(May 2, 2014) Close to 20 resort restaurants will offer up $10, $20, $30 and $40 deals starting Sunday, part of Ocean City’s eighth annual spring Restaurant Week.
Participating businesses will feature a special, fixed-price menu during the two-week event, which runs through Sunday, May 18.
“It’s a win-win for diners and the restaurants,” said Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association. “The whole premise of the promotion is to encourage diners to go out at a time that’s not too busy around here to stir up business, and at the same time, provide diners with deals.”
Restaurant Week helps “bring in new faces and show them what we’re all about,” said Executive Chef Travis Wright, of West Ocean City’s Shark on the Harbor restaurant. For him, that’s bringing in local produce and off-the-dock seafood to inspire an ever-changing menu.
Sunday through Thursday during dinner, diners came come to Shark on the Harbor for a “three-for-30” Restaurant Week special, where they get three courses for $30. Though the menu shifts based on the day’s catch, spring is soft crab and scallop season. Diners can also expect to see spring peas, leafy greens and asparagus, Wright said.
He’s participated in Restaurant Week since its beginnings and said, “It’s always a good chance to see our loyal regulars and hopefully a few new faces.”
The Hobbit on 81st Street will also offer a three-for-30 dinner menu every night featuring its most popular dishes, plus a few new items.
“They’re dishes that we’ve really perfected and people really enjoy,” General Manager Garvey Heiderman said. “It’s a good chance for people to come get a deal, get a full belly, and try some new food.”
The Hobbit has offered a Restaurant Week menu ever spring for the last four years and the even draws new faces each year, Heirderman said.
“It’s something that gets people in who wouldn’t normally come in,” he said. “It gets a lot of people out and about before the season really kicks off”
Restaurant Week is “most definitely” a boost to business in the early stretch of the summer season, Jones said.
“Typically the restaurants that create the most interesting menus are the ones who do the best — and the ones who offer the best deals,” she said.
Newcomer to Restaurant Week this year, Ky West on 54th Street designed an all-new menu for the two-week special, Executive Chef Michael Rendell said.
In its three-for-30 dinner special Wednesday through Sunday, diners can choose from four appetizers, four entrees and a slew of desserts. Tantalizing options include jerk Jamaican kebabs with tropical risotto topped with a mango-banana-pineapple sauce to mesquite grilled flank steak and grille chicken primavera in a white wine sauce over pasta.
“I do totally different stuff that’s not on the menu,” Rendell said. “We’re new this year and we’re trying to get the exposure, get some people out here.”
Longboard Café, in the 67th Street mid-town center, is back again for Restaurant Week, with mouthwatering appetizers like grilled lamp chop lollipops and crab-stuffed artichoke bottoms alongside entrées including its seafood pasta, a blend of seared shrimp, scallops and lump crab in an avocado cream sauce.
“We try and get a broad range of menu items that we think people will be interested in, as well as try out new dishes,” Owner of the café Rick Vach said.
“It’s a big help to business, absolutely,” he said of the two-week special.
The café will offer a $10, two-course lunch menu and a $30, three-course dinner menu Sunday through Thursday throughout the event.
Chef and Owner of Jules Restaurant on 118th Street Adam Sander has been taking part in Restaurant Week since its inception and creates a special menu for the event each year.
This year, the three-for-30 dinner menu includes appetizers like “Almond Joy” shrimp encrusted in toasted almonds and topped with a coconut cream sauce and New Zealand lamb pops and entrees such as shrimp scamp, fillet mignon and crab cakes.
“It’s a pretty special menu that includes some classics,” Sander said.
Jules will offer the Restaurant Week menu every night, with a “bonus bite” for early birds, who will get a complimentary glass of wine with their meals if they are seated before 6 p.m.
“Its one of the best weeks of the year,” Sander said. “We love it. We’ve been proud to help support them since the beginning.”
Restaurants will still have their regular menus during Restaurant Week for those who don’t want to order off the special menu.
Diners should note that alcohol, tax and gratuity are not included in the fixed-price deals.
Visit www.oceancityrestaurantweek.com for a list of restaurants participating in Restaurant Week and their menus for the event.
32 Palm, 32nd Street, in Hilton Suites
BJ’s on the Water, 75th Street
Bayside Skillet, 77th Street
The Blue Ox Bar & Grill, 127th Street
Captain’s Table, 15th Street
Crab Alley, Sunset Avenue, West Ocean City
Galaxy 66, 66th Street
Goolee’s Grille, Second Street
Hemingway’s at The Coral Reef, 17th Street, inside the Holiday Inn
Horizon’s Oceanfront Restaurant, 101st Street, inside Clarion Resort Hotel
J/R’s Ribs, 62nd Street/131st Street
Jules Restaurant, 118th Street
Ky West, 54th Street
Longboard Café, 67th Street
Nick’s Original House of Ribs, 144th Street
Peaky’s Rooftop, 138th Street
Phillips Crab House, 20th Street
Phillips Seafood House, 141st Street
The Hobbit Restaurant, 81st Street
Shark on the Harbor, Sunset Avenue, West Ocean City