Watch: How to Saber a Champagne Bottle

Want to make a splash on New Year’s Eve? Saber a bottle of bubbly. Nothing rings in a new year quite like Champagne, loud cheers, and the suggestion of a little danger.

We asked Johnny Slamon, sommelier at Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco, to show us how to saber a Champagne bottle like a pro (and, of course, safely). Johnny worked at the Fifth Floor restaurant for five years before joining the opening team of Alexander’s, where he’s built what he calls an “aggressive” Champagne program.

Continue Reading

NYE by the Numbers: How OpenTable Diners Celebrate the New Year

How OpenTable Diners Celebrate the New Year

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest dining days of the year, when guests seek out special tasting menus and sommeliers break out the bubbles to mark the occasion.

We looked into last year’s data to identify some of the most interesting trends in New Year’s Eve bookings in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and help restaurants prepare for the holiday. From cover volume to party sizes and timelines, here’s how OpenTable diners celebrate the New Year.

Cover Volume

How many people are actually dining out on New Year’s Eve? We looked at online covers on the holiday compared to an average corresponding weekday in December (in this case, the 3rd, 10th and 17th). In all countries, there was a big spike in volume for the holiday itself.Continue Reading

Aspirin Alternatives: 11 Delicious Hangover Cures

We love going out to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but the Bacchanalian celebrations come at a high price the next morning. When we wake up – usually cuddling with an empty bottle of Champagne and wearing a glittered covered top hat – our heads feel like they’re going to pop off our shoulders and explode like a well-struck piñata [Ed. note: or like someone in Scanners]. If you’re like us, you will, too, be in need of some solid sustenance and vivifying drinks – stat. Here are 11 delicious hangover cures guaranteed to help you start off the new year in the right frame of mind.

Holsteins Shakes and Buns, Costa Mesa, California
The French word for hangover remedy is poutine. Okay, that’s not true, but it should be. This take on the classic Canadian comfort food is built on a base of golden frites, which are piled high with stout gravy, melted cheese curds, shredded short rib. And a sunny side up egg. Yes. Just, yes.

Delicious Hangover Cures

URBN Coal Fired Pizza, San Diego, California
After a long night of endless stems of bubbles, we crave one thing: carbs. And lots of them. That’s why we love this mashed potato-topped pizza. As if that weren’t enough, the buttery peaks of the whipped spuds are crested with bacon and fresh mozzarella. Down one of these, and you’ll be ready for another magnum of Veuve Clicquot.

Delicious Hangover Cures

Summer House, North Bethesda, Maryland
On the day after the last great bender of the year, you might be in the mood for a distinctly non-alcoholic tipple. Enter these zero-proof cocktails: the Malibu Cooler, Pineapple Paradise, Açai Basil Smash, Kale Lemonade, and Cucumber Cooler. Guaranteed to put the pep back in your step. [Photo by Anjali Pinto]

Delicious Hangover Cures

Myriad Gastro Pub, San Francisco, California
There’s something comforting to the core about shakshuka, a Tunisian breakfast standard featuring eggs poached in tomato sauce. Served in a skillet, it arrives with several pieces of griddle-grilled green onion socca (savory chickpea pancakes), which are perfect for sopping up the last bits. And absorbing alcohol.

Delicious Hangover Cures

Messhall Kitchen, Los Angeles, California
Nick Offerman would surely approve of the Royal American omelet. It’s made with six eggs and comes atop a Belgian waffle. Then it’s bedecked with Tasso ham, bacon, onions, and a gooey shroud of melted Vermont cheddar. A truly manly breakfast.

Delicious Hangover Cures

Roofers Union, Washington, D.C.
Executive chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, an early standout on this season of Top Chef, has the perfect breakfast sandwich for the morning after. A fried chicken thigh smothered in honey-sriracha sauce arrives on a ciabatta bun with a slather of mayo and a few crunchy iceberg leaves. Goes down well with a pint. Or six.

Delicious Hangover CuresContinue Reading

Party Like a Rock Star in the New Year at Musician-Owned Restaurants

Jogging, shmogging. Make it your resolution to party like a rock star in the new year. At least once, get ushered around town in a stretch Hummer, knock back magnums of Dom Pérignon with your friends, and wear enough bling so that your selfies are just a blizzard of glittering lights reflecting off your jewels. Such a baller evening wouldn’t be complete without dining at a restaurant that epitomizes the high life. We recommend reserving a table at one owned by a chart topper. Here are five musician-owned restaurants where you can party like a rock star and live like a celebrity any day of the week.

Jay Z’s 40/40 Club, New York, New York
Hova has 99 problems, but running a super swanky sports-themed nightclub isn’t one of them. The luxe lounge takes its name for a record only four MLB players – Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano – have ever achieved: hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in a single season. As you would expect, the space is decorated with sports memorabilia galore, including signed jerseys you might be tempted to rip off the wall so you can hang them in your man cave at home. Don’t. Jigga would definitely not approve. The menu features bar food done right – from king crab sliders and spicy, skin-on fries to Southern fried shrimp and four cheese mac ‘n cheese. If you happen to be there at the same time as Jay and Bey, don’t interrupt them while they’re eating to ask for a picture with them to post on your Instagram. Wait until they’re enjoying a digestif, then bum rush them.

Musician-owned restaurants

Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina, Las Vegas, Nevada
You’ve probably sung one of Hagar’s songs at the top your lungs with the windows cranked down and the accelerator kissing the floorboards. Maybe his signature solo hit, “I Can’t Drive 55” or one of his many smashes with Van Halen, such as “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Poundcake,” and “Right Now.” His Mexi-minded cantina – which takes its moniker from a track on VH’s 1988 album OU812 – specializes in South of the Border favorites. Think queso fundido with chorizo, short rib burritos, carne asada tacos, and chipotle-spiced chicken fajitas. Oh, yeah, and there’s a lot of tequila to be had, including Sammy’s own brand. Have a few glasses of Cabo Wabo tequila and you may be, um, inspired to belt out a tune in between courses. Just don’t make the amateur mistake of singing a Van Halen song David Lee Roth originally sang. So. Not. Cool.

Musician-owned restaurantsContinue Reading