York restaurants try something new for Restaurant Week

Sean Philip Cotter
  • Thirty restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week York.
  • Restaurant Week will run from Saturday, Feb. 20 to 27.

Nicole Austin found a niche in York for herself and also sees one for the area in general.

Mudhook Brewing Co., 34 N. Cherry LN, York. Wednesday Feb. 17, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

The Copper Crust Co.'s pastry chef moved up to this area four years ago, and she and her husband, Sean, started doing what they didn't see anyone else in the area doing — making European-style pastries.

And that contributes to what she sees as a possible selling point for York — just as her home of the Hudson Valley in downstate New York is somewhere where NYC residents go for good food and an agricultural ambiance, that's what she thinks York County can be for Baltimore.

Sean Austin rolls out dough for Paris Bunns at the Copper Crust Cafe, located in Central Market, Thursday Feb. 18, 2016.  Copper Crust Cafe is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. John A. Pavoncello photo

"York could be the Hudson Valley of this area," she said.

During this year's Restaurant Week York — or #RWYork, for Twitter-inclined Yorkers — which runs from Saturday until Feb. 27, her restaurant, The Copper Crust Co., will do what many York City restaurants are doing: trying something new.

"It was almost all about the pastries," Nicole Austin said. "Even my pastry friends think I'm crazy."

But it's not anymore. For the Austins' Copper Crust, that new thing as an expanded "savory menu." That means lunch meals, featuring dishes such as slow-roasted prime rib.

That comes on the heels of the restaurant beginning to feature a Sunday brunch, for which the Austins smoke their own bacon, salmon and ham.

The restaurants:

Thirty York City establishments are taking part in Restaurant Week: Bair's Fried Chicken, Baron Von Schwein, BrewVino, The Busy Bee, Central Family Restaurant, Coomb's Tavern, DiCarlo's Pizza, Esaan Thai Restaurant,  Front Porch Cafe, The Green Bean Roasting Co., J.R.'s Fries at Central Market, The Left Bank Restaurant & Bar, Mezzogiorno, Mi Caldero Restaurant, Mudhook Brewing Co., Offcenter Grill at the Yorktowne Hotel, Roosevelt Tavern, Sharmini's Kitchen, Tutoni's, White Rose Bar and Grill, York Blue Moon, York City Pretzel Co., Glazin', i-ron-ic, Otto's Kitchen and Cocktails, The Copper Crust Co., The Holy Hound, Joyful Garden, Forno Bova and Coffee, Teas and Thee.

Elle and Patrick Fleming of Red Lion share a piece of carrot cake after dinner at Mudhook Brewing Co., 34 N. Cherry LN, York. Wednesday Feb. 17, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

The last eight of those places, including The Copper Crust Co., are participating in Restaurant Week for the first time.

The restaurants offer a prix fixe menu for the event featuring $5 and $10 breakfasts, lunches for $5, $10 or $15 and dinners for $10, $15, $20, $30 or $40. Tutoni’s will offer a special 10-course truffle dinner Sunday for $200, with wine pairing for $90.

More information about them, including when they're open and what menus the restaurants are offering, is available on the Restaurant Week website, www.rwyork.com/rwmenus/.

Branching out: Meagan Feeser of Downtown, Inc said many of the restaurants have similar plans to The Copper Crust Co., where they're trying something new during the week to see how it goes.

"When people think of Copper Crust, they think of those amazing Paris buns," she said, adding that the new Sunday brunch has been "wildly successful."

The Copper Crust Cafe, located in Central Market, featuring handmade pastries and other baked items. Copper Crust Cafe is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. John A. Pavoncello photo

"You can use (Restaurant Week) as sort of an incubator," she said.

The Holy Hound Taproom recently expanded its menu, and just this week began serving lunch, so for many people, this week will be their introduction to the expanded Hound.

Tutoni's, an Italian restaurant, is also going outside of the box — it's having a $200 10-course truffle dinner. Feeser said the restaurant has had some success selling tickets to it.

"They can try something new," she said.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com.