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| News and Tips from OpenTable

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    As the autumn months unfurl, truffles begin showing up on menus across the country. The knobby fungi command thousands of dollars per pound, making them one of the priciest ingredients around. Chefs love to feature them because of their singular, umami-rich flavor, which can take even the simplest of dishes to stunning heights. Here are 10 over-the-top truffle dishes. Vintage Carnaroli Risotto at Everest, Chicago, Illinois Carnaroli rice is widely regarded as the best option for risotto because it helps create a creamier texture. Since the grains are slightly longer than other options, they retain their shape better when black Perigord truffles are mixed in. The heat of the dish releases their decadent aroma, amplifying their deep flavors. Make a reservation at Everest. Soft Polenta with an Organic Egg at Toscana, Los Angeles, California Italians call this dish polenta con uovo e tartufo bianco, but we Americans know it simply […]

    The post Let’s Get Luxe: 10 Over-the-Top Truffle Dishes You’ll Dig appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    You booked, you dined, you reviewed! After a year of sublime dining, we are pleased to unveil the 100 Best Restaurants in America 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 10 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 24,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Showcasing long-running and new eateries, the complete list features restaurants in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and includes Oriole (pictured above) in Chicago, Le Coucou in New York, and Zahav in Philadelphia. New York has 13 winning restaurants, followed by California with 12 and Virginia with seven. Florida and Texas each have six winners. New Jersey and North Carolina have five honorees, and Oregon and Pennsylvania boast four apiece. Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Washington state, and Washington, D.C., each have three winners. Connecticut Georgia, Minnesota, and Tennessee all have two standout restaurants. Alabama, Hawaii, […]

    The post The Diners Have Spoken: The #OpenTable100 Best Restaurants in America 2016 appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    Particularly as we head into playoff season, football in America is a beloved ritual (we think because of all the noms, which, let’s face it, are almost as important as the outcome of the game). While tailgating at a stadium is a fun tradition for fans, you can also score authentic flavors of classic football foods at one of these five gridiron-loving restaurants.  Vince Young Steakhouse, Austin, Texas During football season, order the tailgate-inspired Short Rib Chili (boneless beef short ribs, light beer, fresh jalapenos — and no beans, Texas style — and served with housemade cornbread and brown sugar honey butter) at this chic restaurant that’s named after former University of Texas and NFL football great Vince Young. Sip one of the football-inspired cocktails (you know, special teams) like The Rose Bowl, a combo of Miller’s Gin, Texas grapefruit and Rose Cava, or the InVINCEable, inspired by the restaurant’s […]

    The post Tailgate at a Table: 5 Top Restaurants for Your Fave Football Foods appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    With its immune-boosting antioxidants and its digestion-aiding probiotics, kombucha rose to popularity for its health benefits. But health nuts aren’t the only ones tossing back this tangy fermented tea. Mixologists from coast to coast love its distinctive flavor and flexibility as a mixer. If you’ve made a resolution to eat and drink smarter in the new year (and even if you haven’t), here are five kombucha cocktails to add some fizz to your January. Greener Pastures at Alchemy Kombucha and Culture, San Antonio, Texas As the taproom for San Antonio’s only kombucha brewery, Alchemy naturally has an entire section of the menu devoted to kombucha cocktails; Greener Pastures is among the most popular. “We took the idea of a Moscow mule and scrapped the juice and made the oleo with lime,” explains bartender Andrew Clyde. “Bison Grass Vodka is very herbal and replaces the ginger.” It also uses green tea […]

    The post Drink to Your Health: 5 Kombucha Cocktails Full of Fermented Fun appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    We’re all about a bit of excess when dining out on February 14th (and every other day of the year, too, if we’re being honest). We’ve rounded up more than three dozen deliciously decadent Valentine’s Day desserts that await you and your date at restaurants this Tuesday. Jema, Huntington, New York At Jema, Long Island’s new-ish Michelin-caliber restaurant, chef Franco Sampogna, who has been behind the burners at the storied Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasses’s restaurant at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, is putting out a special $90 three-course (plus amuse bouche) menu with dishes including quinoa risotto and smoked Black Angus short ribs, but you’ll want to save room for the Valrhona chocolate creation. Because chocolate. This balanced and beautiful dessert that is served with smoked vanilla ice cream and a snap of salt will make you fall in love. If not with your date, at least with Jema and […]

