RestaurantFEED: OpenTable restaurant news

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Ramsay to open second Maze Grill – Gordon Ramsay is set to open a second Maze Grill restaurant on the former site of Aubergine in Chelsea, where he won his first Michelin stars. Like the original Maze Grill in Mayfair, the new restaurant will serve rare breed steaks, fish and poultry from the Josper grill.

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Grillstock returns with dates in Bristol, Manchester and London – The hugely popular Grillstock BBQ and music festival has three UK dates this year – Manchester (30-31st May), Bristol (11-12th July) and, for the first time, London (5-6th September). Book your tickets early and get ready for a weekend packed with live music, craft beer, great food and their US-style King of the Grill BBQ competition.

Simon Rogan to open two new restaurants – Simon Rogan (Fera, L’Enclume) plans to open a fish restaurant on the south coast and a brasserie in Cumbria that will be similar to Mr Cooper’s, his restaurant at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

Big Easy launches Shrimp Tuesdays – Every Tuesday from noon, Big Easy in Covent Garden will be offering two unlimited shrimp options with a slushie cocktail or brew for £19 per person. Choose from deep fried shrimp with fries, slaw and cocktail sauce, or the Southern shrimp boil – peel and eat shrimp, smoked sausage, corn on the cobb and potatoes in a classic broth. Sound like a perfect mid-week treat!

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British Pie Week – If the wet weather’s got you craving comfort food, you’ll be pleased to hear that next week is British Pie Week! You can make your own or try some of London’s finest pies at The Jugged Hare, The 3 Crowns, Parlour and The Windmill (which boasts two dedicated pie rooms). If you’re near Islington, head to The Drapers Arms where 50p from every chicken and leek pie sold goes to Action Against Hunger.

Restaurants opening in London in March:

– Brindisa Tapas Kitchens are opening Morada Brindisa Asador near Piccadilly Circus.
– Vinoteca’s new King’s Cross wine bar, all-day restaurant and shop opens on March 10th.
– After the success of Ivy Market Grill, Ivy Chelsea Garden opens on the King’s Road on the 30th.
– Coming soon to the West End is The Woodstock, a Japanese pub specialising in kushiyaki skewers.
– Peruvian restaurant and bar Ceviche opens close to Old Street roundabout this month.
– Kentish Town locals can look forward to the opening of French wine bar and restaurant, Patron.
The Refinery, a new bar-restaurant from the Drake & Morgan group, opens soon on Regent’s Place.

Tags: Celeb Chef Interviews, City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, Food Events & Festivals, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Welcome to the family! – New restaurants on OpenTable

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Looking for somewhere new to eat this month? Check out some of the great new restaurants that have recently joined OpenTable, including some of London’s hottest newcomers.

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Stokey Bears – At the first permanent venture from street food legend Burger Bear, you can feast on wings, dogs and deliciously messy burgers topped with bacon jam, washed down with craft beers and sodas.

Blixen – Justin Gilbert and Clive Watson (the man behind Village East and The Riding House Cafe) have opened Blixen, a grand brasserie in Spitalfields. You can swing by for breakfast or after work, when the menu includes poussin with salsa verde and grilled sirloin with Café de Paris butter.

Rex & Mariano – Fishmonger Rex Goldsmith and the Goodman steakhouse team have opened a buzzy new Soho restaurant where diners can order super-fresh fish and seafood using iPads.

Portland – Will Lander (ex-Quality Chop House) and Daniel Morgenthau (ex-10 Greek Street) have opened an all-day restaurant called Portland in Fitzrovia. The wine list features 45 handpicked wines which change each month and the menu includes dishes like wild game pithivier and lamb tartare with anchovy mayo.

Chai Wu – The team behind Mango Tree have opened a modern Chinese restaurant at Harrods, serving dishes like wok fried Korean lobster, Wagyu steak with black pepper sauce, and whole Beijing duck.

COUNTER – At this new all-day restaurant in Vauxhall, the bar is fully stocked with craft beers and interesting wines and the French-American menu includes steak au poivre, mussels and cassoulet.

Kurobuta Chelsea has moved to a larger space on the King’s Road in Chelsea and their former home is being transformed into Joe’s Oriental Diner. Set to open on March 6th, it will serve dishes like fire cracker chicken, coconut short rib rendang and wood oven roast scallops with chilli jam.

Also new in London: EngawaWest Thirty Six; Bravas Tapas; World’s End Market; and Augustus Harris.

 GinRickeysLuke’s and Gin Rickey’s – Start your night with a few drinks at this gin and cocktail bar in Chester and then head upstairs to their restaurant, Luke’s, for small plates, steaks and more.

