Welcome to Appetizers, OpenTable’s column that aims to uplift and motivate with a regular roundup of the most inspiring food-world news of the moment. Start your weekend with the things that are making us laugh, cry, think, and just plain hungry for more.
Making Us … Hungry
San Francisco’s dining scene is gaining speed again, with more and more restaurants coming back online, exciting new ones opening, and indoor dining now available at 25 percent capacity. Among the reopenings is steakhouse icon House of Prime Rib, which has had more than 3,000 reservations made in its first day of opening its books back up. “It’s uncharted territory,” owner Joe Betz told SFGATE. The beloved steakhouse, known for its tableside prime rib service, is one of the city’s top special occasion spots. To help get a reservation, make sure to set an Availability Alert, which lets you know when an already-booked table frees up at the time you want.
House of Prime Rib:
Also in SF, renowned restaurateurs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, the team behind the popular The Progress and State Bird Provisions, are expanding their empire with the opening of The Anchovy Bar. It’s an all-day wine and seafood bar that specializes in oysters, small fish, and sustainably raised shellfish alongside organic wine.
The Progress and State Bird Provisions:
The Anchovy Bar:
Over in New York, with restaurants adjusted to taking over the streets with built-out patios and heaters in place for incoming cold weather, there’s also still plenty to celebrate. Classic Tribeca bistro The Odeon hit a major milestone last week in turning 40, complete with plenty of those famous fries and Champagne. And in storied neighborhood Harlem, restaurants are participating in a Restaurant Week that offers $25 prix fixe lunches and $35 prix fixe dinners through October 31. Participating restaurants include Sofrito and Ponty Bistro.
Though it’s been a tough year for restaurants, it’s heartening to hear some success stories amid all the stress.
Making Us … Excited
La Cocina — the San Francisco organization that helps low-income food entrepreneurs start and grow businesses — is bringing its annual Voices From the Kitchen virtual this year. The inspiring event “shares stories from cooks and kitchens less often heard,” with speakers this year including chef Aileen Suzara and writer Jia Tolentino. The theme is choices, with stories exploring the “choices that arise for all of us during a worldwide pandemic to looking just a few months down the road at the critically important elections.” Tickets are free, but La Cocina recommends purchasing a paid ticket or a meal kit from the La Cocina chefs to support the cause.
Making Us … Proud
Restaurants in Los Angeles have been using their platform to raise money for humanitarian efforts in Armenia in light of recent conflict there with Azerbaijan. At Carousel in Glendale, owner Rosalie Tcholakian is donating 25 percent of sales to the Armenia Fund when a customer mentions Azerbaijan in addition to $5,000 from her and her husband in the Carousel’s name. It’s just one of a few restaurants in the area helping out.
Making Us … Relate
October 6: Support Black-Owned Restaurants With Black Restaurant Week
September 18: Restaurants Think Outside the Takeout Box
September 4: Houston Restaurants Help With Hurricane Laura Relief