    The post Deliciously Decadent Valentine’s Day Desserts: Save the Best for Last appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    On gloomy days, we dream of wasting away in Margaritaville. So we order a round (or three) to warm ourselves up from the inside out. Here are eight marvelous margaritas to help you chase away the winter blues while celebrating National Margarita Day. Blood Orange Margarita at Rocco’s Tacos, Fort Lauderdale, Florida A citrusy spin on the classic. Blood orange liqueur and puree, lime juice, and just a touch of grapefruit add acidic pep to the ruddy tipple. It has a strong kick, thanks to plenty of blanco tequila. Make a reservation at Rocco’s Tacos. The Chef’s Margarita at I|O Godfrey, Chicago, Illinois This is not the usual mixture of tequila and lime. Sure, it includes blanco tequila, but it’s buttressed by Cointreau and Cointreau Noir as well as a bevy of fresh juices. There’s a crowning cloud of habanero salt air to complete this charming proposition. Make a reservation at I|O Godfrey. […]

    The post ¡Salud! 8 Marvelous Margaritas to Celebrate National Margarita Day appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    Austin as a city doesn’t take itself too seriously (see also: its annual celebration of Eeyore’s birthday and the Cathedral of Junk). Dessert at its top restaurants is no exception. Here, several local pastry chefs reveal how they’ve put their creative stamp on these decadent desserts. If you score a reservation during South By Southwest, you won’t want to skip ‘em. S’mores Tartufo at L’oca D’oro, North Central Austin In the S’mores Tartufo, a summer camp staple gets a sophisticated upgrade with hazelnut caramel, graham cracker, chocolate, and malted barley gelato that would make your grade-school self swoon. General manager Adam Orman says this dessert is typically shared “unless you are an ambitious seven-year-old.” Make a reservation at L’oca D’oro. Tiramisu Pops at Sophia’s, Downtown Austin Tiramisu’s classic combination of mascarpone, coffee, and lady fingers delights diners. But when it’s served as a push pop, like at Sophia’s, you know you’re […]

    The post 8 Enticing Austin Desserts: Where to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth in the ATX appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    As we look forward to a spring filled with vibrant dining experiences, we’re thrilled to unveil the Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America 2017. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 10 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 25,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The list includes restaurants with buzzy, engaging ambience, many of which feature interactive dining experiences, live entertainment, and appealing playlists. While American cuisine is quite popular, an international array of fares are present, especially Asian, Brazilian, Italian, Latin, Mexican, and Spanish. Showcasing winners in major metropolitan areas as well as resort towns, the complete list features restaurants in 25 states, and includes Barton G. The Restaurant in Miami Beach, .ink in West Hollywood, STK at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (pictured), and Vandal in New York. Sunny Florida boasts 17 winning restaurants, followed by […]

    The post Hot in Here: The Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America 2017 #OpenTable100 appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    We don’t know about you, but the absolute first thing we do when planning a trip is deciding where to eat. After all, there is no more authentic way to the heart (or stomach) of a culture than through its local dining scene. At OpenTable, we believe in the power of what happens around the restaurant table — so we thought it was about time we take a step back and help you get there. And so, we took to the streets, in three of the most interesting, exciting food cities around the world today — London, Austin, and Los Angeles. Each unique in their culinary history and characters, they share a certain edge and willingness to experiment with the dining status quo. Discover the new London, once a bastion of bubble and squeak and other dubious food stuffs we were all taught to avoid, is experiencing a delicious renaissance, […]

    The post Welcome to Our New OpenTable City Guides: Austin, London + Los Angeles appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    Legend has it that whoopie pies got their name because Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, workers who found them in their lunch pails would holler, “Whoopie!” Supposedly, clever cooks started creating them in the early 20th century as a way to use leftover cake batter. The sweet treats have endured for over a century, and continue to inspire cries of delight when they arrive at the table. Here are five winning whoopie pies. Jack’s Lobster Shack, Edgewater, New Jersey You can’t argue with the classics. Cakey chocolate cookies bookend a fluffy filling accented with vanilla. If the one you enjoy for dessert isn’t enough, you can always order some to go. Make a reservation at Jack’s Lobster Shack. Sardella, Clayton, Missouri Suddenly, we feel the urge to hop in the car and set the GPS for Clayton, Missouri. That’s because pastry chef Sarah Osborn is baking up batches of winsome whoopie pies. […]

    The post Whooping It Up with 5 Winning Whoopie Pies appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    No dish celebrates beef better than a well-executed steak tartare. The meat is on naked display, complemented simply with a few seasonings and toppings, so it must be the best of the best – nothing less will do. These nine stellar steak tartare dishes are spot on in every way. GreenRiver, Chicago, Illinois Ramp kimchi adds kick to this tartare. Yogurt calms the fire, while carrot dressing contributes a sweet note. Make sure to snap a pic before you dig in because it’s a stone cold stunner. Make a reservation at GreenRiver. Hazel, Washington, D.C. High meets low. Diced beef tossed with koji dressing comes with disc-shaped tater tots and a quenelle of caramelized onion dip. Smash and mash all the components together to create a delightful twist on tradition. Make a reservation at Hazel. Vandal, New York, New York Admit it, you’ve always dreamed of eating your tartare on […]

