Though the promotional event is dubbed Restaurant Week, it is actually a two-week affair lasting through Oct. 27. Around 20 restaurants will offer menus designed specifically for the special at fixed prices of $10, $20, $30 or $40, from casual to fine dining.“For diners, this is a chance to experience restaurants they may not have otherwise chosen,” Executive Director of the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Susan Jones said in a statement. “It is a great way to support dining locally.”
Jones brought the idea for Restaurant Week to Ocean City in 2007, after attending a travel summit and hearing about a similar special in Baltimore.
“We brought the idea back to our board, and they loved it,” she said.
While the specials help draw diners into all participating restaurants during the resort’s shoulder season, the eateries that see the biggest boost are those with the most creative Restaurant Week menus, Jones said.
Executive Chef at Horizon’s Oceanfront Restaurant at the Clarion Resort Hotel Shawn Reese incorporates seasonal ingredients into his menu, made of distinctive dishes like creamy butternut crab soup and fall chop salad.
Gallaxy 66 Bar & Grille will introduce its new menu for the season during the special, Executive Chef Jason Myers said. Diners can choose from appetizers like curry chicken tempura and baked oysters du jour with a different topping each day and main dishes from pan seared duck breast to herb roasted tilapia.
Newcomers to Restaurant Week this year include 67th Street’s Longboard Café and Goolee’s Grille on Second Street.
“I’m very excited,” Goolee’s Owner George Staleias said about joining Restaurant Week. “I picked the five things… that I want people to try the most (for the menu).”
Those are the gyro supreme omelet, coconut French toast, a chipped beef dish, the Papa Breakfast Special and banana split or apple cinnamon waffles.
“You can get pancakes anywhere. My pancakes are great, but they’re pancakes,” Staleias said. “So do something different.”
Restaurant Week “certainly helps create business in the fall because people like to know what they’re getting when they go out,” Jones said. “It just reminds people to go out and eat.”
Alcohol, tax and gratuity are not included in Restaurant Week’s fixed menu prices. Participating restaurants will still have their regular, full-price menus available for those who don’t want to order from the special menu.
For a list of participating restaurants and their menus and prices, visit www.oceancityrestaurantweek.com. Go to the Facebook page www.facebook.com/OCMDRestaurantWeek for updates on Restaurant Week.