Thanksgiving 2015 Dining: 24 1/2 Uniquely Delicious Options

It should be quite obvious that Thanksgiving, the most food-centric holiday of them all, is our favorite here at OpenTable. There is no other day on which we love what happens around (and on) the table more than this one. Happily, there are thousands of restaurants ready to host you and yours in a special way on November 26th. We can’t round them all up (because thousands!), but here a few uniquely delicious Thanksgiving 2015 dining options. Look and book for a meal you’ll be thankful for!

ALDEA, New York, New York
As per tradition, chef George Mendes will be celebrating Thanksgiving at his Michelin-starred ALDEA with a Portuguese-influenced three-course dinner for $85 per person. Selections include savory Autumn Squash Soup, Roast Turkey with Chestnut, and Goat Cheese Parfait. Wine pairings include three vintages hand-picked by sommelier Doreen Winkler and one glass of celebratory Champagne.

Thanksgiving 2015 Dining

Brennan’s of Houston, Houston, Texas
If you live in the Lone Star State, you can still enjoy the flavors of the Big Easy at Brennan’s. Sister restaurant to the NOLA stalwart, chef Trace puts a Texas spin on Creole-inspired holiday dishes, such as Texas Creole Roasted American Turkey with Jalapeño and Crushed Corn Pudding and all the trimmings, Hunter’s Honey Roasted Duck with Braised Rabbit Fried Rice, a Lobster Stuffed Texas Flounder, and the decadent Just Duckin’ Around, which features duck prosciutto, Calvados foie gras mousse, duck dirty rice calas, duck cracklin’, Mayhaw pepper jelly, and duck “quackers.” Save room for Cinnamon Spiced Pumpkin Pie or the Crispy Louisiana Apple Empanada, and let the good times roll as you roll out of the restaurant.

Thanksgiving Dining 2015

Bowery Meat Company, New York, New York
Calling all carnivores: Get thee to the Bowery Meat Company for a carnivorlicious Thanksgiving. Featuring five festive courses for $65, chef/partner Josh Capon and executive chef Paul DiBari are serving Apple Chestnut Soup, Butter Lettuce with Anjou pears and walnuts, Pumpkin Ravioli with Mascarpone and toasted almonds, Pennsylvania Turkey with traditional sides, and Pumpkin Pie for dessert. A la carte items are also available.

Thanksgiving 2015 Dining

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, New York, New York
April Bloomfield’s stylish The Breslin Bar & Dining Room is beloved for its high-end pub fare. Grab a pint to wash back the $90 three-course menu featuring dishes such as Wild Mushroom & Chicory Salad with creamy shallot, Jerusalem artichoke and mistu apple, and a Cornish Rock Hen with sourdough stuffing, cranberry, roasted Brussels sprout, and pan jus. For dessert, stick a fork in Bourbon Pecan Pie or Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta with espresso crumble will be available.

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The Cecil, New York, New York
New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie in Harlem is offering a special Thanksgiving dinners. For just $55, diners can enjoy unique cuisine inspired by the African diaspora, and featured dishes include Spiced Pumpkin Soup, Pan Roasted Skuna Bay Salmon with Tomato Gravy, Potato Salad, and Braised Greens. End things on a sweet note with Pecan Praline Pie with Cane Syrup Chantilly.

Thanksgiving 2015 Dining

Craft, New York, New York
Chef Tom Colicchio is a champion of contemporary American cuisine, so what better place to celebrate a most American holiday? Dig into a three-course, customizable family-style menu. Dishes include Country Duck Pâté, Roasted All Natural Free-Range Turkey, Spiced Venison Strip Loin, Roasted Autumn Vegetables, and Sausage, Raisin & Fennel Stuffing. For desserts, guests can dig into pastry chef Abby Swain’s seasonal sweets, from Honeycrisp Apple Crisp and Sugar Pumpkin Pie to Sugar & Spice Doughnuts. It’s $145 per person, and worth every penny for his signature Parker House rolls (for real!).

Thanksgiving 2015 Dining

Crossroads, Los Angeles, California
Chef and owner Tal Ronnen has forest-to-table meal awaiting veg-forward diners. Inspired by favorites and signatures off of the menu such as his Artichoke Oysters and Crab Cakes to the decadent pastas made in-house by executive chef Scot Jones, you’ll partake of an elaborate spread of indulgent Thanksgiving holiday dishes from Squash Bisque and Sweet Potato Biscuits, Rosemary and Hazelnut Scaloppini, and mashed potatoes with porcini gravy to a classic veggie spin on stuffing and Brussels sprouts with a maple mustard glaze to name a few. Crossroads make it easy to eat green this holiday.

Thanksgiving 2015 Dining

Fish Out of Water, WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Overlooking the shimmering Gulf of Mexico, Fish Out of Water has a four-course surf-meets-turf menu from chef Todd Rogers. From a Maine lobster amuse to Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Winter Truffle Butternut Squash Soup and turkey with refined trimmings, including Roasted Root Vegetables and Corn Bread Stuffing, this meal has a decidedly Southern twist. Adults dine for $70 and kids for $30 at this award-winning restaurant.

