Knoxville Restaurant Week is set for Feb. 24 through March 1 and, already, more restaurants than ever before have signed up to participate, according to Elaine Streno, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank, the beneficiary of Restaurant Week.
Here’s how it works. Participating restaurants offer special three-course meal deals at a cost of either $25 or $35. Five dollars from every meal sold benefits Second Harvest. So it’s a win-win-win. The restaurants get extra customers during a typically slow time; Second Harvest gets an infusion of cash; and the rest of us get a good deal.
Streno said at a kick-off event at Ruth’s Chris Steak House last night that Second Harvest hopes to raise at least $30,000 from Restaurant Week this year. If you’d like to see what eateries are participating, click here to go to a news release with that information. Or click here to go to the Restaurant Week website. Be sure to check back next week, though, because restaurants have until Monday to sign up to participate. So there likely will be even more from which to choose after that.
“Knoxville has some really good places to eat. We have some exceptional restaurants and some amazing chefs, and we want to encourage people to find out what’s out here,” said Paul Hohe, general manager of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. “Restaurant Week is a fantastic way for the restaurants to showcase what they have on offer and attract new guests, and it has the potential to be a major event for the city and a huge tourist draw. And, of course, we’re raising money for Second Harvest Food Bank, a very worthwhile charity.” Hohe was one of the original developers of Restaurant Week when it was instigated three years ago.
Restaurant Week fans will be glad to know that past Restaurant Week favorites, including Fleming’s, The Orangery, The Melting Pot, Brazeiro’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and many more, are returning for a third year with sumptuous new specialty menus. For 2013, several newcomers also are joining the roster, including Windows on the Park, Tupelo Honey Café, and the Volunteer Princess, which will offer a two-hour cruise as part of its package.
More than 35 participating local restaurants currently are accepting reservations for the week-long event. Making reservations early is important because popular restaurants fill up as the week approaches. That’s why Alan and I, along with our friends Gay and Bill Lyons, already have made reservations to go to Ruth’s Chris during the festive week. We still are considering where else to go.
Pilot Flying J is the presenting sponsor of this event. Other sponsors include more than 30 leading Knoxville restaurants, US Foods, the City of Knoxville, Knox County, Visit Knoxville, Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association, the Knoxville News Sentinel and Moxley Carmichael.
Knoxville restaurants may still register to participate by visiting the website or calling Teri Lux at 865-521-0000.
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, a member of Feeding America, has worked to eliminate hunger since 1982. In 2012, this organization provided food for more than 12.2 million meals in 18 counties in East Tennessee. With nine major programs and 525 Agency/Food Partners, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee serves approximately 168,000 people each month.