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10 Most Infuriating Restaurant Trends

Can we ditch the unisex bathrooms?

(Newser) - Fed up with giant wine glasses that leave no room on the table? How about excessively classy ketchup? Zagat offers a new list of restaurants' most irritating trends. A few of the highlights:
  • Tables squeezed way too close together. If you're not Lara Flynn Boyle, it's absurdly difficult
... More »

At Bon Jovi's Restaurant, Pay What You Can

'Soul Kitchen' lets customers work for their dinner in New Jersey

(Newser) - At Jon Bon Jovi’s new restaurant, you can get “cornmeal crusted catfish with red beans and rice” or “grilled salmon with soul seasonings” without paying a cent. The restaurant aims to feed the hungry—but that doesn’t mean the meal is totally free, the Christian Science... More »

French Oysters: 'More Precious Than Pearls'

Bivalve connoisseur describes 3-day journey

(Newser) - The world's most delicious oysters can be found in the French region of Brittany, where "they are generally smaller than other varieties but intensely flavored," writes Susan Spano in the Los Angeles Times . She recounts her 3-day oyster tour of France's Atlantic coast, where she devoured... More »

Movie Theaters Go Gourmet

Provide wait service for meals in your seats

(Newser) - Dinner and a movie? How about dinner at the movies? Many moviegoers aren’t stopping at the concession stand before the show begins, theaters find, so they’re trying a new tactic: serving full-fledged meals at viewers’ seats. At an AMC in Kansas City, for instance, viewers can reserve luxury... More »

Sbarro Pizza: What's the Point?

Bankrupt restaurant chain offers bad food at high prices

(Newser) - There are a lot of theories as to why Sbarro filed for bankruptcy last month—including “too-rapid growth” and the decline of malls. But Justin Peters has “a simpler explanation: Nobody likes Sbarro,” he writes in Slate . “Devoid of atmosphere, charm, and gustatory relevance, with no... More »

Food and Wine Pairings? All Lies!

Study suggests wine aficionados often skip the meal

(Newser) - We’re always hearing that this wine goes with that food, and feel guilty when we get it wrong—but what if it’s all a scam? asks Jason Wilson in the Washington Post . A new study suggests it might be: More than 60% of wine sipped by “high-frequency... More »

How Restaurants Handle the Obamas

Chefs try to stay cool amidst Secret Service crush

(Newser) - Barack and Michelle Obama love to eat out, but how do restaurants handle a presidential visit? David Hagedorn of the Washington Post asked chefs around town, and found that the key is to remain calm. “We are in the business of creating perceptions,” says one general manager. “... More »

Hey, New York Times, Quit Dissing DC's Restaurants

Washington has had enough

(Newser) - The New York Times delivered its latest review of the Washington DC dining scene last week, and it was as withering as ever, raising its nose at the “spread of Everyman Eating” on Capitol Hill, where restaurateurs don’t even try for a Michelin star. It’s typical, writes... More »

Paying Restaurant Tab the New Moment of Dread

Gracious habits left with George W. Bush

(Newser) - It used to be that one could go out for dinner with friends, eat, drink, and still be quite merry about splitting the tab. These days, however, the moment the bill arrives is the tense moment of truth: Who made do with PBR while the other slammed martinis, and who's... More »

How to Dine Like a Gentleman

For one thing, no dancing

(Newser) - Looking to impress your future in-laws at a fancy dinner out? Follow John Mariani’s 39 steps for how to dine out like a gentleman, from Esquire :
  • "A gentleman never has more than one cocktail before dinner."
  • "A gentleman never takes more than one minute to decide
... More »

Take the Mystery Out of the Wine List

Riesling, Oregon, Costieres de Nimes, and Kermit Lynch are your friends

(Newser) - Ordering wine in a restaurant can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. "Quit being afraid of wine!" wine blogger Nilay Gandhi writes for The Awl . "There's one truth to that wine list you're so terrified to negotiate: it's full of baloney." You can't go... More »

Restaurant Charges Extra for Not Finishing Meal

Leftovers are frowned upon at Wafu

(Newser) - Don’t even think about asking for a doggie bag at Australian restaurant Wafu. The chef not only charges diners who don’t finish their meal 30% more than diners who do, but she also asks them not to return. “Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except... More »

5 Booze Trends for the 2010s

Expect your cocktails to be herbal, matched with food, and cold

(Newser) - Absinthe and other speakeasy libations are so last decade. Now that craft cocktails are mainstream, what will the next 10 years bring to the hottest watering holes? Derek Brown of the Atlantic looks into his crystal ball:
  • Food pairings: They're not just for sommeliers anymore. "Expect to see cocktails
... More »

Rolling Stone Gets Into Restaurant Biz

Hollywood lounge plans to outclass Hard Rock; chain possible

(Newser) - Aiming to sidestep the pitfalls that have bedeviled countless other entertainment-industry players, Rolling Stone magazine is opening its own Hollywood restaurant. “We've been looking for the ideal opportunity to expand the Rolling Stone brand," co-founder Jann Wenner tells the Los Angeles Times . And no, it’s not because... More »

The Tuna on Your Plate May Be Endangered

(Newser) - You might suspect a sushi restaurant that doesn’t specify what sort of tuna you’re eating of trying to pawn off an inferior species. Not so. Researchers using novel DNA barcoding technology found that though nearly a third of tuna sold in 31 US restaurants was the prized—and... More »

100 No-Nos Insulting to Waiters

Former waiter irked by Bruce Buschel's New York Times list

(Newser) - Along with the rest of the world—or at least, frequenters of the New York Times website—Lauren Bans read restaurateur Bruce Buschel’s recent “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do.” And the former waiter is pretty annoyed. “No minimum wage job should ever require a... More »

Biggest Restaurant No-Nos, Part 2

Owner offers another 50 ways to please guests, keep job

(Newser) - Bruce Buschel isn't out of touch. "I realize that every deli needs a wisecracking waiter," he writes in the New York Times, "and burgers always taste better when delivered by a server with tattoos and tongue piercing(s)." But at his soon-to-open restaurant, these rules (coupled... More »

The Biggest Restaurant No-Nos

Owner lays down the law with these rules for staff

(Newser) - The seafood restaurant Bruce Buschel is building will have excellent service—or else. Some staff members, he acknowledges, "will no doubt protest some or most of what follows," but he's the boss, and he presents 50 rules in his New York Times blog. A tasting menu:
  • "Do
... More »

'White Wine With Seafood' Rule Is No Fish Story

High-iron reds make a poor accompaniment, scientists confirm

(Newser) - Researchers conducting intensely necessary studies have confirmed what connoisseurs have always told us: Red wine doesn’t go with fish. Tasters tried 38 red wines and 26 whites while noshing on scallops. They discovered that wines with higher iron content—meaning most reds—unpleasantly accentuated the seafood's “fishy” taste.... More »

Worst Food Trends of the Decade

From onion blossoms to overhyped chefs, these things need to go away

(Newser) - Asked to name the decade's worst dining trends, chefs and other food experts couldn't shut up. There were too many (including "mache, water sommeliers, organ-meat entrees, unisex bathrooms, bacon tattoos on chefs, over-flaunted kitchen burns, chefs tables") for Christopher Borrelli to list them all, but he... More »

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