”

Atchafalaya, New Orleans, Louisiana: “The soup of the day was to die for — watermelon-tomatillo gazpacho. It was absolutely wonderful.”

Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, Maryland: “The food was amazing! Starting with a mango-honey dew gazpacho…mmmm!”

Bishop’s, Vancouver, British Columbia: “Delicious creamy gazpacho from sungold tomatoes with a spoonful of fennel sorbet and poached prawns was amazing!”

Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri: “The gazpacho martini is the single most delish cocktail I’ve ever imbibed.”

Charley G’s Seafood Grill, Lafeyette, Louisiana: “My wife got the watermelon gazpacho soup with lump crab meat which was out of this world.”

Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, North Carolina: “I highly recommend the sungold tomato and peach gazpacho. What an exciting surprise offering a delectable variety of tastes.”

Coohills, Denver, Colorado: “The green tomato gazpacho was not your run-of the-mill soup but a medley of great flavors.”

Dovetail, New York, New York: “The melon gazpacho for a first course on a warm summer day was refreshing and wonderfully flavored.”

* Gotham Bar and Grill, New York, New York: “I had the very best gazpacho of my life next. I didn’t want to finish it because I didn’t want the amazing blend of compressed yellow peppers, watermelon, cucumber, garlic, strawberry, and tomato to end!”

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