Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Tomato Salad

ht-saladThis time of year is my absolute favorite — and not just because the US Open is going on. Tomatoes are at the peak of their eating in the New York area (and elsewhere, too), and I’ve been indulging every chance I get at restaurants or when strolling through my garden and grabbing ’em off the vine. Perhaps the loveliest way to enjoy tomatoes when they are in their prime is in a simple salad. Panzanella is a personal preference (because, um, croutons!), but you’ll find a wide variety of styles of tomato salad at this time of year and interesting companions (Nectarines!) that bring out the best in each bite of tomato. Find out which are winning rave reviews from OpenTable diners.

Anson, Charleston, South Carolina: “The food was incredible, the atmosphere relaxed, and the service without fault. My husband and I enjoyed the house specialty pimento cheese ‘for the table’ followed by a salad of heirloom tomatoes, arugula, watermelon relish, and buttermilk dressing.”

Cafe Mahjaic-Lotus Inn, Lotus, California: “The fish tacos we had for an appetizer were probably the best I’ve ever had, and the tomato cucumber salad was delightful! ”

Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar, St. Helena, California: “The heirloom tomato and melon salad was excellent and clever.”

Della Santina’s Trattoria, Sonoma, California: “It’s a good restaurant in terms of Italian menu options with some variations on California, like the heirloom tomato salad with white anchovies.”

Extra Virgin, Kansas City, Missouri: ” If you like tomatoes, you’ll love the seasonal items on the menu. The Missouri tomato salad with pesto sauce, the panzanella salad, and gazpacho were full of perfectly ripened tomatos. With a side of bread and ricotta cheese, we had a wonderful selection of late summer items to enjoy.”

Gramercy Grill, Vancouver, British Columbia: “My mom had the special tomato and bellini cheese salad and I had the endive with blue cheese salad and citrus dressing. Both were scrumptious.”

Local 121, Providence, Rhode Island: “The food was outstanding. The tomatoes in the heirloom tomato salad melted in your mouth.”

Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, Palo Alto, California: “A must on the menu is the heirloom tomato salad with burrata cheese. I’d go back for that for sure!!!”

* Mon Ami Gabi, Bethesda, Maryland: “This week featured the most fabulous heirloom tomato salad with the tomatoes purchased from the local farmers markets.”

Oak + Almond, Norwalk, Connecticut: “Love the menu and the decor here! Had the heirloom tomato and corn salad with an appetizer of warm nuts to start.”

* Oyster Club, Mystic, Connecticut: “For an appetizer, I chose the tomato and arugula salad with burrata cheese. The creamy cheese alongside farm fresh tomatoes, spicy arugula, and vinaigrette made for a fresh tasting, salad bursting with the flavors of summer.”

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Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Smoked Trout

trout-saladSmoked trout has fast become one of my favorite things to find on a menu, perhaps because it seems to pair perfectly with a martini. And, also, because it’s downright delicious. Turns out, I’m not alone. While most of what we diners enjoy at restaurants are smoked in-house, the recent $4.5 million expansion of fish smoker Ducktrap River in Belfast, Maine, indicates that many of us have developed a new appetite for smoked trout. Used in salads, sandwiches, spreads, mousses, and more, smoked trout is packed with protein and has a modest calorie count. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this smoky, salty fish dish.

*Alder, New York, New York: “Must haves: the fried cauliflower and the smoked trout and asparagus huevos revueltos.”

BIX, San Francisco, California: “Caesar salad and smoked trout salad are both worth ordering. Duck is always good there. Beautiful restaurant, traditional menu imaginatively done, reasonable service, and live music.”

Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen, New York, New York: “The smoked trout salad and beef marrow appetizers were outstanding.”

Blue Ridge Dining Room-Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina: “The smoked trout and smoked shrimp are the best in the world! Worth the whole trip to Asheville.”

The Bull Valley Roadhouse, Port Costa, California: “The food is unpretentious but simply delicious.The fried chicken was the best I have ever had, and the smoked trout salad was divine.”

* The Dandelion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “Pretty much everything we ate was unbelievably delicious. Smoked trout salad is incredibly flavorful while still being subtle.”

