Help 3 Finalists Open a Restaurant! Our Restaurant OPEN 2016 Kickstarter Contest Is On

Earlier this year we released our How to Open a Restaurant guide and launched a contest to help one aspiring restaurateur fund his or her dream project. After narrowing down the entries with the help of a trusted panel of New York restaurateurs, last month we announced our three finalists: Christopher Fehlinger, Reem Assil, and Robin Song. Today, they each launched Kickstarter campaigns to raise money for their restaurant projects!

Over the next 40 days, we’ll be cheering on Christopher, Reem, and Robin as they make progress towards their funding goal of $35,000. On September 9, the contest ends, and the finalist who has raised the most money will be declared the winner.

To recap, here’s what’s included in our grand prize, worth more than $38,000 total: 

  • A 12-month subscription to OpenTable’s flagship Guest Center product, plus access to the world’s largest diner network and a credit on cover fees
  • A full set of professional All-Clad pans 
  • A set of 25 Hedley & Bennett aprons 
  • 25 annual memberships to the online content from Journee, a community for restaurant professionals
  • $15,000 cash to put toward your project

Ready to follow along and lend your support? Get to know the finalists and check out their campaigns below.

Christopher Fehlinger, Clyde

Restaurant: Clyde, a new take on a wine bar, restaurant, and event space — paired with a modern design store — focused on accessibility.

Location: Denver, Colorado

In Christopher’s Words:

Clyde is the culmination of three decades of restaurant experience re-examined with a new passion. We are excited to create a neighborhood hub that offers an all-day refuge for food and wine lovers alike. At Clyde, we also look forward to creating solid jobs in a booming industry in a growing city. More importantly, we hope to nurture the next generation of restaurant professionals and to create career opportunities. Clyde is also our youngest French Bulldog, who some say controls our thoughts.

There are several components (revenue centers) to Clyde that will work in synergy. At the heart of the project, though, is a wine bar built around an affordable and accessible collection. Our goal is to offer 500 labels — most under $80 — along with a few higher-end selections for special occasions. As part of our commitment to create unique and memorable experiences for our guests, we will open just about any bottle for you to try a glass or two. It’s just more fun this way.

A rustic menu of impeccably sourced and simply prepared dishes will partner with the wines, yet stand on its own. Loosely based on the shared plate format, Clyde will offer about 20-25 selections for $25 or less, including traditional starters and entrees along with small plates. And awesome bread, because somewhere along the way restaurants forgot that was a thing people loved. Larger format meals such as standing racks, roasted suckling pig and large, line-caught fish will be available for groups to pre-order and taste with our chef.

Follow Christopher’s Kickstarter campaign here to learn more about Clyde’s modern design store, happy hour, coffee and pastry program, pre-opening pop-ups, and much more.Continue Reading

Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Green Garlic

Green-GarlicGreen garlic isn’t really wholly green, just its stalk. Thus, a more accurate name might be baby garlic — because that’s just what it is. Garlic is sown in the fall and mature heads are harvested in early summer. If you pick it prematurely — right about now in New York, for example — you’ll wind up with young garlic, or green garlic, as it is most commonly known. Its flavor is far more mild than its older counterpart, and it is a popular substitute for leeks, onions, or scallions. Creative chefs, however, are taking this ingenue of an aromatic and making it the headliner. Look for it in everything from consomme and creamy soup to flan and risotto. Find out what diners are raving about in recent restaurant reviews — and don’t miss your chance to sample this short-season savory star. 

Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “We had a wonderful meal at Angele. The highlight was my green garlic risotto, which was fabulous.”

BayWolf, Oakland, California: “Such very pleasant ambiance, service, and an interesting menu. The green garlic flan starter melted in one’s mouth.”

Bocanova, Oakland, California: “Loved the roasted beets with goat cheese, green garlic, and hazelnuts.”

* Cafe Juanita, Seattle, Washington: “The green garlic flan was a great duck accompaniment. We will definitely be going back for more.”

Chez Panisse Cafe, Berkeley, California: “I had four exquisite meals at Chez Panisse. One dish, as an example, that I’ll never forget: slivers of baby artichoke and sunchoke, green garlic, olive oil, a hint of lemon, and truffles. So understated, but my dining companion and I stopped talking in order to assimilate and admire the simple genius of this dish.”

Fish Story, Napa, California: “Beautiful location, great looking menu. The seafood was fresh, and the chilled green garlic soup was very fresh and tasty.”

* Fruition Restaurant, Denver, Colorado: “I started with the green garlic consomme and was blown away by the complex flavors and the little surprises in the dish. I’m not going to go into great detail here because I want you to try it. This was the star of the night for me.”

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On Our Plate: OpenTable Gifts for Your Fave Foodie; Dine for a Cause in December; Holiday Restaurant Reservations; Winter Restaurant Weeks + More

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Give the gift of fine dining this holiday season with OpenTable Gifts.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* Haven’t started your holiday shopping yet? Check out OpenTable Gifts to purchase dining certificates for your favorite foodies in just a few clicks!

* Dine out in December to help No Kid Hungry end childhood hunger in America. Find out more here.

* The holidays are heading your way. Book a table for Christmas Eve, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve now.

* Napa Valley Restaurant Month is just around the corner. Don’t miss a month of dining deals in Wine Country in the new year.

* Oakland Restaurant Week bookings are live. Snap up tables for $20, $30 or $40 lunches and dinners, January 17-26.

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