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Dinner’s served

Break out the spoon and fork, Suffolk. Restaurant Week is back again.

For the third year in a row, the annual Restaurant Week event is coming to Suffolk in an effort to highlight the diversity and quality of Suffolk’s eateries.

“The aim is to make people, both residents and those in the surrounding communities, to stop and look at the fine establishments that we have,” said Lynette White, tourism development manager for Suffolk. “We have a nice mix of everything from casual dining to five star, and it’s always a nice menu variety with a price point that makes it enjoyable.”

Lipton Tea and Sysco Foods of Hampton Roads are sponsoring the week-long event, and more than a dozen of Suffolk’s top restaurants have signed on this year.

They include Amici’s Italian Restaurant, Baron’s Pub and Restaurant, Constant’s Wharf Grill, George’s Steak House, Great American Grill, Grits and Gravy, Koi Sushi and Hibachi, Main Street Coffee, Mosaic By Hollands, Pisces Seafood, Primo 116 Bistro Italiano, River Stone Chophouse, Singapore Cuisine, Sushi Aka and Vintage Tavern.

Each of the restaurants have created special menu packages for the week, with appetizers, entrees and desserts all falling within the $10-$15 price point for lunch and $20-$30 price point for dinner.

“For those who may not regularly dine out, this gives them a time to taste and experience a great menu at a fixed price,” White said. “For the staff here, we always enjoy Restaurant Week because we can go out as a group and go to several of the restaurants that are really not in our price range on a regular basis.”

While it may seem like the customer is the ultimate beneficiary of Restaurant Week, participants say they also see tremendous benefits from the event.

“It’s always such a success,” said Cindy McGann, vice president of operations for the Vintage Tavern, which has participated in Restaurant Week since its inception. “It’s done very well for us. It brings in more customers, and it brings the customers who might view going out to eat as a luxury. This makes them feel more value-driven, and that they’re getting more for their money. It gives people a good excuse to go out for dinner.”

McGann added that the staff comes to view Restaurant Week as an opportunity to introduce new customers to all that is available to them.

“They look at it as a challenge,” McGann said. “It’s a way for them to have a real impact on customers’ restaurant and fine dining experience. They take it seriously.”

McGann said specifically at the Vintage Tavern, price-point menus allow some people the freedom to try new and different wines than they have before.

“I find we introduce more wines because people are a little more flexible since they are saving on their dinner,” McGann said. “We’re more than happy to let them try something different. We try to have a little something for everybody.”

Suffolk Restaurant Week will take place March 20 to March 27. For more information, and to see sample menus for the week, visit www.Suffolk-Fun.com/restaurantweek or call the Suffolk Visitor Center at 757-514-4130. ←