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Cheers to Vegetarian Awareness Month: Beyond the Salad + Sides at Saha in San Francisco

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As we bid adieu to Vegetarian Awareness Month — it’s been a good ol’ plant-filled time — we leave you with the message that it’s a big vegan-friendly world out there. Everywhere we look there are restaurants going plant-forward, with restaurants that showcase the most delicious of vegetarian and vegan cooking regardless of the meat on their menus.

Here in San Francisco at OpenTable HQ, we needn’t look far for unusual examples of the way in which what was once an alternative style of cooking and eating have merged with the culinary mainstream. Just blocks from our offices, a restaurant that was featured on our Top Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly dining list, is the perfect example of how numerous different cuisine types lend themselves creatively to meatless dining.

And, as we recently discovered, some of the most innovative stuff is happening a stone’s throw away. At Saha, an Arabic fusion restaurant located in the Hotel Carlton on Sutter Street in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, Mohamed Aboghanem offers a style of cooking all his own, where he rethinks traditional Yemenese, Middle Eastern and North African fusion in a healthier, beautifully presented, local ingredient-driven style.

“People come to [Saha] because, especially if you are vegetarian, you feel like you have equal rights with the carnivores,” says the chef-owner who trained at the Cordon Bleu. “Half of the menu is vegan and gluten-free.”

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Dietary designations aside, his food is full of flavor, coaxed from spices of all kinds (turmeric, ginger, cayenne, all spice, cumin, sumac, and za’atar, to name a few), unusual beans and grains, and organic produce. Soy is scarce; alternative flours like garbanzo flour (naturally gluten-free) are not. Take the vegan knaffe (pictured): a vegan shredded phyllo with vegan cream cheese and wild mushrooms baked in a ramekin and served over coconut chermoulah chipotle sauce. No deprivation there.Continue Reading

PLANT FORWARD: A Connected Event at Plant Food + Wine, Venice Beach

Plant Forward“There are seafood restaurants, there are burger restaurants, and there are steak restaurants,” says punk rocker gone vegan chef Scott Winegard of Plant Food + Wine in Venice, California. Don’t let the sleeve of tattoos deceive you — “We’re a vegetable restaurant.”


Last night, under the lights draped through fig and olive trees in the back patio of Plant Food + Wine on happening Abbot Kinney Boulevard, we gathered a group of Los Angeles’s most influential vegans to celebrate the launch of our campaign for vegetarian and vegan-friendly dining. The dinner was part of Connected, our series of talks and gatherings that bring together the restaurant and tech worlds with food, drink, and local culture.

Around the table

Over zucchine cacio e pepe washed down with organic syrah, we honored the eve of Vegetarian Awareness Month and forged connections around the table with guests vegan and non-vegan alike, including local restaurateurs, chefs, writers, farmers, fitness and fashion experts, and social activists.  


So, why veganism? “I just liked the food,” Winegard says. “I felt better when I ate it and I felt better connected to what I was eating.”Continue Reading

Happy World Vegetarian Day! Here Are the 52 Most #vegforward Restaurants in America #chooseveg

In celebration of World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Awareness Month, we’re thrilled to announce the 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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Featuring many of the restaurants that helped establish the vegan and vegetarian eating movements, such as Moosewood in Ithaca, New York, and Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, as well as newer vegetable-centric eateries that have moved plant-based cuisine into the mainstream, such as Al’s Place in San Francisco and Vedge in Philadelphia, the complete list features winning restaurants in 14 states and the District of Columbia. California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 13, Pennsylvania with six, and Maryland with four. Illinois, Oregon, and Washington all have two eateries. Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also represented.

Gadarene Swine Chef These are Chefs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Lee

Vegan restaurants represent 21 spots on the list, as do vegetarian-friendly eateries; vegetarian restaurants account for the remaining ten. While most of the winning restaurants have deep ties to growers and emphasize seasonal, farm-to-table dishes, a host of global cuisines proved popular, including Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, and Shojin. A significant percentage of honorees easily accommodate diners with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

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More than half of the award winners were founded in the last five years, with seven winners opening their doors in 2015 alone, such as Plant Food and Wine in Venice, California, and Encantada Restaurant in Baltimore. Landmark vegetarian restaurants also dot the list, with some having been in business since the seventies, including Blind Faith Café in Evanston, Illinois, and Irregardless Café in Raleigh, North Carolina. Standout restaurants skew heavily toward providing an upscale casual dining experience as opposed to fine dining, though several winners cater to this affinity.

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Of the vegetable-forward food movement, Matthew Kenney, renowned chef and CEO and founder of Matthew Kenney Cuisine and academy notes, “The market is blossoming all over the world for plant-based cuisine. It’s just now expected that all progressive restaurants will have a vegetarian tasting menu or vegan items on the menu.”

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