As if we need a reason to celebrate food, restaurant weeks give us the perfect excuse to chow down. Not only do these weeks allow us to rejoice local cuisine, they provide the perfect excuse for sampling that new restaurant you’ve been just dying to try.
In Metro Detroit, numerous cities hold restaurant weeks throughout the four seasons, and this winter, Ann Arbor and Birmingham are getting in on the action. Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is up first, from Sunday, Jan. 18 through Friday, Jan. 23. Allow your belly and pocketbook to rest for a few days, and then get back on the horse when Birmingham Restaurant Week kicks off on Monday, Jan. 26 through Friday, Jan. 30. This one is a two parter, which begins again on Monday, Feb. 2 through Friday, Feb. 6.
This year, there are 56 different restaurants participating in Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, five of which are new on the scene. Those include The Slurping Turtle, Taste Kitchen, Mezzevino, Zola Bistro and Old Carolina Barbecue Company.
The restaurants participating in Ann Arbor restaurant week are offering a $15 lunch (with one, two or three courses) and/or $28 dinner (with a fixed price three course menu). Other participating restaurants include Arbor Brewing Company, Carson’s American Bistro, Grange Kitchen & Bar, The Lunch Room, Neopapalis, Prickly Pear Café and Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant.
“(Restaurant week) draws attention to the dining scene that we have in Ann Arbor and it highlights the fact that we have so many different types of cuisine here,” Maura Thomson, Executive Director of Ann Arbor’s Main Street Area Association, said.
The overall goal of Ann Arbor Restaurant week is to introduce people to the great restaurants the city has to provide, and to appreciate all of the hard work that the chefs, wait staff and restaurateurs put into the event (remember to tip well!).
“I think it gives you a chance to try some restaurants you wouldn’t normally try, because you’re not sure of the price point, or it’s a higher price point than your budget can handle,” Thomson said. She added that Restaurant Week offers great deals for families, office group lunches and dates.
To find out what each participating restaurant’s menu is offering for restaurant week, take a peek at the list of restaurants. It is highly advisable to make reservations before you go!
“People are starting to look at Detroit now as an up and coming place and a place to be, and it’s attracting a lot of creative people,” Thomson said. “There are a lot of creative food people here, and I think we’re attracting them.”
There are so many creative food people in the Metro Detroit area, in fact, they can’t all be contained to one place! That leads us to Birmingham Restaurant Week, where $15 three course lunches and $30 three course dinners will be offered throughout the two-week celebration.
Establishments participating in Birmingham Restaurant Week include Big Rock Chop House, Rojo Mexican Bistro, The Rugby Grille, Streetside Seafood, Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro, Toast, Hyde Park Prime and more. The full list of participating restaurants (as well as menu information) can be found here.
This year’s restaurant week is introducing a “Frequent Diner Incentive,” where each time you enjoy a Restaurant Week meal, you get to enter a raffle. Dine out every day of the week and you’ll up your chances to win a gift card to one of Birmingham’s many tasty restaurants.
Restaurant weeks are a great opportunity to try out a restaurant you might otherwise not, so get out there and sample some dishes in Ann Arbor and Birmingham in the coming weeks!