So This Happened: #100opentables

In what will surely go down as one of the most delicious nights in history, 100 restaurants in 30 cities around the world hosted nearly 350 diners for unique #100opentables dinners on April 9th. Winners gathered with (lucky!) friends and family to share incredible dining experiences, from the epic 13-course tasting menu for two at Luksus to the whole beast feast for eight at Rhubarb.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for the dining experience of a lifetime! It was an incredible (40 tastes?!) meal that expanded our palettes and satisfied our souls. And, we got to meet Chef Barber! What a night.” – @emilycgraff – #100opentables diner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

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Everything was superb, from the greeting when we arrived, to the servers, the sommelier, the presentation, the food and the wine pairing. We especially enjoyed watching the view of the food preparation in the kitchen. In addition, the decor and ambiance in the restaurant are truly a sight to behold . This prize was a most memorable and fun surprise that we will never forget! Thank you and Open Table for making this memorable dinner possible.” — Barbara S. – #100opentables diner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

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100 Dinners. 30 Cities. #100opentables Happens Tonight.

At OpenTable, we believe that many of life’s richest moments happen around the restaurant table. In celebration of this sentiment and our recent rebrand, we gave away 100 one-of-a-kind dining experiences in 30 cities, from “The Cellar Experience” at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns to the private chef’s table for four in the skybox at Restaurant Daniel – and they’re all happening this evening.

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To see what happens around the tables tonight, follow the hashtag #100opentables on Instagram and Twitter — and get inspired to create your own unforgettable experience with friends and family!

After an overwhelming number of entries and interest, we thank everyone for their participation. Congratulations to the winners* of the #100opentables experiences, including:

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Mad Men Restaurants in New York + Los Angeles; Plus, Dine Like It’s 1969 During NYC Mad Men Dining Week

mad men 2015Mad Men returns with seven final episodes on Sunday, April 5th. In celebration, NYC & Company is hosting Mad Men Dining Week. You can get your Don, Joan, Peggy, Pete, or Roger on with $19.69 two-course lunches or two-cocktail lunches at select Manhattan restaurants through March 29th. And, as we count down the days until the season premiere, we’ve rounded up the classic restaurants that your favorite Mad Men characters have — or should have — dined at in Los Angeles and New York.

10 Places Don Draper Dined in New York City

Manhattan in the 1960s didn’t have as many fine restaurants as New York City (or anywhere, really) in the 2010s, but there were some gems that are still in business. Get your Mad Men fix on with a look at the real restaurants that have been plot points and settings on the show. 

Restaurant: AJ Maxwell’s (aka The Forum of the Twelve Caesars)
Location: 57 West 48th Street, New York, New York
Episode: “The Suitcase,” season 4, episode 7
The Dish: I’m fudging here a bit as AJ Maxwell’s wasn’t exactly featured on Mad Men — but its location was. In this will-she-stay-or-will-she-go Peggy Olsen-centric ep, the devoted-to-Don-Draper working girl misses her big birthday dinner at The Forum of the Twelve Caesars, much to the great chagrin of her family and boring beau Mark. Steakhouse AJ Maxwell’s opened in the same space as the opulent The Forum of the Twelve Caesars, which closed in 1975, but some of The Forum’s over-the-top charms remain.
Insider’s Tip: Order the classic Caesar salad and look around for The Forum’s original murals in the restaurant.
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Restaurant: Barbetta
Location: 321 West 46th Street, New York, New York
Episode: “The Summer Man,” season 4, episode 8
The Dish: This theater-district Italian restaurant holds several distinctions outside of its Mad Menappearance. It is the oldest restaurant in New York that is still owned by the family that founded it, the oldest Italian restaurant in New York, and the oldest restaurant in New York’s Theater District. On top of all that, a newly single Don Draper squires the sassy Bethany to Barbetta, only to run into Betty Draper and new father husband Henry Francis in “The Summer Man.”
Insider’s Tip: Don’t miss dining in one of the city’s best gardens.
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10 Places Don Draper Should Dine in New York City

On the heels of our rounding up New York City restaurants that Don Draper dined at, we also wondered where he and the rest of the Mad Men characters might dine in the Big Apple in future episodes!

Restaurant: 21 Club
Location: 21 West 52nd Street, New York, New York
Casting note: Open since 1929, we’re certain that the stylishly clubby 21 Club would be a must-eat for the agency’s out-of-town clients, so we’re not sure how this icon of Manhattan’s power-dining scene hasn’t yet received its close up. Also, how dashing would Don Draper look sitting beneath the Bar Room’s fabled toy ceiling-scape?
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Restaurant: Café Carlyle
Location: 
35 East 76th Street, New York, New York
Casting note: A favorite of café society, and wildly popular since the mid 1950s, Café Carlyle could provide the perfect opportunity for new parents Pete and Trudy Campbell to enjoy a stylish night of the music of George Feyer and fine dining sans baby. The murals by Marcel Vertes remain intact, leading us to believe Café Carlyle’s star turn isn’t far off.
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Mad Men Restaurants: Los Angeles Edition

We’ve rounded up sumptuous suggestions for where we’d like to see the Sterling, Cooper & Partners crew dine in the City of Angels, circa 1969, including The Galley, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, The Smokehouse, and more.

Restaurant: Dal Rae
Location: 9023 E. Washington Boulevard, Pico Rivera, California
Now and then: Your favorite mid-century classics reign supreme at the Dal Rae, which began serving diners at this location in 1958. Its truly retro and not-at-all ironic menu features the staples that defined upscale American cuisine for an entire generation, including Chateaubriand, Rack of Lamb, Pepper Steak, and Cherries Jubilee. Known for their world-class hospitality, the Dal Rae is operated by brothers and second-generation owners Kevin and Lorin Smith. Recognizable from afar thanks to its neon, atomic-age signage, the Dal Rae features live entertainment in the piano bar.
Tasty tidbit: The Smith brothers note, “The Dal Rae is where the drinks are strong enough for Roger, and the steaks are man enough for Don.”
Classic dish not to miss: Steak Diane, Lobster Thermidor, Veal Oscar, and the tableside Caesar Salad, just to name a few.
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Restaurant: The Derby
Location: 233 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, California
Now and then: The Derby opened in 1922, but became The Derby in 1938, when it was purchased by legendary jockey George Woolf (known for riding Seabiscuit to victory over War Admiral in 1938). Walking through the doors of The Derby is definitely a stroll back in time to the heyday of California’s 1930’s horse racing culture. Pristine yet unfussy, this meat mecca attracts a hip crowd of all ages who appreciate a great steak, a stiff drink, and live music. Woolf’s ghost is said to haunt the establishment, spinning his favorite bar stool at closing time. A nostaglic Pete Campbell would definitely appreciate a meal at The Derby.
Classic dish not to miss: The Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon that made The Derby famous and Noni’s Brashioli.
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Lunch Break: Meet OpenTable Employee Greg Comishock

At OpenTable, we power great dining experiences worldwide. We work hard, we play hard — and we eat well. Quite possibly more than employees of any other company, we’re asked about our favorite restaurants and food obsessions. In that vein, then, we’re pleased to introduce Lunch Break. Every few weeks, you’ll meet another OpenTable employee and discover some of their dining habits — and learn their answers to one of life’s eternal questions: “What’s for lunch?” Up this week is Greg Comishock, a restaurant operations specialist who works out of our New York offices. A regular at Becco, Greg hearts hummus and wants no part of what he refers to as “diner scrapple.”

Lunch Break Greg C. Dupe

 

To apply to take a seat at our table at http://www.opentable.com/careers/.