Seven Middlebury Hotspots Welcome Restaurant Week

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Coriander, a new restaurant participating in its first Restaurant Week.

Coriander, a new restaurant participating in its first Restaurant Week.

coriandermiddlebury.com

coriandermiddlebury.com

Coriander, a new restaurant participating in its first Restaurant Week.

By RACHEL COHEN

MIDDLEBURY ­— The 9th annual Vermont Restaurant Week presented by Vermont Federal Credit Union and organized by Seven Days, a Burlington-based newspaper, began on Friday, April 20.

One hundred and fifteen restaurants from all over the state, including twenty first-time restaurants, are participating in this year’s event. Each participating restaurant offers a multi-course prix-fixe menu at $20, $30, or $40 per person.

Restaurant weeks happen all over the world, offering reduced or fixed price menus to customers, and nine years ago, Seven Days decided to organize a restaurant week in Vermont.

Corey Grenier, the Marketing and Events Director for Seven Days, said that the event is mutually beneficial for Seven Days, which covers Vermont’s food scene, and its clients and advertisers. The majority of the participating restaurants, she said, are year-round advertising clients of the newspaper. The event also occurs during “mud season,” bringing in crowds during a particularly slow time for tourism throughout Vermont, Grenier said.   

In addition to the prix-fixe menus, restaurants and companies host special food-themed events throughout the week.

One new event this year was “Stretch & Sip Yoga” hosted by Soulshine Power Yoga and located at Switchback Brewing Co. of Burlington. On Sunday, April 22, twenty-eight guests enjoyed an all-levels yoga class in the tasting room. Through ticket sales, the event generated $560 for Vermont Foodbank, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization and a beneficiary of Vermont Restaurant Week. Last year, Vermont Restaurant Week donated $21,380 to Vermont Foodbank. This year’s target, Grenier said, is to beat that amount. 

In addition to the proceeds from the special event ticket sales, eleven restaurants elected to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week meal to Vermont Food Bank. Additionally, City Market/Onion River Co-op, one of the festival’s sponsors, has a Rally for Change program which encourages customers to round up their bill at the register. For the month of April, City Market, which has two Burlington locations, will donate forty-percent of its proceeds from the Rally for Change program to Vermont Foodbank. Last month, City Market’s Rally for Change program raised $10,500 for its forty-percent recipient.

Seven restaurants in Middlebury are on the list for this year’s Restaurant Week, including first-time participant Coriander, which opened its Washington Street location last June. Coriander’s staff noted that the number of customers this past weekend wasn’t exorbitantly higher than normal for most weekend evenings, but on Sunday night there were customers who came specifically for the Restaurant Week menu. Still, participating in Restaurant Week is beneficial, they say, because it allows them to get the word out about their business to a larger geographic area.

Executive Chef and General Manager of The Lobby restaurant on Bakery Lane, Andrea Cousineau, agrees that statewide publicity is a major benefit of Restaurant Week.

“People get to see the menu online, and they come from all over the state,” she said.

The Lobby has been participating in Restaurant Week for three years, and from Cousineau’s experience, she believes the second weekend is usually the more highly attended by Restaurant Week customers.

Cousineau is excited to use this Restaurant Week as a testing ground for new menu items, and to receive feedback on the new dishes. One main dish on the prix-fixe menu, Masa-Crusted Cod, will appear on the Lobby’s main menu in the next couple of weeks.  It comes with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, wilted kale, and gremolata.

Restaurant Week – actually a little longer than a week – wraps up this Sunday, April 28.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Seven Middlebury Hotspots Welcome Restaurant Week”

  1. Marieke on April 26th, 2018 9:43 am

    The Cash Family was an original dating back to 1600”s and now there are no Cash”s in Marblehead. It”s sad. I left Marblehead in 2014 to go to Vermont. Vermont is beautiful with its mountains and fall foliage but my heart will always be for Marblehead and my 5 minute walks from my house to Devereux Beach and looking for sea glass. What a great article and thank you for the wonderful pics.




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Seven Middlebury Hotspots Welcome Restaurant Week