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Book that cute bistro on Opentable!

8 Feb

offersI know it’s hard to believe, but now you’ve only got three days left before Valentine’s Day! Have you decided where to take your honey? If you keep putting off deciding this might help you get motivated- opentable.com has a ton of participating restaurants who all list their information on the site and let customers book reservations from the comfort of their home. Or cubicle. Or mobile phone. Or wherever! Be sure to check the site for Valentines Day specials that restaurants near you may be offering!

Here are the Open Table links for some of the bigger cities, but chances are your city is registered, too. Just visit Opentable.com and see!

OpenTable – Cleveland

OpenTable – New York

OpenTable – Chicago

OpenTable – San Francisco

OpenTable – Florida

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There’s no such thing as wassail

11 Dec

Wassail

If you’ve never tried or prepared Wassail (WAHS-ul/Wah-SALE), try it this Christmas season. Rosie Schaap, writer for the New York Times, explores this warm drink’s rich history, traditions, and debated preparation instructions. Go ahead and give it a read!

Wassail Delivers British Nostalgia in a Warm Punch

 

I AM a Dutch-German-Hungarian-Polish-Russian-Jewish-American woman. Yet every December, I turn into a 19th-century British gentleman.

It’s a little embarrassing, this surge of Anglophilia. If I must think of myself as an occasional Englishman, I’d rather be, say, a soccer-loving, beer-swilling extra in a Ken Loach movie, not a Dickens re-enactor.

Still, I put up a Christmas tree. I cook a hefty rib roast, reserving its drippings for Yorkshire pudding. This isn’t a recent development: My mother, whose father was an unrepentant Anglophile, often made a roast on Christmas and sometimes followed it with plum pudding and hard sauce for dessert. (I usually swap that out for a big chunk of Stilton, served with port.)

But this year, I’m adding something else to my faux-English Christmas repast: a great big bowl of wassail, a hot winter punch made with cider, ale, spices and an optional garnish of toast. Yes, toast.

My hope is that it will warm up my holiday dinner guests, encourage them to linger a little longer at the table — and maybe even inspire us all to sing a wassailing song or two.

Wassail (pronounced WAHS-ul or wah-SALE) is enjoying a small revival in New York bars these days, particularly those with nostalgic tendencies, whipped up in big pots or slow cookers. But for those of us who have any active associations with wassail, they are probably musical. “Here We Come a-Wassailing” is about as likely to turn up on your supermarket’s holiday Muzak loop as “The Christmas Song” or “Frosty the Snowman.”

And therein lies the beauty of wassail: more than just another nice-tasting drink, it’s part of a long (if largely forgotten) tradition of celebrating the life that winter can seem determined to snuff out. It’s a fragrant, warming concoction mixed in bulk and set out for sharing, all but demanding that you call in a crowd. There’s really no such thing as wassail for one.

It’s a noun, a verb and even a salutation.

 

READ FULL ARTICLE ON NYTIMES.COM

 

Try a Healthy Side Dish for Your Oscars Party

24 Feb

Found this delicious recipe from Mango & Tomato – Pan roasted asparagus with queso fresco.

Take a look, and if you give it a try tell us how it went over. Happy Friday!

You can view the whole article with all the images on Mango and Tomato here.

Pan Roasted Asparagus with Queso Fresco

I want to share with you a recipe I made last week that was inspired by a recipe that Isabelle pinned for Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots.

This side dish comes together incredibly fast and is as good straight out of the pan as it is eaten standing straight out of the refrigerator.

I hope you add this recipe to your repertoire of green side dishes.

Pan Roasted Asparagus with Queso Fresco adapted from Family Style Food

VIEW RECIPE AND IMAGES~

Traditional Easter Foods

22 Apr

Easter weekend is upon us! What foods will your family be cooking or buying to make the holiday special? We’ve got a list of some traditional Easter foods below, along with a description and some background information. We hope you enjoy learning more about where your traditional culinary fare comes from – and perhaps you’ll be inspired to try something new this year. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

We are reposting the following information from about.com – follow the link to read the original article!

Traditional Easter Foods

Although colored hard-boiled eggs are probably the first Easter food to come to mind, other foods factor into the traditional Easter meals around the world.

Hot Cross Buns are an Easter favorite in many areas. The tradition allegedly is derived from ancient Anglo-Saxons who baked small wheat cakes in honor of the springtime goddess, Eostre. After converting to Christianity, the church substituted the cakes with sweetbreads blessed by the church.

Countries around the world serve sweet cakes in the same vein, such as Czech babobka and Polish baba. The Greeks and Portugese serve round, flat loaves marked with a cross and decorated with Easter eggs. Syrian and Jordanian Christians have honey pastries.
Pretzels were first shaped to indicate the torso of a person with arms folded, praying.

