Restaurant Week to highlight York food scene

Jason Addy
  • 40 downtown restaurants will be featured in the 2017 Restaurant Week York.
  • Restaurant Week York will run from Feb. 25 through March 4.

This year’s Restaurant Week York will shine a spotlight on York City chefs, with dozens of downtown restaurants offering special menus for the annual food fest.

From Feb. 25 to March 4, diners will be able to take part in a “citywide celebration” of York’s culinary scene, with 40 restaurants slated to cook up chef-selected meals, said Meagan Feeser, chief marketing and development officer for Downtown Inc, the event’s coordinator and sponsor.

Clockwise from left, John Fafara, Mary Bross, Megan Donley, Tom Donley and Cindy Donley have buffalo chicken pizza from Mezzogiorno's as part of Restaurant Week York on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at Central Market. Amanda J. Cain photo

Each restaurant participating in this year’s event will create at least one dish that diners can only order during Restaurant Week, Feeser said.

Restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus, with breakfast and lunch dishes priced at $5, $10 or $15, and dinner plates priced at $20, $30 or $40 for the week.

Collusion Tap Works, 105 S. Howard St., will brew a special celebratory beer that will be carried at all eateries participating in Restaurant Week, Feeser said.

Over the last seven years, the event has grown from about 10 restaurants to 40 this year, with 12 participating for the first time, including 10 restaurants that opened their doors in 2016, Feeser said.

The number of restaurants that want to be part of Restaurant Week should continue to climb, with the popularity and success of the event showing restaurateurs there is a culinary scene in York, Feeser said.

“We’ve made great strides as a city,” Feeser said. “Where we are now, in terms of having a culinary scene, is huge.”

Restaurant-goers are encouraged to share their Restaurant Week finds on social media using the hashtag #rwyork.

The past few Restaurant Weeks have been so successful that many participants have asked about holding another one. Downtown Inc has been unable to set up a second Restaurant Week, but the organization has created several other food-related events, including Burger Week, Crab Week and Grilled Cheese Day, Feeser said.

The goal of Restaurant Week York is to get city residents to continue patronizing local eateries during the lean period between Valentine’s Day and the arrival of warmer weather, giving the restaurants a “much-needed sales boost,” Feeser said.

For most participants, Restaurant Week is the busiest week of the year, with many restaurants seeing at least a 100 percent increase in their sales. Last year, the event generated about $300,000 in sales throughout the week, Feeser said.

York restaurants try something new for Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week will be unofficially kicked off by a culinary fundraiser benefiting York City Special Events.

At the 15th annual A Taste of York City dinner at the Valencia Ballroom on Feb. 24, 320 guests will be able to sample courses from nine Restaurant Week participants and bid on items in silent and live auctions, said J.J. Sheffer of York City Special Events.

The nine-course meal also kicks off the fundraising season for York City Special Events, with the group looking to bring in enough money to offer a handful of events in 2017 at no cost to city taxpayers, Sheffer said.

Last year, the dinner raised nearly $30,000 — enough to produce six free events, including York Bike Night and Light Up York, Sheffer said.

Menus for all 40 establishments participating in Restaurant Week York can be found here.