Local Restaurant Week returns
blog by S.J. Velasquez • September 23, 2011 @ 8:48am
I picked one of the two worst weeks of the year to go on a seven-day yam diet.
Monday marks the beginning of Local Restaurant Week, the anticipated time of year when diners hit all the area foodie hot spots to steal special dining deals. The way it usually works is this: a really great locally-owned restaurant offers a few awesome multiple-course meals for a reduced dollar amount, for one week only—through Oct. 2 in this case.
This year, the price is $21.11 for a meal. Some restaurants offer modified deals—two people get full meals for $21.11, for example. Check the official Local Restaurant Week website for specifics on what your restaurant of choice is offering and charging for chow.
More than 200 restaurants are participating in the week of discount eats, and it’s honestly a really great opportunity to try a new place. Ben T. and I went a little pub crazy in the spring. We ate at W.J. Morrissey’s and Colter Bay. I’d enjoyed a few drinks at both places, but I’d never ordered food before restaurant week. I’ve since been back to both establishments for a meal. Thanks for opening my eyes to new eating experiences, LRW!
According to LRW organizer Vincent McConeghy, 42 new eateries have been added to the restaurant lineup, and the new guys are pretty impressive. Here are some of the newbies, just to name a few: Bambino, SoHo, Isle View, Mangoz, Basket Factory, Danny’s Airport and The Oak Room.
“We want to keep our unique identity and fight the influx of chains every step of the way,” Peter Longo of the New York State Restaurant Association said in a news release. “Twice a year we sponsor Local Restaurant Week because we think it is important to draw the distinction to the public as to who is an independent operator in this community. Our independents are fully invested. They are all in. And they are not sitting back waiting for better days. They are the agents of change.”
Don Burtless from BuffaloEats.org and I previewed some of the dishes being served by spring restaurant week participants. We hopped on a party bus with Buffalo’s notable food aficionados and sampled dishes from Oliver’s, Seabar, Shango and Creekview. So much good food in just a few hours. Watch the video of our food odyssey here. And check out the promo video below to get a background on what local restauranteurs have to offer in the week ahead.
Photo courtesy of Flickr / Steven Depolo.