25 Spoons Contest

March 1, 2007

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As you may know, I always kick myself for missing the bi-annual “Twenty-Five for 25″ promotion. Not so this time! Starting today, for the month of March you can get a relatively inexpensive three-course meal at some great restaurants around town.

To celebrate this festival of prix-fixe bargain-hunting, we decided to put on a contest. Basically, whoever can cram in the most “Twenty-Five for 25″ restaurants in the month of March wins. And we’ve got prizes that will bring joy to anyone who would bother to participate in this contest. Dinner for two on us, you choose where.

Read more about the contest – on your marks, get set, EAT!

Beantown

February 5, 2007

We’ve just launched Urbanspoon Boston! Coincidentally, I was in Boston and ate at a nice little Italian place, Piccolo Nido, almost exactly one year ago today.

Boston looks pretty cool at night, check it out.

Oh, and if you (like me) wondered why Boston is called Beantown, look no further.

Cities at Night

January 10, 2007

Sometimes you just blunder into a new feature. When we were setting up New York and Chicago, we thought it would be useful to have a visualization of all the restaurants in a city, divided by neighborhood. This was just to spot errors in our data.

Funny thing is, it looked really cool. At least to us. Kind of like flying over a city on a dark night, except only the restaurants have their lights on. In New York, for example, we have over 23,000 restaurants and it’s amazing how well the shape of the landscape and population density can be revealed with just restaurants.

So we decided to put it out there for you all to play with. Here’s the “night-time” view of Chicago, New York and Seattle.

What do you think?

Gotham and the Windy City

January 8, 2007

Happy New Year! I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday break, and that your resolutions are still intact a week into the year.

While there was plenty of eating and celebrating over the holiday, and while I haven’t written on the blog in far too long, we weren’t completely idle the past few weeks here at Urbanspoon.

We added New York City with its 23,602 restaurants and Chicago’s 7,894 restaurants to the site. Technically, that means we’re now nation-wide (if not nation-tall).

Check it out!

Thanks Seattlest!

December 15, 2006

Seattlest wrote a really nice piece about Urbanspoon the other day – check it out:

http://www.seattlest.com/archives/2006/12/11/
urbanforknspoon_is_the_best_restaurant_guide_in_seattle.php

Spoonback

December 7, 2006

Since embarking on this little project, Urbanspoon, I’ve become increasingly aware of just how little I know about food. I love to eat, but compared to food bloggers like Hillel at Tasting Menu or Pim at Chez Pim, I’m a total novice. It turns out (you probably already knew this) that food blogging is huge. All of these dedicated people eating and assaying and photographing and then putting it all down in virtual print for the benefit of the rest of us.

I knew practically nothing about this resource, and I’m guessing that’s true for a lot of people. So there’s a need to connect diners with food bloggers, and vice-versa. We’ve added a feature to do our part to help.

Bloggers - Spoonback is a way for you to share your posts on restaurants with everyone on Urbanspoon. You can see what it looks like on blogs like Megan’s iheartbacon, Matthew’s Roots and Grubs, Thomas’ Cuisineazine, or Laurel’s LBlog. And you can see how these posts are shown on Urbanspoon for restaurants like Crow and Tilth.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Pick a restaurant that you’re reviewing on your blog, go to the restaurant page on Urbanspoon, and click the link “add your review to this page”.
  2. Pick an image link (there are a bunch on that page to choose from, some really tiny, some bigger with more interesting info) that you want to add to your blog post.
  3. Copy the html into your blog post.

From there Spoonback will take over. It will notice the image, read in your post, and show a snippet from your post and a link to your blog from the restaurant’s page on Urbanspoon.

Dinner and a movie

November 21, 2006

Eating out isn’t always just about the meal. Sometimes dinner is just one piece of a larger evening agenda. We added a feature a couple of days ago that might be a help when you’re planning a night out – at least if the plan involves restaurants and movies.

Pick the movie theater you’re going to and you’ll get a list of the restaurants within walking distance, rated by popularity and price.

For instance let’s say you want to see Volver at the Egyptian (opening there this Wednesday). Like me you might notice that Via Tribunali (on my wishlist) is right up the street. So now you’ve got a perfectly good excuse to go to a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.

We also added a similar deal for the hotels in town, for those who might be visiting Seattle and looking for a place near their room.

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