Whether you're a dedicated "foodie" or a burger and beer kind of gal, Restaurant Week Grand Rapids' offerings are sure to tempt your palate. More than sixty restaurants are participating, ranging from the immediate downtown area to the surrounding suburbs. Use the online menu to peruse participating restaurants' special menu offerings—either a three-course meal for one for $28, or a three-course dinner for two for $28, with several special choices for each course. Sally Zarafonetis, project manager of Restaurant Week Grand Rapids, says the event gives diners an opportunity to explore restaurants that might normally be beyond their budget. "It's less intimidating," she said. "You know the menu and the price point before you go in." It's also a chance for chefs to showcase local ingredients and flex their culinary creativity.
Maps showing participating restaurants are available at Founders Bank & Trust, on Monroe Avenue, and Ferris Coffee & Nut Co., on Winter Avenue NW. You can also print your own by visiting the Restaurant Week Grand Rapids page.
To plan an evening out, Zarafonetis recommends picking up a map in advance, reviewing the menus online, and contacting restaurants you're interested in visiting. Not all will take reservations, but many do. "More popular restaurants tend to book up fast, especially on the weekends," she said.
In the downtown area, participating restaurants are as varied as Judson's Steakhouse, Gilly's, and Bobarino's at the B.O.B.; Charley's Crab, CitySen, Osteria Rossa, San Chez, and many breweries and lounges.
Outside of the city center, Blue Water Grill, Spinnaker, Cork Wine & Grill, Osta's Lebanese Cuisine, Shiraz Grille, Pietro's Italian Restaurant, Houlihan's, and Rose's on Reeds Lake offer a variety of dining experiences. Even some chain restaurants, including Applebee's, Bagger Dave's, local favorite Brann's, and Buffalo Wild Wings, are joining in! And many restaurants in surrounding towns are participating, among them Reds on the River (Rockford), Lindo Mexico (Wyoming), RiverHouse Ada, Amore Trattoria Italiana (Comstock Park), Flat River Grill (Lowell), and Rush Creek Bistro (Grandville).
In addition to delectable dining, two contests will be underway during Restaurant Week. Experience Grand Rapids is hosting the #RWGR Instagram Contest. Photos and videos will be accepted during Restaurant Week, for a chance at winning one of ten $50 gift cards to a participating Restaurant Week eatery. To enter, participants must include the #RWGR hashtag in the Instagram photo caption, and claim the photo in a link that will appear as a comment as soon as the photograph is accepted. Participants are encouraged to take photos of food, dining out with friends, cocktails, and anything else that captures the Restaurant Week experience. Restaurants will compete in the Grand Cocktail Contest, with categories for Best Woodford Summer Cocktail and Best Woodford Old Fashioned, which will be chosen through online voting.
To learn more and see promotions from participating restaurants, visit Restaurant Week Grand Rapids on Facebook.