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February 28, 2011

Blackboard Eats Membership Giveaway

It seems there are new daily deal sites appearing on the internet every day - to the point that it seems almost embarassing to be paying for anything full price. One of my favorite guilty pleasures every morning is to peruse all the sample sale sites as I'm eating my cereal...because, of course, buying a $1500 LV purse for $800 is such an amazing deal.

Actually, if I could afford $800 purses with impunity, I probably wouldn't need to wait for them to go on sale. And I'd rather direct my discretionary income towards food. (Although if that purse goes down to $ me!)

I was excited to learn about Blackboard Eats, a site that delivers weekly deals on restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. There's also an "Everywhere" edition that promotes of-the-moment foodstuffs, like Blue Bottle Coffee.

The deal is generally 30% off your meal or a prix fixe menu. As a bonus, the featured restaurants have been researched by Blackboard Eats' editors and the site includes their reviews and menu picks.


I used one of their most recent SF passcodes to visit Contigo, a charmingly unpretentious Spanish tapas kitchen in Noe Valley. Contigo has earned a soft spot in the hearts of many foodies, as many of them (including me) followed chef Brett Emerson's documentation of the journey to open Contigo on his wonderful blog In Praise of Sardines.


above left: Chef Emerson at work in the beautiful open kitchen. right: yes, there are sardines on the menu. Namely, wood oven roasted sardines and avocado on toast with pickled onions and smoked sea salt. Oh. Yes.

We all rejoiced when Contigo opened. And also because the tapas are so fantastically tasty. I had the seven course tasting menu, which included the sardines above as well as:


above left: the irresistibly named Truffle Hunter's Lunch - olive oil fried farm egg with jamon serrano and perigord black truffle. right: did someone say Dungeness crab season? perfectly light and creamy Dungeness crab croquetta with saffron aioli.

Dessert was a no-brainer, as well:


Barcelona style hot chocolate - thick enough for one of those fried-to-order churros to get stuck in. You'll drain that cup with not one iota of guilt, it's so good.

The Contigo offer is over, although you definitely should still visit Contigo! Every week new restaurants are featured on Blackboard Eats.

To get in on the deals, you can either buy a passcode for an individual deal for $1, or you can get an annual membership for $20, which allows you access to as many passcodes as you want. I'm pleased to offer two memberships to Blackboard Eats, to the city of your choice, to Dessert First readers!

To enter, leave a comment naming your favorite new restaurant you tried last year. I'll pick two winners at random. Please note that the cities currently covered by Blackboard Eats are San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, and the memberships are not transferable, so enter only if you're able to use the membership!

Contest runs through Friday, March 4 and I'll announce the winners on Monday, March 7. Good luck!


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My favorite new restaurant from last yr is Plum in Oakland. Cool building, good food. I can't wait to go back.

Thanks for donig the raffle! I am in NY and the best new restaurant i tried in 2010 was ABC Kitchen. =)

Right before the new year, I tried Paisan. It's a still-new Italian food restaurant that recently opened in the East Bay (Berkeley). It has a wood fired oven (which turns out some seriously great pizza) and some excellent potential. I say "potential" because the restaurant is still working out its newbie kinks. But, I look forward to it growing into itself and working my way through their menu.

I`ve never eaten churros and I want to try this! I think with hot chocolate sauce it must be delicious...isn`t it?

The favorite new restaurant I tried last year was Spork (in SF).

Last year, I tried Bocadillos for the first time. So good! Their sandwiches are the perfect size, and they have great salads, too!

Last year, I tried Bocadillos for the first time - so good! Their sandwiches are the perfect size, and they have great salads, too!

I live in Boston, but go to New York several times a year so this would be great. Since I eat in Boston more often I would have to say Barbara Lynch's "Drink" is the best new place I went last year. It doesn't have a full menu, but the place is AWESOME and the bar menu is great too. If you travel to Boston or live there and you appreciate good cocktails and small plates you need to try this place. I can't wait to try her restaurant Menton when I strike it rich (hopefully that will be soon) :)

Meatball Shop in NYC. Not only the juiciest, tastiest meatballs, but the best ice cream sandwiches in the city!

So many good, new restaurants opened in SF last year. It's so hard to choose, but I would say Zero Zero. Good ambiance, great pizzas, and reasonably priced.

Izakaya Sozai in San Francisco. The ramen is pretty addicting. All the small dishes are so memorable and unique!

Restaurant Ducroix in SF. An unassuming little gem of a French restaurant where you'd least expect it. Makes me want to cozy up with a glass of wine & some scrumptious onion soup. Mmmm...

oo! well i am not in any of those cities so i probably won't join the giveaway, but mmm those photos look so yummy! i'm jealous!

Last year I tried authentic Ramen not out of a Styrofoam cup, and it was at an amazing place in LA called Daikokuya. Best find of 2010 hands down!

My new favourite restaurant is Cotogna...prix fixe for $24 what a deal and the pasta is amazing!!

Marnee Thai in the sunset and Le P'tit Laurent in glen park

My favorite new restaurant last year is Bella Napoli! It's has fast food in the afternoon, but at night they turn into an all out legit italian restaurant with the most delicious pasta and garlic bread ever!

My new favorite restaurant from last year: Frances!

Without a doubt . . . Best restaurant last year was Bottega in Yountville (not quite in SF, but close enuff?? . . .)

We visited New Orleans for the first time last year and tried John Besh's Luke Restaurant. It was so good that during our 4 day trip, we ended up going twice.

Love Contigo, thanks for reminding me.


Gather in Berkeley. I'm not a vegan, but the vegan charcuterie and the pizza with cashew creme (rather than cheese) are amazing.

Your food presentation looks so great. It makes food more delicious.

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