Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nowadays, There's Practically Always a Restaurant Week Somewhere

Deviled eggs and other dishes from The Cecil, which calls itself New York City's first Afro-Asian restaurant. Photo from The Cecil Facebook page.

FROM The Cecil's Duo of Deviled Duck Eggs to Cafe Colore's Frangelico Espresso Panna Cotta, special soup is on – all around the United States.

One newly notable occurrence of the new year is the start of a restaurant week somewhere in this patch of God's green earth called the United States. Alexandria, Ann Arbor, Bethlehem, Charleston and Charlotte have closed the kitchen on deals on meals. Take heart, it is only February with plenty of discount dining to be digested over the next weeks and months. To begin, where it all started.

NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2014 ( opened on Monday and shutters on 7 March. As has become customary, this old dish has a new spice. For this seating, it is the #NYCRestaurantWeek Photo Contest on Instagram.

Diners who post a photo of their dining experience – a meal, the restaurant itself, themselves, etc. – at any of the more than 300 participating eateries with the hashtag, #NYCRestaurantWeek, will qualify for an opportunity to win at least $500 in gift cards to select New York City restaurants.

A panel of celebrity judges will select a winning photo each of the three weeks. Sweet! And savory!, no?

The price of NYC restaurant week meals has been bumped up a tad to $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. As usual, the special prices are good for three courses, excluding tax, tip beverages and Saturdays. Increasing numbers of restaurants have extended the deal to Sundays.

New York restaurant week is now in its 22nd year and is the original, a point that its organizer, NYC & Company, has lately taken pains to point out in promotional materials and press releases. Perhaps, the city's marketing, tourism concern has had its fill of flattery from its myriad imitators.

Indeed, cities across the country (and the world) have taken the concept and made substitutions palatable to their locale, though practically all follow New York's lead by including the exclusions.

Some other restaurant weeks this month include the one in the home of rock 'n' roll. Kitchens open on Friday (21 Feb.) through 2 March for Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week ( Diners can sample the fare of nearly 50 restaurants and growing (check the Web site frequently for additions) for $15 at lunch (specials) and $30 at dinner (three courses).

Lola Bistro's Scallops with Leek, Sweet potato, Bacon, Mustard and Lemon is thought to do Cleveland proud. Photo from Lola Bistro Facebook page.

While the Broncos team was embarrassed in Super Bowl XLVIII, its home city will not be similarly slaughtered on Saturday (22 Feb.) through 28 Feb. if Cafe Colore has any say in the matter, and it does.

It is on one of several hundred restaurants (and counting) represented in the 10th edition of Denver Restaurant Week. ( In Denver, it is a dinner-only deal: $60 for two or $30 for one (multiple courses).

Multiple dining plans await the famished set for the sixth Orange County Restaurant Week (; see promotional video above). Lunch at the top 100 (approximately) is served for $10, $15 or $20, while dinner goes for $20, $30 or $40.

Can one surmise that Cafe Colore's Frangelico Espresso Panna Cotta will be a treat if it looks half as good as the Denver eatery's Cappuccino Panna Cotta? Photo from Cafe Colore Facebook page.

A sample: Royal Khyber's $15 lunch of Basil Coconut Curried Chicken. (Boneless cubed chicken breasts, cooked in coconut curry and basil).

Restaurant Week now and upcoming

Long Island (NY) Restaurant Week 2 Nov. – 9 Nov.
Seattle Dine Around 2 Nov. – 30 Nov.
Hudson Valley (New York) Restaurant Week 3 Nov. – 16 Nov.
Restaurant Week Hawaii 17 Nov. – 23 Nov.


Google NAME OF CITY and RESTAURANT WEEK to find a restaurant week near you and/or follow VEVLYN'S PEN on Twitter (,

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