Dovetail, New York, New York: “We devoured the ‘put up’ starter plate — lima bean hummus, bacon marmalade, pimento cheese, and smoked trout spread — before going to the main course, which was shrimp with pumpkin seed pesto on pasta. Lots of options from small plate to gargantuan, lots of variety. Fresh ingredients prepared well, excellent service. A new favorite.” Continue Reading

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Grilled Romaine

The magical grilled romaine salad from South Edison restaurant.

I often think the world is divided into two groups: those who love salads and those who do not. I am squarely in the former and my husband is, unfortunately, in the latter. He’ll eat salads, but, more often than not, it is begrudgingly. Not so when we were at South Edison in Montauk, New York, recently. We had a char-grilled romaine salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette, and my husband declared that he would eat salad every day (!) if it were this very dish. Perhaps then, those who do not love salad haven’t yet tried this delicious variation on dressed greens. Romaine lettuce is perfectly suited to grilling because its hearty texture holds up over hot coals, which bring out its sweetness while adding smokey depth. Chock full of vitamins A and K, romaine lettuce is low in calories and high in fiber. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this summery spin on salad in recent reviews.

Alfio’s bon cibo, Cincinnati, Ohio: “Butternut squash soup was yummy, as was the wood-grilled romaine salad. Must be a genius in the kitchen.”

Bella’s Restaurant, Charlottesville, Virginia: “Do not miss the grilled romaine; it’s to die for!”

* BOCA, Cincinnati, Ohio: “Dinner at Boca was outstanding. The grilled romaine is a must.”

Bonfyre American Grille, Madison, Wisconsin: “My side Caesar salad was great. They grilled the romaine. Awesome flavor.”

Campania Cafe, Davidson, North Carolina: “Comfortable dinning, excellent food. I especially enjoyed the grilled romaine salad.”

* Chloé, Seattle, Washington: “They have several wonderful prix-fixe options; I tried the grilled romaine salad, steak, and creme brulee option for $25. Wasn’t sure how I’d feel about grilled lettuce, but it was delicious!” Continue Reading

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Kale

Curly kale is most often found in supermarkets, but Lacinato and Red Russian (pictured) are more popular with chefs.

Kale is a superfood, containing more anti-oxidants than Popeye’s beloved spinach. Once regarded as the food of health-nuts and old folks (at least by me, thanks to my Ukrainian grandmother’s ever-simmering, stinky pot of boiled kale), this member of the cabbage family is now revered by contemporary chefs for its diversity in texture and flavor profiles. Interesting facts about kale: It is frost tolerant, and it actually gets sweeter when harvested after the first frost of the season — meaning this ingredient is only going to get tastier and tastier as the months grow cooler! Find out what diners are saying about this good-for-your-body-and-palate vegetable.

Barbuzzo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “I especially enjoyed the goat cheese and beet salad. Kale, pistachios, and grapefruit slices gave this dish a new twist.”

Bistro Bella Vita, Grand Rapids, Michigan: “My wife had an equally delicious seafood bowl with smoked salmon, shrimp, scallop, over red rice with kale. Great food! Go!”

Five Points, New York, New York: “Every item on the menu sounded delectable, and the dishes we ordered were all terrific — two different kinds of oysters, black kale salad, and tilefish and chicken entrees.”

Herringbone, La Jolla, California: “The buttery fish was out of this world and the accompaniments — carrot and brown butter puree and kale — were perfect.”

The Hunt Club, Seattle, Washington: “I ordered an heirloom tomato salad and some sautéed kale — perfect for a light dinner on a hot summer evening.”

Karyn’s on Green, New York, New York: ” The two main courses we had were portobello steak and potatoes with wonderfully blended flavors, melt-in-your- mouth baby potates, and the great taste of kale; the chicken legs were the perfect texture with an incredible bar-b-que sauce.”

Log Haven, Salt Lake City, Utah: “I had the pan-seared scallops on top of pureed cauliflower with flash-fried kale. The scallops were perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the cauliflower balanced out the tasteful scallops — overall, a memorable experience!”

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