    The post Raw Power: 9 Stellar Steak Tartare Dishes appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    Taco Bell fans can now reserve a place at the table! The company today revealed its latest game-changing breakfast offering – the Naked Egg Taco. It will be available nationwide beginning August 31, and, for the first time ever, fans will have a chance to taste the newest menu item leading up to its official debut. Taco Bell is hosting fans across the country beginning August 17 with brunch-esque “Bell & Breakfast” events to give fans the chance to try the latest menu item innovation. Events will kick-off in New York on Thursday, August 17, and will continue with experiences at Taco Bell restaurants in Laguna Beach, California, on August 25, Austin, Texas, on August 26 and Chicago on August 27. Reservations are now available exclusively through OpenTable here and additional seatings will be released leading up to the menu items debut. Fans unable to score a seat are encouraged […]

    The post Live Mas! Book a Table at Taco Bell to Be Among the First to Taste the Naked Egg Taco appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    There’s a lot more to these briny bivalves than dollar oyster night. Restaurants are eschewing straight-up horseradish and lemon for artfully composed half shells. Broiled, grilled, or fried, here are oysters that are beyond basic. North Square Oyster, Boston, Massachusetts Setting up shop in one of the seafood capitals of the world may be a daunting feat, but newcomer North Square Oyster is already making a splash. With an oyster menu that rotates daily, no one dining experience is alike and there’s plenty to choose from across New England’s waters in this light and airy space overlooking the loveliest corner of Boston’s Little Italy (North End neighborhood). Try the poke, or, for lighter and more delicate fare, composed oysters with delicate quail yolk, lychee pearls, chartreuse jelly; hibiscus ponzu and lemon verbena; or watermelon pearls, rose, and crème fraîche. Make a reservation at North Square Oyster. Del Campo, Washington, D.C. What’s […]

    The post Diamonds + Pearls: Chartreuse Jelly and Ethiopian Curry Take Oysters from Basic to Best Dressed appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    You don’t need to be at a tropical resort to drink like you’re on vacation. Restaurants are turning fruit into edible tumblers just as you’d expect to find at island beach destinations. Here are five cocktails served in fresh fruit and are designed to be (at least) partially consumed once they’re emptied. Coco Loco at Seaspice & Modern Garden, Miami, Florida After slicing open a sweet Thai coconut, a jigger of Havana Club rum is poured into its depths. The boozy coconut water is only half the treat, however. The other half is the rum-infused coconut meat, which makes for an intoxicating treat. Make a reservation at Seaspice & Modern Garden. Shotocado at Hank’s Oyster Bar, Washington, D.C. Who needs avocado toast when you can have this ‘cado cocktail? Made with Bols Genever, mignonette, ceviche brine, and hot peppers, it packs a punch. Bonus: it’s loaded with potassium, vitamin K, and […]

    The post No Vacation Required: 5 Cocktails Served in Fresh Fruit appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    Sometimes a restaurant is just as much a feast for the eyes as the stomach — especially when it comes to spaces with a history of something other than a kitchen. From a former police headquarters to an erstwhile church with soaring ceilings, here are top restaurants in converted spaces. Moshulu, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The only restaurant on a Tall Ship in the world, Moshulu (pronounced Mo-shu’-lu) has a storied role as a Chilean and Australian cargo ship re-named by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson to honor the native American Seneca tribe (the word means “one who fears nothing”). It makes a lot of sense for a vessel that also played a role in macho movies like Rocky and The Godfather Part II, both filmed along Philadelphia’s scenic waterfront. Today, chef Anthony Bonett makes seafood the superstar on his menu featuring sushi, shrimp, crab cakes, and salmon. Make a reservation at Moshulu. Grace, […]

