Introducing OpenTable's 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016!

Introducing OpenTable’s 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016!

Introducing OpenTable's 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016!

Another year of standout dining experiences has come and gone — and thanks to our reviews, we’ve heard about many of them from diners first-hand.

Today, we’re excited to celebrate the 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016, based on more than 10 million restaurant reviews of more than 24,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified OpenTable diners. These are the restaurants consistently putting out delicious dishes, providing impeccable hospitality, and paying attention to every detail to orchestrate one-of-a-kind dining experiences time and again.

The complete list features restaurants in 30 states and the District of Columbia, including Oriole in Chicago, Le Coucou in New York, and Zahav in Philadelphia, to name a few. New York has the most winning restaurants with 13 spots, followed by California (12), and Virginia (seven). Similar to last year’s list, established restaurants account for the majority of winners, but several restaurants that opened in 2016 (such as Oriole) also earned recognition.

We sweat the details,” says Cara Sandoval, Oriole’s General Manager. “Everything matters, from the ease of making the reservation, the tone of voice we use when we call to confirm, the genuine enthusiasm we greet each guest with, how perfect the table setting is, the volume of the music, the time it takes to get something they asked for, thinking ahead for guests so they’re never in need of anything. I can go on and on. You have to be maniacal, but you also have to enjoy it. Then it becomes natural.” 

Fine-dining and casual elegant dining establishments make up the majority of the list, and most restaurants in the top 100 embrace sustainability, seasonality, and house-made ingredients, including cheese and charcuterie. While American and French cuisines are the most popular, global flavors star on many of the menus, from regional Italian dishes to Middle Eastern specialties.

In celebration of the announcement, we asked the teams at Oriole and Hudson Valley’s Peck’s Arcade — both new to our 100 Best list — to share her top tips for earning rave reviews from guests. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Get everyone on board with the same vision. “Everyone has to be on board and understand what the restaurant is trying to accomplish, no matter what their position is,” says Cara of Oriole. “Every single person in the restaurant affects the service.”
  2. Take action. “We have meetings constantly and we talk about what we can do to make someone’s experience special,” she adds. “The more brain power, the better.”
  3. Trust your team. “Our leadership team has incredibly high expectations, but as long as our teams are meeting those expectations, we let everyone be themselves,” says Heather LaVine, co-owner of Peck’s Arcade.
  4. Listen to your guests… Guests will give you clues, Cara says. “Then you can take steps to make them feel great.”
  5. …And get to know them. “No matter why you are coming in, you should feel special,” says Heather. “We strive to remember names, favorite wines, where children go to college, anniversaries, etc. The second, third, fourth time you come in should feel as special as the first time or a special occasion.”
  6. Love what you do. “And surround yourself with people who feel the same,” says Heather. “If you don’t care about people, this probably isn’t the right industry for you.” Adds Cara: “Love it so much that you want your life to revolve around it.”
  7. Build a place that you and your employees want to be every day. Your team will grow with you and eventually teach others. “It’s so important to treat them well and show them how much you appreciate them,” says Cara. Heather agrees:

“We’re happy getting up and going to work, and it shows. A day does not go by without a guest complimenting someone on the team or talking more generally about how happy everyone seems. We share so many laughs and a lot of love and trust. And, we never think we’re good enough. We always know we can be better and work toward being better daily.”

Introducing OpenTable's 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016!

In partnership with All-Clad, we will celebrate all winning restaurants with a commemorative pan. See the full list below!

