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Restaurant week focuses on the culinary options available in TC


Traverse City Restaurant Week is an annual week for those who are self-proclaimed foodies and those who just want to try some new dishes or get a chance to try some of the best food in town at special prices.

Now in its third year, the Traverse City Restaurant Week will run from Feb. 24 to March 2 with more than two dozen participating restaurants.

Here's how it works: each participating restaurant picks some of their top dishes to highlight. They create a special restaurant week three-course menu for guests to indulge in for a set price of $25, plus beverage, tax and gratuity.

For example, the Boathouse Restaurant menu will include a Boathouse salad or wedge salad to start, Great Lakes walleye, ribeye, or lobster for the main entree, and chocolate mousse or creme brulee for dessert.

Colleen Paveglio, marketing director for the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Traverse City Association, says it's important for Traverse City to have this yearly event to show everyone what Traverse City has to offer and to advance culinary tourism in the area. It's a way for diners to try new dishes and new restaurants and perhaps find their new favorite place to dine.

"The event is open to restaurants in the region and has served as a great way to introduce themselves to locals and visitors who may not have patronized their business before," Paveglio says. "Attracting locals to dining establishments can result in the future prosperity of their business during other times of the year."

Personally, she is most looking forward to eating at the Red Ginger Restaurant, The Towne Plaza, Trattoria Stella, and Aerie Restaurant, but says there are really too many great restaurants to narrow it down and that all of them sound like excellent choices.

Paveglio says some restaurant-goers choose to try one or two restaurants during the week, while others pick a new one every night. Some hotels have reported to Paveglio last year they had guests who stayed with them who came to town for the event.

"We hope this trend continues and TC can become a destination for wining and dining as we continue to promote culinary tourism throughout the region," she says.

There are many genres of food to choose from this year. European, American, pub-style, seafood and organic are just a sample of the restaurants participating in restaurant week. The following restaurants are participating and many of their restaurant week menus can be viewed online:

7 Monks Taproom, 128 Union St.
Aerie Restaurant, 100 Grand Blvd.
Amical, 229 E. Front St.
Apache Trout Grill, 13671 Bayshore Dr.
Blue Tractor Cook Shop, 423 S. Union St.
Bistro FouFou, 118 Cass St.
The Boathouse, 14039 Peninsula Dr.
Camp Critter Bar & Grille at Great Wolf Lodge, 3575 N. US 31 S.
The Cottage, 472 Munson Ave.
The Cook's House, 115 Wellington
Harbor 22, 12719 S. Bayshore Dr.
Harrington's by the Bay, 13890 SW Bayshore Dr.
Little Bohemia 540 W. Front St.
Minervas, 300 E. State St.
Modes Burn Steer, 125 E. State St.
North Peak Brewing Co., 400 W. Front St.
Om Cafe, 205 Lake Ave.
Patisserie Amie/Chez Peres, 237 Lake Ave., Suite 200
Peninsula Grill, 14091 Center Rd.
Phil's on Front, 236 E. Front St.
Poppycocks, 128 E. Front St.
Red Ginger Restaurant, 237 E. Front St.
Reflect at Cambria, 255 Munson Ave.
Sorellina, 120 Park St.
The Towne Plaza, 202 E. State St.
Trattoria Stella, 1200 W. 11 St.
The Union Cantina, 127 S. Union St.

The organizers of the event suggest restaurant-goers make reservations ahead of time, so they are guaranteed a seat.

Julia Woehrer is a freelance writer, photographer and social media coordinator. She attended the School of Art and Design at Northern Michigan University where she concentrated in photography and minored in journalism. She volunteers at a local no-kill cat shelter and enjoys spending time with her cats, Bella and Macy.
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