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Alleged 'Dine-and-Dash Dater' Faces 13 Years in Prison

Paul Gonzales charged with extortion, grand theft

(Newser) - A man who fled at least 10 restaurant dates without paying his bill, earning him the title of "Dine-and-Dash Dater," has finally been nabbed, say law enforcement officials in California. Paul Gonzales, 45, pleaded not guilty Monday to extortion, attempted extortion, grand theft, and petty theft charges, reports... More »

Mistake Sends Foodies Flocking to Wrong Restaurant

A moment in the spotlight swamps unassuming eatery in the French heartland

(Newser) - Most restaurateurs would swoon for a prized Michelin star. But when an unspecting bistro in central France got one last week by mistake, all the owner could do was throw up her hands as the crowds rushed in. "I'm drowning!" Veronique Jacquet tells Le Parisien . "I... More »

Gourmet Dinner Party for 25 on Mount Everest? No Problem

Well, there actually were problems, but chef James Sharman and his team still pulled it off

(Newser) - For a chef who's filleted and flambéd in some of Europe's top restaurants, planning a dinner party for two dozen people shouldn't present an issue—unless that dinner party happens to be nearly 18,000 feet in the air. Outside magazine outlines the challenges faced by... More »

Olive Garden's NYE Dinner Will Cost You $400

Only in New York, kids

(Newser) - Dining in NYC can be expensive, and it's a given that on New Year's Eve, Times Square eateries will be profiting even more from the reveling crowds. That includes the Great White Way's local chain restaurants, set to charge their usual exorbitant prices for the night's... More »

In the Presence of Women, Guys Stuff Their Faces

Women, meanwhile, feel more rushed when eating with men

(Newser) - In what is likely an attempt to "show off," men eat more in the presence of women than in front of other men, according to new research out of Cornell University . In fact, in the study published this month in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science , researchers say that... More »

Table for One? We're Dining Alone More

Which might be healthier for light eaters anyway

(Newser) - Dining by yourself used to get you seated with a pitying glance and free refills on your self-consciousness, but America, it seems, has largely gotten over itself on that count: Reservations for one have shot up by some 62% over the past two years, reports OpenTable in an analysis of... More »

Going Out Alone Is Actually a Good Thing

Drop that fear of looking like a loser, researchers say

(Newser) - Sitting in restaurants or movie theaters all alone isn't nearly as depressing as you might think—in fact, researchers say, you'll actually like it. They decided this after surveying people about whether they preferred to engage in certain activities alone or with others, and then studying subjects' reactions... More »

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 »

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