On Our Plate: Best Brunches in the U.S.; Mother’s Day $200 Giveaway; Soft-Shell Crabs; Arizona Restaurant Week; S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Best way to start a meal? A cold martini -- and the truffled popcorn from the Bar Room at the Modern doesn't hurt either.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* We’re celebrating the release of our 2012 Diners’ Choice Awards for Top 100 Restaurants for Brunch in the U.S. Find out if your fave place to celebrate the weekend made our list!

* Enter our Mother’s Day ‘Feed the Mom Who Fed You’ Giveaway! Score one of five $200 gift certificates, plus we’re donating $100 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign in your favorite mom’s name for each winning entry.

* This week’s restaurant review trendSoft-shell crabs!

* What’s your drink when dining out? Vote in this week’s poll!

* Did you know you can book many of the 2012 Conde Nast Hot Tables right on OpenTable? It’s true!

* Congratulations to the honorees on the 2012 San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Reserve your tables now!

* Did you send the Tweet of the WeekFind out.

* Restaurant Week in Arizona is coming soon. Don’t miss your chance to dine out for less!

And, we’re still hiring! We’re staffing up and looking for talented people to join our team. Check out openings in customer supportengineeringfield operationsfinanceIT and technical servicesmarketingoperations, and sales.

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Soft-Shell Crabs

This is the delicious soft-shell crab po' boy served at GW Fins in New Orleans.

The weather has been wacky this spring, particularly on the East Coast. Back in February, there were days during which the temperatures reached well into the 80s. A lot of my fellow New Yorkers enjoyed this, though the Master Gardener in me considers it a sign of the ecological apocalypse. One happy by-product of this eerily unseasonably warm weather, however, is the early arrival of soft-shell crabs. I indulged at a friend’s restaurant for the first time last night and relished every crispy bite, so much so that I am having them again today! 

Another Monkey, San Francisco, California: “Best Thai food I’ve ever had! Definitely order extra soft-shelled crab. Four of us came, and we split four dishes, and all were amazing. The crab was so good that when we finished, we ordered a second for dessert!”

 * Blue Water Grill, New York, New York: “I took my mother here to celebrate her birthday. She love soft shell crabs and they went above and beyond to ensure that they let us know that they were going to have thm especially for her. They were flash fried and extremely tasty.”

Chef’s Station, Evanston, Illinois: “Soft-shelled crab was on the menu and my wife and I agreed that it was about the best we have had. Foie gras appetizer was perfectly prepared, too. Definitely a find for us.”

Chez TJ, Mountain View, California: “Dining at Chez TJ was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The food was innovative and delicious and they were awesome when it came to celebrating our special occasion and food preferences. I loved everything we were served, but I must say the soft-shell crab was the best, most succulent, sweet and well-cooked soft-shell crab I have ever had.”

Cookshop, New York, New York: “Pizza with fresh ramps, sublime. Soft-shell crab delightful and generous. I’ll start combining appetizers at this nabe fave, but not because the scallops and pheasant don’t stack up–they do!”

Craft, New York, New York: “We had a great dinner with really different and exciting dishes. The soft-shell crabs were amazing. Crisp and incredibly favorable. One of the best meals we have had.”

ELEVEN, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “A magnificent soft-shell crab was served with freshly foraged ramps — those seasonal rarities which just go to prove exactly how good nature is at making food when not messed around with by mankind.”

* Food Wine and Co., Bethesda, Maryland: “Soft-shell crab was crisp and had a fantastic corn puree alongside.”

Gram & Dun, Kansas City, Missouri: “I had the special of the day — soft-shell crabs with a light breading and grapefruit sauce and truly enjoyed it.”

Continue Reading