The roast lamb dinner that many eat on Easter Sunday goes back earlier than Easter to the first Passover of the Jewish people. The sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (see Passover Seder) in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm. As Hebrews converted to Christianity, they naturally brought along their traditions with them. The Christians often refer to Jesus as The Lamb of God. Thus, the traditions merged.

In the United States, ham is a traditional Easter food. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration, and the fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the winter months before Lent was cured for spring. The curing process took a long time, and the first hams were ready around the time Easter rolled around. Thus, ham was a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.

What will you be serving this weekend?

Happy Easter!

-The DineLocal team

Prepare to See (and be) Green in Pittsburgh!

15 Mar

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St. Patrick’s Day falls on Thursday this year, and whether you’re Irish or not, it’s a day full of fun, food, friends – and of course a good Irish stout! So why not make an Irish pub or restaurant one of your stops along the celebratin’ way? Check out the list below (originally published in pittsburgh.about.com, and shared here for your Irish planning purposes) and add your own favorites to the list!

Pittsburgh Irish Pubs and Restaurants

Enjoy true Irish food, fun and hospitality at these Pittsburgh Irish pubs and restaurants. Listings include Irish restaurants and pubs from Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods.

1. Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle

Enjoy good Irish music, food and beer at this true Irish pub with Irish owners. Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle Irish pub is located in the Pittsburgh Strip District.

2. Finnigan’s Wake

Pittsburgh’s largest Irish pub, Finnigan’s Wake is a popular spot before and after Steelers and Pitt football games and Pirates games due to its North Shore location.

3. Paddy’s Pour House

Paddy’s Pour House, located in Carnegie, is everything a neighborhood Irish bar should be. They have live Gaelic music on Friday and Saturday; a great selection of traditional Irish fare; and a huge assortment of Irish Whiskeys, Irish creams and liquors, and Irish beers on draft. Formerly Sullivan’s Pour House.

4. Piper’s Pub

East Carson Street on the Pittsburgh South Side is home to Piper’s Pub, a comfortable British football (soccer) club with British, Scottish and Irish food and drink. They offer a full menu for brunch, lunch and dinner, plus extensive beer & Scotch lists.

5. Monterey Pub

Located in the historic Mexican War Streets, on Pittsburgh’s Northside, The Monterey Pub is a fun place to relax with a cold beer and good food in a little piece of Ireland in Pittsburgh. They offer a good selection of draught and bottled beers, plus traditional, and not-so-traditional, Irish food.

6. Molly Brannigans

A Pennsylvania chain with three locations – Pittsburgh (Mount Lebanon), Erie, and Harrisburg – the Molly Brannigans Irish pub features interiors designed and assembled by Irish carpenters for a traditional Irish dining experience. You’ll find Guinness, Bass, Smithwick’s, Blue Moon and Boddington’s on tap, plus some traditional Irish and American pub fare.

The Valentines Day Special: Make It Yourself

11 Feb

So you’ve picked out a restaurant, maybe bought a card; but you want to add a little originality to the day. Why not make something sweet and delicious for your valentine? Not a pastry chef? Don’t sweat it. Here are two recipes that have been voted easy-prep romantic favorites. Try one (or both) to put the icing on the cake, with a cherry on top, this Valentines day. Bon appetit!

Sweetheart Palmiers

Ingredients:


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Serves: 30

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2 Combine the sugar and salt together.
3 Pour 1 cup of the sugar on a flat surface.
4 Use one sheet of the puff pastry and pour 1 cup of the sugar over the top and spread out evenly with your hands.
5 Use a rolling pin to press the sugar into the dough, until it’s 13 by 15 rectangle.
6 Turn the dough over and press the sugar on the other side as well, you want the dough to be completely covered with the sugar on both sides. There will be extra sugar left on the board.
7 Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough, then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book, you will have 6 layers.
8 Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and dip both cut sides in the sugar to ensure a good coating.
9 Place the slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
10 If you choose, sprinkle generously the colored sugar on each piece.
11 Continue with the second sheet of pastry as above.
12 Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes until brown on the bottom.
13 Transfer immediately to a baking rack to cool completely, before they stick.
14 Store in an airtight container. You can freeze them at this point as well.

 

The Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1 (14 ounce) angel food cake, cut into cubes (I buy the cake already made)
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    Directions:

    1 Wash, stem, and cut strawberries in half.
    2 Add sugar; toss to mix well.
    3 Chill.
    4 Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar well.
    5 Fold in whipped topping and cake cubes.
    6 Spread cake into an ungreased 13×9 dish.
    7 Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
    8 Cut cake into squares; top with strawberries.

    Just In Time for Valentine’s Day (Guys: Take Note!)

    27 Jan

    OpenTable Inc. has compiled its new list of Diner’s Choice Awards for Most Romantic Restaurants. There are 50 restaurants that make the cut, from a wide variety of states. The list is being published well ahead of Valentine’s day, so you’ll have plenty of time to scope out one near you and give it a try!