San Lorenzo’s – Perfect for a laid-back or dinner in Dublin, San Lorenzo’s serves Italian food with a New York twist. Their ‘brunch of champions’ is a great way to start your weekend.

Coggings & Co – Looking for a great burger in Brighton? The award-winning Coggings & Co uses the finest local ingredients in their delicious homemade burgers, sides and desserts.

Pelican Bar & Bistro – Situated on the edge of Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park, this modern Scottish bistro serves seasonal meat and game, local cheese and wonderful Scottish seafood. Their generous surf ‘n’ turf platter is perfect for a foodie date night.

The Tyler’s Kiln – At this charming pub-restaurant just outside Canterbury, you can pop in for a pint, linger over lunch, or treat the family to a Sunday roast. The menu is full of familiar favourites like Welsh rarebit, fish pie, and confit belly pork with apple sauce.

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London, New to OpenTable. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Kung hei fat choi! Chinese New Year celebrations in London

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Chinese New Year (February 19th) marks the start of the Year of the Sheep (or goat) and London will once again be hosting the largest celebrations outside Asia. Head to Chinatown and Trafalgar Square to check out the parade and then dine in style at one of these top Chinese restaurants.

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At their Mayfair and Hanway Place restaurants, Hakkasan will be honouring the Chinese wishing tree tradition by collecting wishes for the new year from diners. There will be an evening lion dance at their Hanway Place restaurant and both restaurants will be serving a special nine-course menu of dishes like soft shell crab, Chilean sea bass in honey, and stir-fried lily bulbs and garlic shoots.

Head into the City to Chinese Cricket Club where they’re celebrating with two special set menus. In a nod to the Year of the Sheep, the dishes include cumin lamb skewers and sizzling black pepper lamb.

If you’re out in the West End, take a detour to Bam-Bou in Fitzrovia for a decadent dinner and cocktails in their candlelit bar. Their Chinese New Year menu includes spiced noodle soup with stone bass, red salmon curry and a passion fruit macaroon dessert. All diners will receive a traditional red envelope containing a poem, a fortune or a small gift to take home.

In Islington, United Ramen are celebrating with a one-off nyonya braised lamb ramen with sweet potato, fried shallots, garlic and chilli. Save room for dessert – chocolate brownie with black sesame ice-cream!

At TING on Level 35 of The Shard, their Asian Afternoon Tea will feature traditional Chinese New Year dumplings and vanilla-infused rice pudding with rose, raspberry and lychee compote. The Shangri-La’s bar, GONG, has created a ‘Lucky Goat’ cocktail made with China’s Shui Jing Fang spirit, also known as baijiu.

If you’re craving dim sum, there’s still time to book a table at the excellent Bright Courtyard in Marylebone, Courtesan in Brixton, and Bo Lang in South Kensington.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to London’s best dim sum or our list of Chinese restaurants in London. Want a personal recommendation? Ask our experts on twitter or Facebook.

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, Food Events & Festivals, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Introducing our OpenTable competition winner, Joe!

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Last year, we ran a competition with the ultimate foodie prize – dinner for two every week for a year. We got in touch with our lucky winner to find out some more about him and where he’s planning to dine in 2015.

So Joe, which restaurants are on your To Do list this year?

We’re already booked in at The Ledbury, Restaurant Story and Pollen Street Social.  I’d absolutely love to get a table at Le Gavroche or Chiltern Firehouse but there’s probably more chance of me winning the Nobel Peace Prize! 

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‘Meat Fruit’ at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. (Photo Credit: London Food Freak.)

Tell us about your best or most memorable dining experience.

It’s a toss-up between dining at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal or tucking into barbecued langoustines on plastic stools on the streets of Hanoi. The experiences were worlds apart (in more ways than one!) but both were pretty memorable. It’s not every day you get to try the likes of ‘Meat Fruit’ and ‘Spiced Pigeon’ in a setting as plush as the Mandarin Oriental but, then again, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the joy I felt at gorging on that cheap-as-chips-but-mouth-wateringly-good seafood and then washing it down with an ice cold beer. 

What are your favourite things to eat?

I’m the son of a butcher so beef is right up there – the rarer the better! That said I love fresh fish too. 

Is there one dish you’ll always order if you see it on a menu?

At the moment I can’t get enough of tuna carpaccio but I’m always keen to try new things.

Pintxos in San Sebastian. (Photo Credit: The London Foodie)

Pintxos in San Sebastian. (Photo Credit: The London Foodie)

If money was no object, which foodie destination would you love to travel to?

