On Our Plate: Desk to Dinner Collection at Banana Republic; Washington DC Restaurant Week Reservations; Queens Feast; Dine Tampa Bay; Zombies + Bacon

In honor of Bastille Day, here is a photo of Roger Federer winning the French Open in 2009.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* We’re cleaning out our closets to make room for Banana Republic’s fabulous Desk to Dinner collection and we’re clearing our datebooks for the Bon Appetit events at Banana Republic stores on Thursday, July 19th. Learn more!

* Bastille Day is tomorrow! Where will you dine to fete the French and their cuisine?

* Does bacon make everything better? Vote in this week’s poll!

* There was a dead man’s party in Philadelphia. Thanks to the Town Dish folks, we’ve got all the zombielicious details.

* Cleveland Cool Fun in the Summertime is happening. Sample delicious dishes and pairings at Cleveland’s best restaurants thru 7/31.

* Toronto Summerlicious returns. Dine for less with $15, $20 or $25 lunches and $25, $35 or $45 dinners thru 7/22.

* Mpls.St.Paul MagazineRestaurant Week ends today! Feast on two-course $10 or $20 lunches and three-course $15-$30 dinners!

* Providence Restaurant Weeks has started. Enjoy $14.95 lunches & $29.95 dinners, July 8-21.

* Say Oui! to French Restaurant Week in New York. Take advantage of $17.89 set menus July 8-15 in honor of Bastille Day.

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Dish Trip ATL: 48 Hours + 13 Restaurants with Mary Bigham + Amy Strauss, Part II

Despite the fact that blogger Amy Strauss is now a zombie, Dish Trip Atlanta has been a success.

We’re back with the second half of Mary Bigham and Amy Strauss from Dish Trip’s whirlwind foodcation to Atlanta. You can read Part I here.

SUNDAY:

5PM: Bottle RocketWe admit, we would have walked right by en route to another Atlanta dining destination but our trusted local food expert, Malika, knew this hidden gem was dishing up killer cuisine AND was also hosting a Walking Dead Mid-Series Premiere Party.

5:10PM: Meeting the owner, Josh Calvin; he reminds us of our favorite all-American, laid-back, brother-in-law. Oh, and he uses house recipes to concoct Asian food with a twist.

5:15PM: Cocktail time! We are taking full advantage of the of rum-infused, zombie-themed cocktails, which gives Amy the amazing decision-making skills to become a member of the “walking dead.”

5:30PM: Amy’s getting in the make-up chair and is slowly transforming into a zombie – fully equipped with several head wounds. Continue Reading

Top Chef Texas Episode 6: Chef Ed Hardy Wonders, ‘Who Shot Ty-lör?’

Overcome by the heat, Padma relies on an old Victoria's Secret pose to keep her balance.

This week’s Top Chef: Texas has Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem and I in a decidedly Dallas state of mind

First, what up with all the chef-smokers? As a former smoker, I am proud to say that I made it through culinary school without a puff! Why do you think so many chefs light up?

Because we all drink? You’ve got to do something something with your free hand while you’re drinking. I solved this problem years ago by double-fisting. That way I don’t have to smoke.

Good thinking! So, of the classic sauces — tomate, espagnol, hollandaise, bechamel, velouté — which would you most like to do? I think espagnol is gross.

I was mystified. Didn’t we drop all pretense of the classic French sauces years ago? Aren’t they too heavy for today’s sophisticated palates? Okay, home cooks. Let me explain. No, wait, that’ll take too long. Let me sum up: Espagnol IS gross. Tomate is tomato sauce. Near as it doesn’t make a difference. Don’t let folks tell you otherwise. Hollandaise is delicious. Add herbs or whatever spices you want. Have a ball! Velouté is boring. It’s a roux with some stock. But don’t make it. Bechamel is non-boring velouté because its a base for cheese sauces. Substitute milk for stock. Don’t forget a dash of nutmeg. That, in a nutshell, is all you need to know anymore about classic French cuisine. Modern French cuisine? That’s another story…

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Happy Halloween: What Frightens a Foodie Most? Take Today’s Quiz!

It’s Halloween, and, as we think about all the things that scare us (Zombies aside, naturally!), we keep coming back to food-related horrors. Tell us which of the following scenarios petrifies you most on this ghoulish day!