Encore! Encore!

Published 2:11 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hard at work: Owner Ed Beardsley and chef Tio Norfleet are hard at work in the kitchen of the Plaid Turnip in preparation for Restaurant Week. This is the first time participating in the event.

It’s an event so nice, they’re doing it twice. That’s right, foodies, Suffolk’s treasured Restaurant Week is back for an autumn encore performance.

The fall edition of this adventure in dining will take place Nov. 7-14 as an initiative by Suffolk’s tourism office to further acknowledge the variety and range of Suffolk’s dining experiences. And this Restaurant Week is showcasing some newcomers as well as some seasoned participants in Suffolk’s celebration of local fare.

In downtown, the Plaid Turnip on Main Street is one of the newcomers to the Restaurant Week scene and it is more than ready to participate.

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The eatery is relatively new but is very eager to become a real fixture in the community. “We want to be that place people think of in Suffolk when they want to go out for a birthday party or hang out with friends,” says Ed Beardsley, owner and operator of the Plaid Turnip.

For those who haven’t been to the Plaid Turnip, it is an experience in dining that ranges from the simplicity of a juicy hamburger to more eclectic ventures like stuffed quail legs. But whatever you try at the Plaid Turnip, Beardsley promises, it will all be good food.

As a veteran in the restaurant business for more than 20 years, Beardsley started out as a dishwasher. And even though he has tried other things, he says he has always come back to the restaurant business. “It’s work,” he says, “but it’s like working with friends. So it’s actually a lot of fun also.”

Beardsley and his crew of friends at the Plaid Turnip are hard at work preparing the menu for Restaurant Week. “We’re doing Cuban sandwiches among other things for lunch, and we’re doing things like sunflower and pita encrusted mahimahi for dinner.”

More than anything, the Plaid Turnip wants to make itself part of the community’s routine, according to Beardsley. And through events like Restaurant Week, the establishment hopes to show how grateful it is to be asked to participate in the event and to let Suffolk know that they are open to ideas from the public about menu items.

Participation is this culinary event is not limited to downtown, either. Up north, restaurants like Vintage Tavern and River Stone Chophouse still plan to be in on the dining excitement. But, one newcomer to the North Suffolk eating scene is primed and ready to gain some exposure from Suffolk’s Restaurant Week.

Since its opening six months ago, Broken Egg Bistro has started that steady climb all restaurants have to make to become successful. During the lunch rush, however, the Broken Egg looks like it’s well on its way to becoming a popular stop for Suffolkians.

“I think people enjoy our restaurant because we basically have two different menus,” according to co-owner and general manager Mike Touhey. The Broken Egg boasts an extensive breakfast menu including omelets, waffles and creamed chipped beef. But it also has a full dinner menu.

“So it’s like we’re two different restaurants,” Touhey says.

The chance to bring more awareness to the Broken Egg Bistro is what truly motivates the staff at the new restaurant. As first-timers to the event, manager Linda Bolen and her staff are excited to see people come out for Restaurant Week.

“It should be very busy for us,” Bolen says, “but we’re very excited.”

Even though the menu for Restaurant Week is still something of a mystery at the Broken Egg, Touhey and staff believe it will be something everyone will enjoy.

So, whether you’re committed to the downtown area or interested in participating in the growth of North Suffolk, Restaurant Week is a good time to expand boundaries as patrons of Suffolk’s local fare. So, head up north if you’re downtown, or take a trip downtown if you’re up north, and taste everything Suffolk has to offer. Grab a fork and dig in. There may just be some new favorites in it for you.