Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Tripe

Tripe alla parmigiana, grilled bread, soft herbs at Balena in Chicago, Illinois.

Long before offal was in vogue in this country, I once (Once!) tried tripe. I was a kid attending a very Sopranos-like gathering at a friend’s home. Trays of old-school Italian and Italian-American delights were spread out buffet-style for guests. As I made my way down the line, I happened upon one that appeared to be yet another tray of saucy, cheesy goodness with some sort of protein, so I greedily heaped a healthy serving on my plate. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but even before someone told me it was tripe, I knew it wasn’t for me. Since then, to the joy of more adventurous eaters, tripe and other forms of offal have taken center plate, if you will, at restaurants. Beyond frugality, offal offers diners different tastes and textures, and enlightened chefs consider it the best way to honor the animal — by carefully and creatively using every bit. Tripe, otherwise known as the lining of an animal’s stomach, typically cow, is turning up on scores of menus. While I won’t be ordering it, many folks are. Find out they’re saying about this offal offering.

Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “Our dinner was like an evening in the French countryside. The sweetbreads on the menu were done perfectly. The tripe on special was very flavorful. These items are not commonly found on U.S. menus.”

Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon: “The menu has unique preparation of Italian favorites, and everything we ordered was just great and flavorful. Best tripe I’ve had, including Batali’s.”

Babbo Ristorante, New York, New York: “Sweetbreads are to die for, the best tripe ever, testa luscious and unctuous as anything you’ve had. Hard to go wrong with nearly anything on the menu.”

Cafe 2825, Atlantic City, New Jersey: “It’ s traditional Italian done very well. My husband adores their tripe.”

Charlie Bird, New York, New York: “Run, do not walk before word gets put. This place is amazing!!! Tripe was to die for!”

* COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Our party tried some favorites — squash blossom-truffle oil flatbread from the wood burning oven, housemade pate, tripe, and beef cheeks. All were delicious.”

Da Silvano, New York, New York: “Great food, great service, best tripe alla fiorentina, and best for people watching. ”

* Daniela’s Restaurant, Naples, Florida: “Food is prepared a little different than in my region of Romania, but very good. Tripe soup is to die for! We will definitely be back.”

Franco, St. Louis, Missouri: “Our server recommended the tripe appetizer. My wife and I were intrigued by the offer to sample fried cow stomach (tripe, for the unknowing), and it was exceptionally well prepared and delicious. ”

Le Virtu, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The tripe keeps me coming back! The first time I had it, I wanted to cry because it tasted just like my mom used to make on Saturday afternoons. Please never take it off the menu!”

Maialino, New York, New York: “I am a foodie and a Rome native. Thus, I was looking forward to dining at Maialino. I had the tripe as an appetizer. Romans make the best tripe, and the tripe at Maialino did not disappoint. Excellent.”

Continue Reading

OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants

You don't need two tickets to paradise -- just a reservation for two at any of the 2012 Diners' Choice Award winners for Best Outdoor Dining!

With summer right around the corner, we are pleased to announce the 2012 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The winning restaurants include Geoffrey’s in Malibu, California, Plumeria Beach House in Kahala, Hawaii, The Turtle Club in Naples, Florida. California’s great outdoors is clearly great for dining, with 36 winning restaurants in the state, including 11 in the Los Angeles area, eight each in Palm Desert-Palm Springs and San Diego, and five in the Bay Area. Florida restaurants claimed 30 spots on the list, with an impressive 17 in the Miami area and nine wins in the city of Naples alone. The Aloha State of Hawaii is home to 16 winning restaurants, nine of which are on the island of Maui. Arizona and New York boast four wins apiece, followed by three in Texas, and two in both Louisiana and Virginia. Other states represented include Colorado, Illinois, and Nevada.

Continue Reading

‘Eat Pray Love’ Food Stylist Susan Spungen Talks to OpenTable

The eagerly anticipated film Eat Pray Love starring Julia Roberts arrives in theaters on Friday, August 13, 2010. Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of the same title, Eat Pray Love found an audience in foodies, many of whom are looking forward to seeing Ms. Roberts follow in Gilbert’s yummy “foodsteps” throughout Italy. The film’s food stylist, Susan Spungen, shared some of her experiences working on location, as well as a few of her favorite foodie things. A food editor and editorial director for Martha Stewart Living magazine for 12 years, Spungen’s mouthwatering work has also been featured in Julie and Julia and It’s Complicated. Watch our exclusive video interview and tune in tomorrow to find out how you can win dinner and tickets to Eat Pray Love for four.

Continue Reading