Probably San Sebastián. If money was no object I’m sure I could feel quite at home there! Although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a trip to Kyoto or Tokyo either.

What’s most important to you when you eat out – good food? Great service? Ambience?

Good food and great service. The service can make or break a dining experience in my opinion. 

Who is your favourite celeb chef?

Having worked on one of his TV shows, I’m going to say Gordon Ramsay. He’s an incredible chef and a great TV talent.

We’ll be checking in with Joe later in the year to find out which restaurants blew him away and where’s next on his To Do list. Stay tuned!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

OpenTable insider’s guide to: Shoreditch

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With its gritty backstreets lined with galleries, bars and boutiques, Shoreditch is edgy, arty and bohemian in equal measure. The OpenTable office is on its fringe and we’ve grown to love its pop-ups, street art and quirky style. If you’re local or passing through, here are some of the best bars and restaurants to try.

Fit for foodiesLyle’s and The Clove Club continue to impress diners with their innovative cooking and passion for interesting British ingredients. If your tastes are more traditional, you’ll love Merchants Tavern’s handsome dining room and modern European menu.

Cocktails – Shoreditch is full of great drinks options, from craft beer pubs to award-winning cocktail bars like NOLA, Nightjar, Loungelover and Callooh Callay. If you fancy Happy Hour drinks after work, there’s Cottons at Boxpark, the Golden Bee roof bar, and The Drunken Monkey for dim sum and Shanghai Slings. If you’re a whiskey drinker, there are over 80 different bourbons to try at The Blues Kitchen.

Date night destinations – Book a table for two at Les Trois Garcons or Boundary for an evening of candlelight, French food and fine wine. (In summer, Boundary’s rooftop terrace is perfect for sunset dinners). The Jones Family Project and Hawksmoor Spitalfields are also good options.

Shoreditch

Photo Credit: Boxpark

Great with mates – Soak up the cocktails with fried chicken at Bird or fantastic pizzas and antipasti at Pizza East or Amici Miei. For a meat feast, stroll to Hoxton Square and get stuck into slow-smoked ribs at Red Dog Saloon or deliciously messy burgers and sides at MEATmission.

Business bites – Need to wine and dine a VIP? You can rely on Rivington Bar & Grill for slick service and Hix’s Tramshed for show-stopping chicken and steak. For a team lunch, check out Forge & Co or head to the The 3 Crowns for ambitious but affordable gastropub cooking.

International eats – Catch up with friends over tapas at Tramontana Brindisa, Asian-inspired small plates at 100 Hoxton, or authentic Iberian dishes at Eyre Brothers. We love the Korean fried chicken at Jubo and the always-excellent Indian street snacks, grills and curries at Dishoom.

Have we missed anywhere? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Discover the most romantic restaurants in the UK

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Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day table? OpenTable data shows that 45% of UK diners leave it until the week before to book a table, so it’s time to start searching and make those all-important reservations.

We’ve rounded up the top ten most romantic restaurants in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, based on diner feedback. If you can’t get a table for the 14th, add them to your wishlist for birthdays and date nights in the future.

Clos Maggiore voted the most romantic restaurant in London.

Clos Maggiore voted the most romantic restaurant in London.

In London, it was no surprise to see the award-winning Clos Maggiore claim the top spot, with sky-high stunner Duck & Waffle close behind. Heston Blumenthal’s Knightsbridge restaurant, Dinner, came in at number three, followed by Sushisamba and Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa and Fifteen. Maze, Hakkasan, Hawksmoor Air Street and the Fortnum & Mason tea salon also made the cut.

For romance in Edinburgh, diners opted for understated elegance and seasonal Scottish cooking at restaurants like Angels with Bagpipes, Fishers in the City and The Stockbridge. Glasgow diners showed a passion for steak, with the The Butchershop – a Manhattan-inspired steakhouse – taking first place.

Albert’s Worsley took first place in Manchester.

Albert’s Worsley took first place in Manchester.

In Manchester, the top spot went to Albert’s in Worsley where diners can enjoy dishes like braised belly pork and sea bass with lemon and dill cream sauce. Their sister restaurant Albert’s Shed came second, followed by elegant Italian restaurant Rosso.

For an evening of romance in Birmingham, stylish steakhouse Anderson’s beat Pushkar and Cielo to first place. The award-winning Turners and French fine dining restaurant Edmunds also made it into the top ten.

Check out the full lists and use the OpenTable apps for iOS and Android to discover and book restaurants, wherever you are. If you’re dining out in London, visit our Valentine’s Day page to find out what some of the capital’s top restaurants have planned.

Tags: Birmingham, City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London, Manchester. Total of no comments in the discussion.