Have you ever used OpenTable.com? The website is fantastically easy and one that I use to make restaurant reservations (or realize that there isn’t anything available for same day gratification!). Now I am a big fan of their new free apps for smartphones. OpenTable has apps specifically designed for the Android phones like myTouch, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Palm but also has another version for other web enabled phones.
Just like on the OpenTable site, the apps allow you to find restaurants nearby and search for available reservations, display the location of the restaurants on a map, see menus and restaurant reviews, narrow choices according to type of food, price, and availability, get directions to the restaurant, and send invitations to members of your dining party. I also appreciate that you can manage upcoming reservations using the app just like you can on the website.
I know that I relied on OpenTable.com to make my recent reservation at Eno in Atlanta. If you are a fan of Top Chef, Eno is the restaurant of cheftestant Eli Kirshtein. When Top Chef Las Vegas started I knew I wanted to go to Eli’s Eno and Kevin Gillespie’s Woodfire Grill.
Both restaurants use OpenTable.com for their reservations and I truly love the simplicity of the system despite having had to change my reservation many times. First my reservation was for 4, then bumped up to 6, and back to 5 before we realized on the way to the restaurant that there would only be 4 of us after all.
All the changes were easy on OpenTable and we were able to change our reservation to half an hour later to accommodate our party of 6. Every time we added someone new to our party, I could send them our reservation through OpenTable so they would get it as an e-mail and know the day, time, and location. When the reservation was updated, I had the option of sending out a revised invitation to keep my dinner guests in the loop.
After last year’s BlogHer in San Francisco, I resolved to never ever go to a conference and live off of hor d’ ourves and cocktails all weekend ever again. By Sunday I was ravenous and incredibly cranky. It was not a pretty sight. San Francisco is like home to me and I kicked myself for not taking advantage of the fabulous restaurants I know from having lived nearly half my life in the Bay Area.
A full stomach feeds the mind and certainly helps with alcohol absorption. It also prevents me from frivolously spending calories on fried appetizers and other high calorie hor d’ourves on nights when there are often 3 parties to attend in a row. A fantastic meal starts the conference on the right foot- or stomach.
A year later BlogHer San Francisco, lessons have been learned. This summer I went to Chicago and started BlogHer with a great meal at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill with friend, fellow Top Chef fan, and blogger Amanda. Heading to Atlanta, I was excited about starting my night off right by eating real food before Blogalicious weekend kicked off with a night of parties.
Real food but really delicious food too.
The photos above are from our fabulous meal of gastronomic amazement at Eno Restaurant…For my fellow foodie readers, our meal consisted of shared small plates: creamy barley risotto with butternut squash and topped with crispy fennel and an just-put-on-the-menu-that-day cured lomo sliced thin, garnished with tiny diced apple bits and the most creamy smudge of applesauce ever.
Entrees featured foam and were expertly paired with delicious wines. The 4 of us got 2 of the same entrees which included a short rib ravioli where fall-off-the-bone tender meat was encased in house made fresh pasta and a 1 ½ pound lobster with fresh corn, garlic scapes, and the most velvety sauce ever. I could have licked the plate for every last bit of that buttery sauce!
And for dessert, mostly chocolate peanut butter all around- one thick, dark bar of ganache rolled in cocoa and accompanied with creamy light peanut buttery goodness with a smudge of sweet peanut (see above left). The only exception was UrbanMama who relished in the ability to have a pistachio-laden dessert (right) in the absence of her pistachio-allergic husband.
Huge thanks to our fabulous server, Catherine, who shared her favorite dishes with us, put up with us, nicely returned our turnip centerpiece that we were so curious about, and not only fetched Chef Eli, but also snapped our photo with him.
Thanks Eli, Eno, and OpenTable.com for starting my Blogalicious weekend off right with such wonderful food!
For photos with descriptions of the food pictured above, visit my Eno Flickr photostream.
As I complimented Eli, I told him I would post about our outstanding visit to Eno where each of us paid for our entire meal. OpenTable.com has no idea I exist and am a fan of their service.
Dress in photo is the Cap Sleeve Dress and was provided by Lands’ End as part of my Blogalicious wardrobe.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama