Welcome to Appetizers, OpenTable’s column that aims to uplift and motivate with a roundup of the most inspiring food-world news of the moment. Discover the things that are making us laugh, cry, think, and just plain hungry for more.
Making Us … Crave Takeout
With fewer options for dining this holiday season, restaurants are getting extra creative with takeout. These aren’t your average plastic container meals — restaurants around the country are going above and beyond to deliver the same hospitality at home. Washington D.C. restaurant group Neighborhood Provisions (Iron Gate, Vermilion) is creating three-course “date-night meals” and entire Thanksgiving feasts, while New Orleans’s Ralph’s on the Park will have curbside three-course meals for Wednesday night pickup so people can reheat at home the next day. Read more about how restaurants are bringing the holidays home this year here.
Making Us … Proud
In yet another example of ways the restaurant industry has helped save 2020, Bon Appétit spotlit how unemployed restaurant workers pivoted to volunteer throughout the election. From signing up to be poll workers to text and phone banking, many workers found their skill set neatly coincided with those necessary to getting the vote out — namely providing a service and staying calm and friendly in the face of confrontation. Some even found they want to stay in advocacy work. It’s just one more way that our country is benefitting from those in the service industry.
Making Us … Pay Respects
San Francisco restaurant legend Cecilia Chiang sadly passed away in October, leaving behind a legacy of broadening our country’s understanding of the varied delights of Chinese cuisine. Chiang opened SF restaurant The Mandarin in 1962, forever changing how Chinese food is perceived in America. She served a variety of regional Chinese fare beyond just chop suey — potstickers, moo shu pork, and more — in a more upscale way. As food-world luminary Alice Waters put it: Chiang did for Chinese food in America what Julia Child did for that of France. And we are all eternally grateful for it.
October 20: SF Icon House of Prime Rib Reopens to 3,000 Reservations in One Day
October 6: Support Black-Owned Restaurants With Black Restaurant Week
September 18: Restaurants Think Outside the Takeout Box