WESTMONT – The Westmont Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau will initiate and sponsor the first-ever Westmont Restaurant Week beginning March 9 and continuing through end of business March 19. Chamber Executive Director Larry Forssberg is excited over the inaugural line-up stating, “It’s wonderful to see so many of our restaurants coming together to create this event for our residents and neighbors alike and further set our village apart.” But first, let’s define Restaurant Week for those who are either unfamiliar or have not had the chance to experience one firsthand.
Restaurant weeks are commonplace throughout the United States, but all trace their roots back to the first one hosted by New York City in 1992. Conceived by Tim Zagat, founder of the world famous Zagat Surveys, which reviewed restaurants worldwide before acquisition by Google in 2011, and important – think Windows on the World Restaurant important – New York City restauranteur Joe Baum, the Restaurant Week concept has now spread to hundreds of U.S. cities. Many vacationers plan trips to coincide with various Restaurant Weeks around the country so as to reduce travel expenditure but increase travel exposure…and waistlines!
Restaurant Weeks also have become a powerful economic engine for many communities. The idea is simple. Restaurants create a value priced menu featuring some of their favorite offerings at discounted pricing. This, in turn, allows residents and guests alike to try new restaurants that perhaps they otherwise would not. It’s good for the restaurant as well as the surrounding community as new diners will often return if they enjoy their experience and take advantage of other businesses and services in these communities.
Restaurant discounts are traded for volume and the opportunity to draw new customers. New customers who enjoy the experience become returning customers throughout the rest of the year. In the last year, I’ve participated in Restaurant Weeks in Chicago, New York, San Diego and Savannah, along with several smaller communities, and enjoyed each one.
Additionally, Restaurant Week has become a global event reaching as far away as Taiwan and even branching into international American Restaurant Week in foreign countries such as Cambodia. The first-ever American Restaurant Week in Cambodia took place from June 27 to July 4, 2016, which is Independence Day in the United States. In honor of this holiday, the U.S. Embassy partnered with 20 select restaurants to bring a diverse array of American food to the Cambodian public. Even the Mall of America, considered a small country by some, has its own Restaurant Week.
This year, 19 Westmont establishments have joined the party, from Amber Café to Woodgrain Neapolitan Pizzeria and 17 more restaurants in between. From coffee to craft brews, breakfast to fine dining, India to Italy, Mediterranean to Mexican, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!
For the inaugural event, restaurants were asked to design fixed price options at any or all of the following price points…$10, $20, $30 and $40. This price point excludes beverages (unless specifically stated), tax and gratuity. Restaurant Week offers are not valid with any other offer.
Some restaurants will choose specific items for the entire day; others will have different lunch and dinner options. The wide range of price points also allows more of our restaurants to participate. Discounts average 10 percent to 40 percent, although each participant determines their specific offering.
Diners may visit as many restaurants as they wish, return as often as they would like. It’s an excellent opportunity to try a new venue or revisit an old friend. If your favorite Westmont restaurant is not on the list, encourage them to participate next year.
Space limitations prevent me from listing every opportunity, but here are a few highlights. Myths and Legends Brewing Company will offer two draft beer servings and a 22-ounce bottle to take home for $10! Bakersfield Wood Fired Grill has a beautiful two-course lunch for $20 along with both $30 and $40 three- or four-course dinners. Each has a nice selection of options including salmon, scallops and chops.
Enjoy coffee and muffins for two at Brewed Awakening for $10. Thirty dollars at Vincitori’s gets you a three-course dinner with a beef medallion trio as one of the options. How about a couple of DJ’s Sports Bar & Grill cheeseburgers with fries along with chips, salsa and cheese sauce for $20?
Citrus Diner brings four breakfast/lunch choices to the table for $10 including the stuffed berry french toast, while the Standard Market Grill features a menu for two at $20 including the C.R.B.L.T. grilled chicken BLT. Amber Café checks in with a $30 dinner menu featuring all new options like lamb sausage (as a starter) and pan-seared rainbow trout as an entrée.
Uncle Bub’s brings two chicken choices for $10 and a full slab of baby back ribs with sides for $20. An individual unlimited topping pizza and a fountain drink can be had at Woodgrain Neapolitan Pizza for $10. Enjoy a bottle of Pioneer Wine and a special Westmont cheese board for $30 at The Cube at Standard Market. The Tap House Grill comes in with $10, $20 and $30 options, each with choices!
Papa Passero’s checks in with two half slabs of ribs with accompaniments and dessert for $30. Three smoked brisket tacos are available all day at Standard Tacos & Margaritas for $10.
Saffron has its famous lunch buffet available for one or two at $10 or $20, respectively, and several nice options from its acclaimed dinner menu at either $30 or $40 price points. B. Restaurant at the Hilton Oak Brook Hills provides a three-course lunch for $20 and three-course dinner for either $30 or $40, many featuring honey collected on premise.
If you are a Westmont chamber member or interested in becoming one, the chamber will host a Reveal Party at its semi-annual Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Westmont Center. At the event, final menus will be on display along with samples of various food items.
For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit the Westmont chamber website at westmontchamber.com and click on the colorful Restaurant Week logo. In addition to the participating restaurant list, you’ll find all the rules and links to each specially designed restaurant week offering.
With more than 90 dining options and the ability to truly “dine around the world in Westmont," here’s a great opportunity to step out and try something new. So get your friends together, loosen your belts and enjoy the many tasty dining experiences awaiting you in Westmont.
If you go
WHAT: Westmont Restaurant Week
WHERE: 19 venues throughout Westmont
WHEN: March 9 through 19
DRESS CODE: Casual
INFO: Call the restaurant directly or visit westmontchamber.com and click on the logo
RESERVATIONS: Variable – check with your restaurant
WI-FI: Available at most
NOISE FACTOR: Varies
PRICING: $ to $$$
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