Lunch Break is back with OpenTable employee Jack Wall in Nashville, Tennessee. Jack helps restaurants with software solutions — and much more — in his role with OpenTable. He’ll never eat an albatross, his last best meal was at Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina-Upstairs, and he once dined thisclose to 1990s action star Steven Seagal. Read on for more of Jack’s dining + food tips.
[singlepic id=133 w=400 h=320 float=right]Depending on your age, the very first time you try burrata, you may experience anger. That sounds crazy, but hear me out. You see, unless you’re trying it as a child, your love-at-first-bite sentiments of delight could quickly give way to bitterness, a bitterness born of the fact that for however many years you’ve been eating quality cheese, you have *not* been eating beautiful burrata. Before you despair entirely, however, know that it is burrata season, and you’ve got ample opportunities to make up for lost time. I describe burrata as the lovechild of just-pulled mozzarella and fresh ricotta — which isn’t entirely accurate, but it gives the unchristened a general idea of what I’m getting at when my ‘Trust me!’ isn’t cutting it. More precisely, burrata is freshly pulled buffalo or cow milk curd shaped into a purse of sorts and then filled with cream and curd. There are many ways to enjoy it, from being paired with oysters to a simple presentation of crusty bread and a drizzle of quality olive oil. Burrata’s name comes from the Italian word imburrato, which means ‘buttered’ — and once you sample this rich, simple cheese, you’ll understand the connection. Find out what your fellow OpenTable diners are saying about burrata in recent restaurant reviews!
* 360 Bistro, Nashville, Tennessee: “Our daughter thought her dish was the best of all — Italian burrata & Alto Adige speck with zucchini ribbons, truffle oil, and Tennessee dark honey on toasted baguette.”
* A Bellagio, Campbell, California: “If you like cured meat and excellent burrata, then this is the place for you! Burrata is a must! It is so creamy.”
* Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro, San Francisco, California: “Loved the arancini — savory little rice balls filled with burrata.”
* Acqua Al 2, Washington, D.C.: “The special appetizer was a super fresh burrata and apricots.”
* Brunello Trattoria, Culver City, California: “We started with the arugula salad with burrata cheese and hearts of palm, which was excellent. Exactly what I was craving.”
* Chez Soi, Manhattan Beach, California: “Mad props to the chef at Chez Soi! He chooses his ingredients carefully and really lets each one shine in the dishes he prepares. The smoked and grilled peach that accompanies the gorgeous burrata, for example, added a lovely twist to an already lovely plate.”
* Circa 1922, Wilmington, North Carolina: “The burrata with heirloom tomatoes was outstanding — so good we both wish we had ordered two instead of sharing. The waiter’s suggestion of pairing it with a tapas plate of speck made it even more spectacular.”
* What diners want. Emerging trends at the National Restaurant Association show, revealed. [Crain’s]
* Soylent green is people. But Soylent is a sustainable soy product that could be the key to ending world hunger. [Business Week]
* Desserts that should be deserted. One pastry chef shares five sweets she’d rather not see again. [Phoenix New Times]
Is cauliflower the new Brussels sprout? If these reviews are any indication, it’s certainly looking that way — and it’s unsurprising. They’re both members of the brassicaceae, or cabbage, family. And they’re both quite diverse ingredients, although cauliflower might be even more so, due to its size and texture. Used in everything from purees and soups to pasta sauces and fritters, cauliflower has gotten a promotion to standalone entree, especially in the form of savory steaks. Cauliflower’s origins in upscale cookery date all the way back to La Varenne’s Le Cuisinier François. While the most common varietal is white, green, orange, and purple cultivars are growing in popularity. They each taste very similar to one another, but the more colorful cauliflowers contain more nutrients and antioxidants. Whichever you enjoy, and however it is prepared, cauliflower is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this delicious vegetable in recent reviews.
* Bar Tartine, San Francisco, California: “Love the mason jar presentation of pickled vegetables; curried cauliflower was our favorite.”
* Brasserie Max & Julie, Houston, Texas: “I had the special, which was a grilled halibut, and my boyfriend had the salmon — both were great. The cauliflower gratin was yummy, too!”
* Cerulean, Indianapolis, Indiana: “Would definitely recommend the cauliflower fritas (they look like fried mozzarella, but it’s pureed cauliflower instead).”
* Davanti Enoteca, Scottsdale, Arizona: “We enjoyed the cauliflower steak and the truffle egg toast; they both were delicious.”
* The Eclectic Restaurant-Bar-Lounge, North Hollywood, California: “The fried cauliflower on the late-night menu was amazing!”
* Elizabeth on 37th, Savannah, Georgia: “Delectable dinner — amazing touches! The snapper was perfect, accompanied with a heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth cauliflower-goat cheese flan.”