In Arizona, in the hospitality industry, we measure our time according to what “season” we’re in. I’m not talking about weather either, though the weather does affect the “season” we’re in. Because our winters here in the desert are quite enjoyable compared to the Midwest and Eastern part of our country, we experience an influx of populace around October- November and then a huge migration out of Arizona around May-June when the weather starts to really heat up. We call this period of time October thru May “season” and we all look forward to it as restaurants because that means one thing: $$$. $$$ means more business and more intense dinner services. Which is great and all, however, there is a period of time at the beginning and ending of season that is especially intense. Arizona Restaurant Week.
Arizona Restaurant Week is probably one of THE biggest weeks for local restaurants that happens semiannually (I like to think of September Restaurant week as the big season kickoff and May’s big send off!). If you haven’t heard of it, let me clue you in on what the big to do about all of it is! You have many many many local restaurants sign up as this big coalition to participate in Restaurant Week. The deal is, and it varies from restaurant to restaurant, you get a 3 course dinner for $33 or $44. That’s a steal ya’ll!!!
But Marlee, Applebee’s has a current…. STOP! Hold it right there. Let me steer you in the right direction.
These local restaurants have highly skilled cooks and chefs executing some amazing menus! You won’t really be seeing pre-made food being slopped on a plate for your 2 dinner entrée, side salad, bowl of soup and a dessert for $25 deal… Stop and think about it, there’s a reason why that dinner is that cheap… The food isn’t locally sourced, you aren’t supporting the local economy; I could go on and on. However, when you participate in Restaurant Week for your date night (I’ve got your back don’t worry!), you support highly trained chefs, the local economy, local farmers, and so on with your business! Not convinced??? Let me dazzle your mind with some of the local restaurants offerings:
Binkley’s (Cave Creek): Slow Cooked Whey Fed Pork, charred summer squash, cippolini onion, sweet corn grits, cider
Liberty Market (Gilbert): Wood fired Portobello Mushroom, Portobello mushrooms stuffed with duxelles, crispy, hot capacola and roasted red bell peppers
St Francis (Phoenix): LEMON OLIVE OIL CORN CAKE, sweet cream gelato and rosemary caramel sauce
Those sound amazing to me. I don’t know about you but I would be happy to dine at any of those places.
How can we find out what restaurants are participating? Where can we find the menus?
(psst… That’s the link right up there!)
Now Restaurant week runs from May 20- May29. That’s right, 9 whole days of amazing eatery. I’ve got your date night planned for the next 2 weeks!
I know what some of you might be thinking: well that all sounds nice and good but some of us are poor college kids or newlyweds and $66-$88 for date night is just not in the budget for us.
The great thing about going to this website is you get to see which restaurants are doing couple pricing. That’s right! $33-$44 a couple… for 3-4 course dinner. Hello, you can’t beat that! And you get delicious, amazing, fresh and local food grown here in Arizona. Please, do me a favor and check one (or two) of these amazing restaurants out we have here in Phoenix. I just might have to sneak away myself and check some new places out. I’ll keep you all posted. Until then, try something new and have an adventure! Happy eating!