2016 100 Best Restaurants in America

Acquerello – San Francisco, California
Addison Restaurant – San Diego, California
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen – Memphis, Tennessee
Angelini Osteria – Los Angeles, California
Antebellum – Flowery Branch, Georgia
Arabellas Italian Ristorante – Winter Haven, Florida
Arethusa al Tavolo – Bantam, Connecticut
Ariana – Bend, Oregon
Auberge du Soleil – Rutherford, California
barmini by by José Andrés – Washington, D.C.
Barrio Café Gran Reserva – Phoenix, Arizona
Bavettes – Chicago, Illinois
Bibou – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bida Manda Restaurant and Bar – Raleigh, North Carolina
Bistro L’Hermitage – Woodbridge, Virginia
Bistro San Martin – Arlington, Virginia
Bliss Restaurant – San Antonio, Texas
Bolete Restaurant – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bones – Atlanta, Georgia
Café Juanita – Kirkland, Washington
Café Provence – Prairie Villa, Kansas
Camp Verde General Store and Restaurant – Camp Verde, Texas
The Capital Grille – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Carlos’ Bistro – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Castagna Restaurant – Portland, Oregon
The Cellar – Daytona Beach, Florida
Chachama Grill – East Patchogue, New York
Chama Gaucha – San Antonio, Texas
Charleston – Baltimore, Maryland
Chef’s Table at Edgewater – Winter Garden, Florida
Chez Francois – Vermillion, Ohio
Chez Nous French Restaurant – Humble, Texas
Circle Brunch-The Breakers – Palm Beach, Florida
Collage Restaurant – St. Augustine, Florida
Daniel – New York, New York
Fat Canary – Williamsburg, Virginia
Fearrington House Restaurant – Pittsboro, North Carolina
Fleurie – Charlottesville, Virginia
Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar – Memphis, Tennessee
Franklinville Inn – Franklinville, New Jersey
The French Room – Dallas Texas
Geronimo – Santa Fe, New Mexico
goosefoot – Chicago, Illinois
The Goodstone Inn & Estate Restaurant – Middleburg, Virginia
Gramercy Tavern – New York, New York
Halls Chophouse – Charleston, South Carolina
Harold Black – Washington, D.C.
Harvest Beat – Seattle, Washington
Heirloom – Midway, Kentucky
Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham, Alabama
The Hobbit – Orange, California
The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, Virginia
Ijji Sushi – San Francisco, California
Joan’s in the Park – Saint Paul, Minnesota
Kai – Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Resort – Chandler, Arizona
The Kitchen Restaurant – Sacramento, California
Kokkari Estiatoro – San Francisco, California
KUSAKABE – San Francisco, California
L’Auberge Chez François – Great Falls, Virginia
L’Opposum – Richmond, Virginia
Le Coucou – New York, New York
The Little Dipper – Wilmington, North Carolina
Maison Blanche – Longboat Key, Florida
Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Michael’s-South Point Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada
Mistral – Sherman Oaks, California
Mizuna – Denver, Colorado
The Modern-Dining Room – New York, New York
Monarch – Scottsdale, Arizona
o ya – New York, New York
Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, Ohio
Oriole – Chicago, Illinois
The Painted Lady – Newberg, Oregon
Peck’s Arcade – Troy, New York
Per Se – New York, New York
Peter Shields Inn – Cape May, New Jersey
The Phoenician-Afternoon Tea – Scottsdale, Arizona
Quince Restaurant – San Francisco, California
The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge – Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Restaurant Lorena’s – Maplewood, New Jersey
Roe – Portland, Oregon
Russells’s Steaks, Chops, and More – Williamsville, New York
Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar – Galveston, Texas
Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Saddle River Inn – Saddle River, New Jersey
Saint Jacques French Cuisine – Raleigh, North Carolina
Seasons Restaurant-Four Seasons – Washington, D.C.
Sette – Bernardsville, New Jersey
Ski Tip Lodge – Keystone, Colorado
Sotto – Cincinnati, Ohio
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards – Santa Rosa, California
State & Lemp – Boise, Idaho
Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch – Santa Barbara, California
Sushi Nakazawa-Sushi Bar – New York, New York
The Table at Season To Taste – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Terra Restaurant – St. Helena, California
Thomas Henkelmann-Homestead Inn – Greenwich, Connecticut
The Trattoria – Saint James, New York
Trattoria L’incontro – Astoria, New York
Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House – Austin, Texas
Vetri – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Yono’s Restaurant – Albany, New York
Zahav – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Images courtesy of Zahav and Oriole.
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