Countdown to the 2014 James Beard Awards

Team-Del-Posto
The team from Del Posto celebrates a win at the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards.

Four weeks from today, the James Beard Foundation Awards will be held in New York City at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. A celebration of the best and the brightest in the food world, The Beard Awards are regarded as the industry’s version of the Oscars. The James Beard Awards are even better because a) they’re open to the public and b) the food at the event is seriously hard to top (No offense, Wolfgang!). You can purchase your tickets here to cheer for your favorite culinary professionals on May 5, 2014.

Nominated restaurants include:

Best New Restaurant
Betony, New York, New York
Carbone, New York, New York
Coqueta, San Francisco, California
Peche Seafood Grill, New Orleans, Louisiana

Outstanding Restaurant
Hearth, New York, New York
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
The Slanted Door, San Francisco, California
Spiaggia, Chicago, Illinois
wd~50, New York, New York

Outstanding Service Continue Reading

Pay Your Check with OpenTable Mobile: Pilot Payment Program Launches in San Francisco

OT Mobile Payments iPhone Shot  2.6.2014

First, OpenTable made it simple to book a restaurant reservation at any time of day or night with just a few clicks. Now, we’re pleased to announce that it will soon be just as easy to pay for your meal. Rather than waiting for a check or, worse yet, being late for the theater, with the new OpenTable payments feature, you will be able to tap to pay – and be on your way.

OpenTable mobile payments are currently being tested by diners at select restaurants in San Francisco. Over the next few weeks, we will be adding more diners to the test program and will provide you a way to request access. If you receive an email invitation to be part of our pilot program, you can get started by making a reservation at a participating restaurant. Simply add a credit card in the OpenTable iPhone app before your meal and you’ll be able to view and pay your check. There’s no scanning or bar codes involved.

If you’re participating in the pilot program, you will receive an email requesting feedback about the app and your experiences with it. For those of you who are particularly passionate about the app, the experience, or mobile technology in general, we’ll also be offering the option to join us for in-person Q+A discussions at our headquarters in San Francisco.

We thank you for your participation as we bring our payments feature one step closer to a broader launch. Your honesty and insights are not just vital to its refinement – they are greatly appreciated.

Kashyap Deorah is General Manager, Payments at OpenTable

Tweet of the Week: Setting the Table with OpenTable

We were thrilled to host hospitality expert and restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group last week. Mr. Meyer, an OpenTable board member, is the author of Setting the Table, a book that has quickly become the industry guidebook for restaurant professionals. It was a happy coincidence, then, that restaurateur Alex Wrethman of Charlotte’s Table in London recently sent a tweet showing how much he and his staff have taken Mr. Meyer’s advice to “Be the agent!” to heart. Thanks for sharing this tweet, Alex. We love the placement of your reminder, by the way. Diners in search of amazing hospitality can be sure to find it at Charlotte’s Table — and at any of Mr. Meyer’s establishments, naturally.

Tweet-of-Week-120913

 

Dining Poll: How Often Do You Speak to the Sommelier?

In honor of the 2013 Diners’ Choice Awards for Top 100 Wine Lists, we’re wondering about sommeliers and wine service. If a restaurant has a sommelier and I’m ordering a bottle of wine (which is pretty much a given!), I always confer with her/him. Sure, I know what I like. However, putting oneself in the hands of a skilled sommelier always adds the elements of education and surprise. I’ve often tried wines I wouldn’t have necessarily zeroed in on, and, time and again, they have all been within my budget. Are you like me when it comes to consulting with a wine professional on your order — or do you prefer to go it alone? Weigh in on our dining poll.