Last year, the city of Grand Rapids, Mich., celebrated its first-ever Restaurant Week. Now, local and visiting foodies — including meeting planners who are planning Michigan meetings — have something to look forward to: Experience Grand Rapids, the city's convention and visitors bureau, has announced that the second annual Restaurant Week Grand Rapids will take place Nov. 3-13, 2011.
"We feel that Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2010 was a great kick off for a new culinary event in Grand Rapids," said Experience Grand Rapids President Doug Small. "The community really embraced it and the restaurants responded very enthusiastically."
The price of Restaurant Week meals will be $25 for a three-course "creative" menu. At low-price-point restaurants, the cost will be $25 for two three-course meals.
"In a way, it's a friendly competition among the restaurants and it offers all the talented chefs out there a chance to shine by stretching their imaginations and culinary skills," Small said, encouraging restaurants to create special courses that are "unique" and "intriguing" for this year's event. Last year, he noted, many diners ate at three or more restaurants during Restaurant Week, and many participating restaurants were totally booked. "With the volume of participation notched up during Restaurant Week, this offers all participating restaurants the potential for plenty of business."
Last year, 57 restaurants participated in the inaugural Restaurant Week Grand Rapids, selling an estimated 30,000 dinners, including 19,128 Restaurant Week meals and an additional 10,000 meals served to diners who ordered off of restaurants' regular menus. This year, Small said, the goal is to attract more restaurants — and more visitors from outside of Grand Rapids.
"Grand Rapids is just 30 minutes from the Lake Michigan shore and includes a cosmopolitan environment within a 'not too big, not too small' geographic area," Small concluded. "It's a compelling mix for conventions and visitors."
For more information about Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2011, visit www.restaurantweekgr.com.