Celebrating the New Food Emojis: Champagne, Tacos + More

Food Emojis

Like the rest of the iOS-using world, we’re bursting with excitement over the release of the new food (and more!) emojis. Finally, we can tell our friends in icons (as well as actual pictures) about all the delicious things we have — or want — to eat and drink. As we’re celebrating the new food emojis, we thought it would be fun to highlight reviews of the IRL versions.

If any diner needs a cheese emoji, it’s this one, who recently feasted on this perfect plate at Rotisserie Georgette in New York City.”The service was wonderful, the food original, especially the sugar snap peas and the first course, called a burrata, I believe.” Yes, it’s burrata — and yes, it’s fabulous!

Rotisserie Georgette

The humble American favorite was dubbed an “uber hot dog” by a recent guest at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter in Somerville, Massachusetts. “We came for the hot dogs and beer and were not disappointed. Pickled mustard seeds were a revelation.” Something tells us that Tony Maws and his crew are going to be seeing an awful lot of tweets with hot dog emojis very soon if this pup remains on the menu.

Hot Dog Emoji

Thanks to Apple for granting our gourmet wish for a taco emoji. Or maybe we should say mahalo instead, if we’re talking about the amazeballs fish tacos at Blue Dragon in Kamuela, Hawaii? A guest writes, “We ‘discovered’ Blue Dragon a few years ago, and I fell in LOVE with the fish tacos. Delicious, flaky fish in corn tortillas with salsa and guacamole. YUMMO!!”

Taco emojiContinue Reading

How to Dine Like a Restaurant Critic #hackdining

How to Dine Like a Restaurant CriticSo, let’s get this out of the way. Being a restaurant critic can be pretty hard work. You can put away the tiny violins, and let’s pause for the laughter to die down.

Yes, of course, it’s terrific fun, and you sometimes want to pinch yourself for actually getting paid to dine, but the responsibility of a restaurant critic, in fact, goes well beyond just chomping down a meal and writing something about it. The point is, a thoughtful critic is mindful of the fact that he/she is ultimately passing judgment on some else’s hard work and recognizes the impact their verdict can ultimately have. This is no small responsibility. A good review can help launch a successful restaurant; a bad one, though, can be devastating. It’s not something to take lightly.

Following are eight tips for how to dine like a restaurant critic on a review.

1. Choose wisely. Ideally, you want to pick a restaurant that takes you out of your comfort zone. Don’t go to a place you’ve already been to a million times. Try something new, so you can approach the experience with a fresh point of view. Among the options you might consider: type of cuisine, price point, location, innovative formats (e.g. Japanese-Jewish fusion? Dessert only?), as well as the presence of a celebrity chef.
Advice: Be adventurous with your restaurant reservations.

2. Do your homework. If you’re tackling a cuisine that’s new to you, a bit of research about culture, ingredients, and preparations can go a long way and make for a much richer experience. This can help you gain a better sense of what some of the must-try dishes are and provide you more confidence when ordering. Also, if there are specialties that require advance notice (e.g. Peking Duck, suckling pig), better to know before you get there.
Advice: Read up on the restaurant and the style of cooking before you go.

3. Allow the restaurant a grace period. While it’s tempting to want to evaluate a new place right away, you typically want to give the kitchen a bit of time to get its sea legs. In theory, a restaurant should be fully ready for customers from the day it opens its doors to customers. In reality, it can often take time to properly train a newly staffed kitchen, iron out wrinkles in service, and refine dishes.
Advice: Do yourself (and the restaurant) a favor, and wait three to six weeks post-opening for the dust to settle.

4. Use discretion. A critic — whether a blogger or a writer for a major publication — should function as an advocate for the “everyman.” I literally imagine myself as a stand-in for my readers. When dining for a review, you ought to receive the same treatment as anyone else in order get and to give a fair and balanced assessment of the occasion. It certainly can be nice to get VIP treatment, but that doesn’t likely mirror what the typical diner will experience.
Advice: Don’t announce that you are writing a review, and never ask for free food in exchange for a review. That pretty much disqualifies your ability to be impartial.Continue Reading

Android Upgrade: Review Restaurants from Your Phone

On the heels of rolling out Pay with OpenTable for Android, we’re pleased to introduce mobile reviews for Android. OpenTable diners with an Android can now write restaurant reviews in real time right from their phones. The days of trying to remember whether you ordered a pasta carbonara or pasta puttanesca the night or the week before are over! You no longer have to wait until you get back in front of a computer to share your experiences — you can start writing your review as soon as you’re done dining.

Android Reviews

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To begin crafting reviews on your Android, be sure you’re running the latest version of the OpenTable app. Then, launch the app, and select ‘Profile’ in the upper left corner of the screen. Scroll down to view ‘Past Reservations’ and click on ‘Write A Review’ – and start sharing your thoughts with the restaurant and your fellow diners.

Download the free Android app today.

New on OpenTable Mobile: Review Restaurants on Your iPhone for the First Time

If you’re an OpenTable diner with an iPhone and the latest version of the OpenTable mobile app, you can now review restaurants in real time right from your phone. The days of trying to remember whether you ordered a flat iron or flank steak the night or the week before are over. You no longer have to wait until you get back in front of a computer to share your experiences; now you can start writing your review as soon as you’re done dining.

mobile reviews imagery

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To begin crafting reviews on your iPhone, be sure you’re running version 8.3.0 of OpenTable on your iPhone. Launch the app, and then select ‘Profile’ in the upper left corner of the screen. Scroll down to view ‘Past Reservations’ and click on ‘Write A Review’ – and start sharing your thoughts with the restaurant and your fellow diners.

Download the free iPhone app today. And stay tuned for this exciting new feature on Android.