    The post Formerly Known As: Restaurants in Converted Spaces Offer up Fascinating Histories appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    National Guacamole Day is September 16th, and it also happens to be Mexican Independence Day, so you’ve got two solid reasons to celebrate. These seven dishes aren’t your typical avocado and lime guacamole dips but, rather, creative, forward-thinking spins on the much-loved guacamole that even the Aztecs would approve of. Keep calm and guac on! Guacamole al Chipotle at El Alma Café y Cantina, Austin, Texas It’s Mexican and it’s in Texas, but don’t think Tex-Mex — this is the real deal. The Mexican-inspired guac dip is created with avocado, lime, cilantro, tomatoes, smoky chipotle crema and sunflower seeds, is served with tostadas — and topped off with a siesta. Make a reservation at El Alma Café y Cantina. Guacamole Especial at The Blind Burro, San Diego, California Authentic south-of-the-border street food with a nod to the mod, the guacamole served here hits the sweet spot on the piñata with […]

    The post Celebrate National Guacamole Day with Twists on the Beloved Dip appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    While we can’t recall a time when gin was out of fashion, it’s getting a new wave of love from bar managers and mixologists. Heck, even the Queen of England reportedly loves a daily gin cocktail or two (among others). An erstwhile ingredient in herbal medicines, gin has a longstanding connection to British culture, so it’s not surprising that it’s one of her favorites. And, while you may never be royalty, you can certainly feel like it with one of these 12 royally good gin cocktails. La Guapa, Tanta, Chicago, Illinois Celebrated for its pisco sour sip, this Peruvian spot has also got a creative, refreshing gin cocktail that’s expertly blended with CH Lavender Gin, rhubarb, lemon, and sparkling rosé. Make a reservation at Tanta. Pine Trees and Bees, Sea Glass Restaurant and Lounge, Cape Elizabeth, Maine A sip of Maine, this pour is local Ingenium Gin, honey simple syrup, […]

    The post Fit for a Queen: 12 Royally Good Gin Cocktails to Order Now appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    For a long time, Brussels sprouts got a bad rap. They were usually steamed and served without seasoning, rendering them mushy and bland. Thankfully, chefs have learned how to prepare the leafy green veg so they’re tasty and toothsome. Here are seven new Brussels sprouts dishes for the fall. Zentan, Washington, D.C. The name “Peas & Sprouts” is a little misleading, but you’ll be more than happy with what arrives at the table. Brussels sprouts and chickpeas are lightly fried, tossed with shiso-mustard vinaigrette, and topped with garlic chips. Full of contrasting crunches and umami tones, it’s a deeply satisfying dish. Make a reservation at Zentan. BO-beau, San Diego, California Humble Brussels sprouts get elevated. Pancetta, Parmesan, and balsamic port reduction add salty and sweet accents to the green globes. A stirring reminder that pork and cheese can turn even the simplest dish into a rare delight. Make a reservation […]

    The post Mon Petit Chou: Seven New Brussels Sprouts Dishes for Fall Flavors appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    We’re entering a new iron age. That’s because chefs are turning to classic cast iron skillets as a way to prepare and present their fare. Here are nine dishes served in cast iron cookware featuring flair metal that’s as fetching as it is functional. Roasted Octopus at Urbana, Washington, D.C. We’re a sucker for this dish. Oh-so-tender tentacles star in the sizzling sensation. The meaty curls sit atop fingerling potatoes and spicy garlic sausage dressed with lemon aioli. Make a reservation at Urbana. Buttermilk Biscuits at Meril, New Orleans Louisiana A good biscuit is hard to find. This is a great one. Plus, it comes topped with foie gras butter (Hey, Emeril, can you please ship us some of that?) and blackberry preserves. Make a reservation at Meril. Mussels a La Plancha at Lulu Kitchen & Bar, Sag Harbor, New York Simple and succinct. New Zealand mussels are dressed with […]

    The post Flair Metal: 9 Delicious Dishes Served in Cast Iron Cookware appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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    Dessert first has long been our motto. Rather than spoiling our appetites, though, we’re getting our fix with these top chocolate cocktails – the ideal elixir for long winter nights ahead. Nutella Blue Martini, Philippe, New York, New York  Chocolate and hazelnut are a celebrated pairing, and you’ll find it in this martini made with Martell Blue Cognac, Frangelico, Nutella, and fresh mint and garnished with raspberries. Make a reservation at Philippe. Love Goddess, Raven & Rose, Portland, Oregon A boozy spin on ice cream, this cocktail is made with chocolate stout ice cream balls, Black Grouse Blended Scotch, Crème de Menthe, housemade coffee liqueur, and six drops of Be-Loved Aphrodisiac Bitters (featuring local bee honey). Make a reservation at Raven & Rose. Airisshu Coffee, Katsuya-South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida Stylish and unique, this South Beach cocktail is created with Makers Mark bourbon and Japanese iced coffee infused with chocolate and […]

    The post Liquid Love: 10 Top Chocolate Cocktails appeared first on OpenTable Blog.


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