Chef Charlie Palmer on Bringing His Take on Steak to New York City, Longevity, Luger’s + More

CP-BlogThis fall, chef-restaurateur Charlie Palmer opened Charlie Palmer Steak in the Big Apple, a much-welcomed addition to Manhattan’s midtown east neighborhood. Joining sibling Charlie Palmer Steak restaurants located in Las Vegas, Reno, and Washington, D.C., Palmer and his team are ready to wow savvy steak-loving New Yorkers with carefully sourced and deliciously prepared meats (and more). Renowned for his restaurants, hotels, and food-forward wine shops around the nation, he discusses the Charlie Palmer Steak menu, how his restaurant differs from the fabled Peter Luger, what’s in chef Matthew Zappoli’s signature cocktail sauce (sort of!), and diners’ longstanding love affair with the steakhouse in this exclusive Q+A.

You’re a native New Yorker and you opened your very first restaurant, Aureole, there. You have other locations of Charlie Palmer Steak around the nation — what made you decide to bring Charlie Palmer Steak to Manhattan at this point?

I’m actually from upstate New York, a small town called Smyrna, surrounded by farming communities. I opened Aureole in 1988 here in New York City, followed by Astra (which we just closed this year and are reopening as Upper Story in the next month), Kitchen 22, Kitchen 82, Metrazur, and more. So, I’ve long had a footprint and a place in New York City. We’ve been searching for the right location for a Charlie Palmer Steak in Manhattan for quite some time, and this one landed in my lap earlier this year.

Dating back to Peter Luger, the steakhouse feels like a very New York convention. What are the challenges of this market? What do diners expect from a New York steakhouse — and how do you deliver that?

It’s true. The steakhouse, or actually the ‘beefsteak’, has been a New York tradition since the 1800s. I think the challenges are numerous, but so are the successes. There are a ton of steakhouses in this town, so it’s about standing out, serving top quality beef, and providing the best service. My philosophy on steakhouses has always been different from the Luger format. I don’t want it to be a men’s club – I want it to be a place where men and women are both equally comfortable and the food goes beyond the beef — to really thoughtful, composed seafood dishes and hearty salads.

Why do you think we, as a nation of diners, have such a longstanding love affair with steakhouses? What is the ongoing allure? Continue Reading

Ride There with Uber in the OpenTable App

Need a ride to your reservation? No problem! We’re pleased to announce our new Ride there with Uber feature. Starting today, you will be able to view availability and estimated pricing of Uber vehicles near your home or a restaurant, and tap to request a ride to your destination via Uber — all within the OpenTable app.

The Ride there with Uber feature displays on your upcoming reservation and confirmation screens for bookings made within three hours of a reservation time, as well as at the end of your meal when paying your check using the OpenTable iPhone app. And, to make your life even easier, the OpenTable app will automatically tell your driver where to go, so you can focus on more important things like what to eat when you get there!

Ride there with Uber is currently available in the OpenTable app for both iOS and Android devices in cities that Uber serves across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Germany, and Japan.

At OpenTable, powering great dining experiences is our mission; getting you to them is Uber’s. We hope you’ll appreciate the convenience of our latest — and quite literally — mobile feature.

Josh Garnier is the Senior Product Manager for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. 

Cheers to the 2014 Bon Appétit America’s Best New Restaurant Nominees

Green papaya salad from nominee Kin Khao in San Francisco.

Bon Appétit has released its annual list of nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants of 2014. While not all of them are actually restaurants (such as Grand Central Market in Los Angeles), most are — and they’re on OpenTable. Neither New York nor San Francisco restaurants dominate the list; rather, the list features eateries in dozens of upcoming culinary cities. The finalists will be announced next week, so book your tables now to sample some of the most exciting food and drink being served around the nation.

Acorn, Denver, Colorado

Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, Massachusetts

CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas

Cured, San Antonio, Texas

Eat the Rich, Washington, D.C.

Edmund’s Oast, Charleston, South Carolina

El Camino, Louisville, Kentucky

High Street on Market, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Kin Khao, San Francisco, California

Luksus, Brooklyn, New York

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Stoic & Genuine Opens in Denver’s Historic Union Station: No Ocean, No Worries

Denver’s famous Union Station has gotten a much-needed renovation, and, along with stunning stores and a swank new hotel, some of the city’s best restaurateurs are setting up shop in the station, including Beth Gruitch and business partner and James Beard Award winner Jennifer Jasinski. The pair, who also operate Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall, and Rioja, have opened Stoic & Genuine, a multi-coastal seafood and oyster house. Featuring fresh seafood that is flown in daily, as well as oysters harvested exclusively for the eatery, an amazing wine and craft beer program, an array of grower’s Champagne, and a unique granita bar, Stoic & Genuine is named for Jasinki’s husband Max (stoic) and executive chef Jorel Pierce (genuine), and they aim to deliver food and hospitality that reflects those principles.

The selection of granitas are meant to complement both seafood dishes, such as oysters, and a number of cocktails. Gruitch revealed that the concept for the granita offerings came about at Jasinki’s wedding a couple of years ago. She says, “We’ve taken it one step further, by presenting both savory and sweet options. The flavors are incredibly intense — plus, it keeps your drink cold so its perfect.” Her current favorites include the Sherry Amontillado (“Sherry and oysters are a perfect match!”) and the strawberry Champagne granita. “We simply top it with more bubbles,” she notes, “and it’s a really nice alternative to a mimosa or a Bellini.”

In a nod to Denver’s sporty, health-conscious foodies, Stoic & Genuine‘s menu is a real reflection of how Gruitch and Jasinski like to eat. Gruitch says, “I love the simplicity of it. It’s refreshing and all the flavors are there. Jen’s cooking is really light, yet there’s a ton of flavor there.”

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