Most of us Hawks fans will be watching the Super Bowl right here at home. For the fortunate few who score tickets, getting dinner reservations in New York City might be even harder.
Tables at Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurants are tough to secure on an average weekend. If places like Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Daniel, Del Posto or Per Se are on your wish list, you’d better know someone who knows someone, otherwise you can fuggedaboudit.
Not to worry though. The “city that never sleeps” has thousands of places to eat. For those who are equal parts football fan and foodie, I offer, in no particular order, a few personal favorites, where game-goers might be able to snag a last minute reservation or even dare to show up without one. Consider it a mere slice of what the Big Apple has to offer.
Estela—Fine cocktails and boldly conceived small plates from Uruguayan-born chef Ignacio Mattos.
Hearth—Marco Canora’s soulful, contemporary take on Italian cuisine is matched by Paul Grieco’s astonishingly broad beverage list.
Annisa—Anita Lo’s spectacular Asian-inflected food suits this serene West Village dining room.More
On Feb. 8, after a few more weeks of communal meals, David Sanford is closing the doors at Belle Clementine, his experimental Ballard business that felt like a dinner party as much as a restaurant.
The chef-restaurateur is heading down to a new job in California — as chief of staff for entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, the online network for professional connections. The businessman “is incredibly generous and he aspires to do great things with his resources. He is starting to formulate (plans) and think more deeply about that,” creating an opening for someone with Sanford’s bent. (Sanford will be working for Hoffman himself, not for LinkedIn or his Greylock Partners venture capital firm.)
It’s not as much of a jump as it might seem.More
Here is your holiday exhortation: you will make your own eggnog — no more of that thick mess out of the carton, that stuff that goes straight to the gut and balloons your belly.
Shared below is the better eggnog, redolent of grated nutmeg and cream, spiked with brandy, bourbon and rum — truly a taste of Christmas.More
The people have spoken—that is, the roughly five million people who make reservations and write reviews on OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation system. Hats off to chef Holly Smith and her team at Café Juanita, the only Washington state restaurant to make OpenTable’s 2013 roster of the 100 Best Restaurants in America.
The list was culled from a field of roughly 19,000 restaurants nationwide. The top 100 were selected based on reviews from verified OpenTable diners between November 14, 2012, and November 15, 2013
“It feels great to be on a list that is guest generated,” says Smith. “These reviews come only after a guest has dined with a restaurant and therefore it reflects happy guests.
It’s well-deserved recognition for the 13-year-old Kirkland restaurant, a favorite with critics from the start. In a 3.5 star review in the The Seattle Times in July 2002, Nancy Leson wrote, ” Innovation, artistry, and superior ingredients are key to the kitchen’s success.”More
With just 27 seats and a chalkboard menu listing fewer than a dozen items, Blind Pig Bistro appears to be the sort of neighborhood place that wouldn’t take reservations, much less offer a tasting menu.
But the two-year-old Eastlake eatery announced this week they now accept reservations, plus they’ve made their popular whole-menu tasting option more attractive: the 8 to10-plate shareable feast is priced at $35-$45 per person.
The news got me wondering anew why some restaurants take reservations, while others—to the annoyance of many diners, me included—don’t.
Blind Pig’s chef/owner Charles Walpole says he’s thinking of his customers. “The idea at this point is, how can we be better, how can we grow. Taking reservations is one way we can improve service. It’s asking a lot to ask people to come in and not have a table waiting.”
He’s also thinking long term. In 2014 he plans to transform the adjacent Eastlake Teryiyaki into a 35-seat bar and lounge. The two storefronts will be connected but have separate names and menus.
The reason many small restaurants don’t take reservations, says Walpole, is largely a staffing issue. “It requires managing the tables, calling and confirming the reservations. We have a bigger staff and a stronger team. We feel we can do it now and do it right.”More
Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero, food writer Nancy Leson and food editor Kathleen Triesch Saul chatted with readers Wednesday about restaurants we all love. Read the questions and comments below. This is to whet your appetite for Thursday night’s big Seattle Public Library event at Town Hall, where Nancy chats it up with a panel…More
What’s hot? Oh, let’s not! Instead, join Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson Thursday, Nov. 14 at Town Hall when the Seattle Times, in partnership with the Seattle Public Library, hosts a panel of chefs and restaurateurs who’ve been around long enough to know that being great trumps being new. How do they keep it real?…More
Byron and Anitha Hummel will cook up plenty of “NaanSense” on October 20 at Soni and Henri Schock’s Madrona wine bar, Bottlehouse.
The dinner launches the Hummel’s Kickstarter campaign to secure the second half of the funding they need to get their Indian food truck, NaanSense, rolling. The three-course menu ($75 with Bottlehouse wine pairings) offers guests a taste of what the couple plan to dispense from their mobile kitchen. Menu choices will include: prawn varuval, paneer masala, madras lamb curry, coho salmon curry, coconut eggplant masala, and for dessert cardamom ricotta cheesecake with tamarind peach compote.
The Hummels met in culinary school but their romance kindled in the kitchen at Phoenecia on Alki, where she was his sous chef and he turned out incredible pizzas. That gig ended abruptly for Byron, but the personal relationship flourished. Eventually he helped open Pritty Boy Family Pizzeria in Madrona, where he is now general manager, and she moved on to Branzino and other cooking jobs. They married three years ago.
Byron not only fell in love with Anitha, he became besotted with her cooking. “She is from India and makes awesome Indian food which I wasn’t really exposed to prior to our union,” he said. “Indian food is some of the best food in the world. When done right the complexity and layers of flavors that come through are amazing.”More
I like to cook as much as I like to eat in restaurants, but much of what I eat in restaurants, I wouldn’t attempt to reproduce at home. Isn’t that why we go to restaurants, after all? Chefs cook so much better than we do. Still there are times when I taste something delicious that seems within my grasp, and I think: “I want that recipe!”
At Radiator Whiskey, I loved the cornflake-crusted chicken livers, the lamb neck sloppy Joe and the fried beef-lip terrine that chefs Tyler Palagi and Charlie Garrison do so well. But one dish I want to work into my regular repertoire at home is their flaming-red tomato and watermelon salad —especially now, while both key ingredients are at their seasonal peaks. Palagi shared their recipe (not yet tested by me).More