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More Than Two Dozen Restaurants Commit to Inaugural West Hartford Restaurant Week

Prix fixe menus will be available at restaruants throughout West Hartford during the inaugural Restaurant Week. Courtesy Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & WIne Bar (we-ha.com file photo)

Guests are invited to ‘Dine for Good’ during the inaugural West Hartford Restaurant Week.

By Ronni Newton

Plans for the inaugural West Hartford Restaurant Week are well underway, and already the event is exceeding expectations.

As of Friday afternoon, 28 restaurants had already signed up. When the event was announced just last week, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner thought there might be 20 participants and was pleased with that, but now is thrilled with the reception the event has received among restaurant owners and thinks the total may reach at least 30.

“This includes all of West Hartford,” Lerner said, and is a chance to showcase the diverse array of culinary offerings from throughout the entire town.

The inaugural West Hartford Restaurant Week, which will be held from Tuesday, Aug. 28 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.

Not only will diners be able to enjoy prix-fixe meals at a discount – with menu items including $20, $30, or $40 specials, and $12 lunch specials – but they will also be supporting Foodshare, a local nonprofit that serves the hungry and food insecure in Hartford and Tolland counties. Five percent of all Restaurant Week menu sales will be donated to Foodshare.

“Foodshare is honored to be the beneficiary of the first West Hartford Restaurant Week. We hope that everyone will come out to support West Hartford’s restaurants and in turn, our neighbors who worry about having enough food for their families,” said Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski, who is a West Hartford resident. “Last year, Foodshare provided nearly 12 million meals to our network of 300 local partner programs – food pantries, shelters, and community kitchens, including those here in West Hartford. The proceeds from West Hartford Restaurant week will allow us to continue this important work.”

Some of the restaurants will plan a special menu for the week, while others will offer discounts on existing menus.

As of July 27, the list of participating restaurants includes: Artisan, Arugula, Àvert Brasserie, Blue Elephant Trail, Blue Plate Kitchen, The Cook & The Bear, Corner Pug, Cora Cora, Division West, East-West Grill, Effie’s Place, Elbow Room, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Flora, Grant’s, Harry’s Pizzeria & Tavern, Luna Pizza, Max Burger, Max’s Oyster Bar, Ocho Café, Park & Oak, Pond House Café, Prai Kitchen, Prospect Café, Restaurant Bricco, Savoy, Sliders, and Vinted.

An Instagram contest will also take place during Restaurant Week, and diners posting photos and details about their experiences with the hashtag #WHRestaurantWeek will have a chance to win a $100 gift card to the restaurant of their choice.

Lerner said that the “Dine for Good” inaugural West Hartford Restaurant Week has been organized by and is a collaboration between the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Foodshare and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. It is being supported by the West Hartford Center Business Association, Park Road Association, Elmwood Business Association, Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association, and the Home Design District.

“The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce is excited to be part of the first West Hartford Restaurant Week. What a wonderful way to promote our incredible diversity of food choices throughout our town. This is a great way for people to try a new restaurant, featuring a prix-fixe menu that highlights their specialties,” Lerner said in an announcement.

Liz Kiyak, operating partner at Fleming’s, is one of the coordinators of the event, and is excited to kick off the town’s first restaurant week. “West Hartford Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to and show off our town’s diverse food scene, which celebrates a plethora of flavors and culinary experiences. West Hartford locals and in-the-know foodies already embrace the town’s amazing chefs and restaurants and now its time for others to discover them,” she said.

Lerner said Thursday that if all goes as planned, West Hartford Restaurant Week may happen twice a year – in August and January. “That’s another slow time for restaurants,” she said.

For more information, including an up-to-date list of participating restaurants, please visit www.whrestaurantweek.com or @whrestaurantweek on Instagram, as well as West Hartford Restaurant Week on Facebook.

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