    Tell us what you think of OpenTable’s list, and let us know if there are other restaurants you’d like to add. Locals know best!

    .

    OpenTable Diners Reveal the Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.

    OpenTable Diners Reveal the Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.

    SAN FRANCISCO  (RestaurantNews.com)  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, OpenTable, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPEN), a leading provider of free online restaurant reservations for diners and guest management solutions for restaurants, today announced the 50 winners of its Diners’ Choice Awards for Most Romantic Restaurants. The list of winners is derived from more than seven million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    French and Italian cuisines are normally closely associated with romance, but in this year’s most romantic list home is where the heart is. American cuisine steals the show with 14 restaurants serving domestic fare around the nation earning high marks in the romantic category. Like last year, chocolate and cheese continue to please couples, with 12 fondue restaurants making the list.

    From a regional standpoint, California restaurants cornered the market on romance with 10 restaurants earning top spots. Also noteworthy, New York came in second with four wins and Virginia proves it’s still for lovers with three wins, a distinction shared by Indiana and Ohio.

    “There’s no single recipe for romance when you’re dining out,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer. “This year’s results jettison the myths that only certain cuisines – or cities – can be perceived as romantic. Of course, the fact that fondue continues to melt hearts shouldn’t be shocking as sharing adds an element of fun and flirtation to any food!”

    Based on feedback collected from OpenTable diners between January 2010 and December 2010, the following 50 restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, received the highest scores from OpenTable diners. For more information about this list, please visit http://www.opentable.com/romantic.

    Addison at The Grand Del Mar – San Diego, CA
    Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort- Las Vegas, NV
    Bistro Romano – Philadelphia, PA
    Boulevard Steakhouse – Oklahoma City, OK
    Briarhurst Manor – Manitou Springs, CO
    Café Renaissance – Vienna, VA
    Capische, Maui, HI
    The Cellar – Fullerton, CA
    Chez Loma – Coronado, CA
    Chez Shea – Seattle, WA
    Cite – Chicago, IL
    Different Pointe of View – Scottsdale, AZ
    Eagle’s Nest: Hyatt Regency Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN
    Eiffel Tower – Las Vegas, NV
    Erminia Ristorante- New York, NY
    The French Room – Dallas, TX
    Geja’s Café – Chicago, IL
    The Hungry I – Boston, MA
    Il Bistro – Seattle, WA
    Il Cielo – Beverly Hills, CA
    La Caille Restaurant – Salt Lake City, UT
    Latitudes Beach Café – Key West, FL
    The Little Door – Los Angeles, CA
    Log Haven – Salt Lake City, UT
    Madrona Manor – Healdsburg, CA
    Michel’s at the Colony Surf – Honolulu, HI
    The Melting Pot: Castleton – Indianapolis, IN
    The Melting Pot – Cincinnati, OH
    The Melting Pot – Dayton, OH
    The Melting Pot: Greenwood – Indianapolis, IN
    The Melting Pot – Kennesaw, GA
    The Melting Pot: Midtown Atlanta – Atlanta, GA
    The Melting Pot – Myrtle Beach, SC
    The Melting Pot – Newport News, VA
    The Melting Pot – Richmond, VA
    The Melting Pot – Virginia Beach, VA
    Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant – Colorado Springs, CO
    One if by Land, Two if by Sea – New York, NY
    Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, OH
    Plume at the Jefferson Hotel – Washington, D.C.
    Red Square, Atlantic City, NJ
    Ristorante Massimo – Boston, MA
    Shadowbrook Restaurant Capitola – Capitola, CA
    Sir Winston’s Aboard The Queen Mary – Long Beach, CA
    The Sky Room – Long Beach, CA
    Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch – Santa Barbara, CA
    Tredici Steak – New York, NY
    Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse – Albuquerque, NM
    White Barn Inn – Kennebunkport, ME
    Zenkichi – Brooklyn, NY

    For diners preparing to make reservations for Valentine’s Day, OpenTable.com provides Diner’s Choice Top Ten Most Romantic Restaurants lists for each metro region and access to specials and menu details for February 14.  For more information, please visit www.opentable.com/valentines. Diners can also find additional information on the Diners’ Choice Most Romantic Restaurants Awards by visiting Potter’s “Dining Check” blog on OpenTable at http://blog.opentable.com/.

    About OpenTable, Inc.

    OpenTable is a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants. The OpenTable network delivers the convenience of online restaurant reservations to diners and the operational benefits of a computerized reservation book to restaurants. OpenTable has more than 15,000 restaurant customers, and, since its inception in 1998, has seated more than 175 million diners around the world. The Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and the OpenTable service is available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. OpenTable also owns and operates toptable.com, a leading restaurant reservation site in the United Kingdom.