Catching up with OpenTable competition winner, Joe

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Remember our competition winner, Joe? Last year, he won the ultimate foodie prize (dinner for two every week for a year) so we caught up with him to find out where he’s been dining.

Last time we spoke, you had reservations at The Ledbury, Restaurant Story and Pollen Street Social. How were your meals? Could you pick a favourite?

Pine smoked quail at Pollen Street Social.

Pine smoked quail at Pollen Street Social.

It’s been an incredible year so far. We’ve eaten at some truly amazing restaurants and tasted food I never believed could taste so good. The theatre of food that is Restaurant Story left us speechless. From beef dripping candles to Squid ink Oreos with eel mouse, the fusion of flavours was quite frankly mind -blowing. At Pollen Street Social, we loved the quirky pine smoked quail that arrived still smoking in a pine treasure chest.

Which restaurants are next on your To Do list?

We’ve got Hawksmoor and Alyn Williams at the Westbury booked in, and we’re hoping to visit Le Gavroche soon.

Now that the weather is warming up, where’s your favourite place for alfresco dining / drinking?

We tried out Vintage Salt (from the team behind Q Grill and The Fish & Chip Shop) on top of Selfridges last week, which had a real holiday vibe. Quite easy to forget that the chaos of Oxford Street looms beneath you! There’s also something quite special about having a cheeky street-side pint in a pub in Fitzrovia or Soho on a sunny Friday evening.

Are you visiting any food festivals this year?

We’re hoping to pop down to Taste of London.

Studio at The Standard, Copenhagen

Studio at The Standard, Copenhagen

Have you got a foodie trip abroad planned for the summer?

We’ve got a wedding to attend in Frankfurt this September so we’re very much hoping to explore a bit of the city’s culinary map then. We also visited Copenhagen back in March which was a real gastronomic treat! We were desperate to book a table at Noma but unfortunately it was still closed for the winter. We were more than pleasantly surprised with the alternative though – dinner at Studio at the Standard run by ex-Noma head chef Tortsten Vildgaard. Fantastic service and food to give Restaurant Story a run for its money.

And finally…

I thought I should also mention about something else rather special that’s happened since we were last in touch. I proposed to my partner! Thanks to the amazing OpenTable prize, I was able to book a table Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and pop the question there. It was a truly special evening and I never would have been able to do it in such an amazing setting if it wasn’t for your wonderful prize! So a heartfelt thank you once again.

Huge congratulations to Joe and his partner on their engagement!