Trending on OpenTable Recent Restaurant Reviews: Sweet Peas

Pea soup is super, but there are dozens of ways chefs are showcasing this short-lived springtime delight.

Sweet peas are a sure sign of spring. Largely intolerant of temperatures higher than seventy degrees, sweet, or garden, peas tend to leave town as soon as high summer arrives in many growing climates. So, the time is ripe to eat these emerald gems — and chefs are serving them up in truly inventive ways. Pea soup is a staple of the season’s menus — and thank goodness because we LOVE pea soup — but there are hundreds of other ways to sample one of spring’s most beloved treats. Peas are rich in folic acid (a must for expectant moms), and they’re a good source of vitamins A and C. Find out how what your fellow OpenTable diners are saying about sweet peas in recent restaurant reviews!

A Voce Columbus, New York, New York: “The real standout for me was the pea and mascarpone ravioli. It was finished with breadcrumbs and cheese and was true comfort food without being heavy.”

ABC Cocina, New York, New York: “Everything was excellent. The pea guacamole, the prawns with bananas and almonds, short rib, and fish tacos.”

Agrodolce, Seattle, Washington: “Maria Hines does something with peas that no one else ever does with peas, so whenever peas are on the menu, we order them.”

Beast and Bottle, Denver, Colorado: “The pea soufflé is absolutely divine!”

Birdhouse on Hennepin, Minneapolis, Minnesota: “The pea paté and the deviled eggs were really good as starters.”

The Dandelion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “Particularly good was the spring pea soup. I’m not ordinarly a pea soup fan, but I could make a meal out of this stuff.”

Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada: “The English pea soup was out of this world.”

Etch, Nashville, Tennessee: “The truffled pea pesto was AMAZING.”

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Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 5: Let’s Get Some Shoes…

Gail Simmons's dress isn't edible, but she still looks delish.

We’re counting down the days until Le Bernardin’s Michael Laiskonis gets his turn at the judges’ table on Top Chef Just Desserts (next week!), but for now, he’s in the hot seat, dishing it out about all the sweet and not-so-sweet goings on in this week’s episode.

So, we’re seeing some alliances have formed in the competition. Are there mini-kitchen cliques in general?

Sure, there are, but a smart cook realizes it’s important to make friends with everyone, because when it really hits the fan, it’s nice knowing that you don’t have to worry that someone’s got your back. At its worst, the atmosphere in the kitchen can be like trench warfare. Best not to play favorites.

How do you do soufflés for a QFC so that they don’t fall? Also, any good soufflé war stories?

While I do soufflés rarely now, in the past, I’d do dozens in a night. The key is simply controlling all the variables — the recipe, proper whipping of the egg whites, and filling of the ramekin, and of course, time and temperature. In a restaurant situation, worst case scenario, you make another one and wait it out. My worst case: A cook once forgot to add the cornstarch to a chocolate soufflé base; the guests eventually got their dessert, along a few extras while they waited!

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