This shouldn’t come as a surprise: I love restaurant weeks.
Who doesn’t? They provide a great excuse to get out of the house, meet with friends, and enjoy a meal prepared by someone who is probably a much better cook than you. Eating out can be an expensive endeavor, and restaurant week is a chance to feel out a place you’ve been eyeing up at a decent price.
Center City District Restaurant Week in Philadelphia, a two-week, biennial event encompassing some of the hottest restaurants in the city, has blossomed into a local cultural phenomenon. Collingswood, Philly’s spry little brother, has been in on the act for some time now, and its second restaurant week of 2012 begins October 14 and runs through the 19.
The following restaurants are participating in Collingswood's Fall Restaurant Week. Where available, I've included the menu and prices (generally between 3-4 courses for $30-35) currently available:
- Tortilla Press
- Inde Blue
- That’s Amore
- El Sitio
- Little Louie’s BBQ
- The Pop Shop
- Bistro di Marino
- Joe Pesce
- Knight’s Bistro
As if that weren’t enough, there’s more good news on the horizon: That same week, the Coalition of Chefs Insisting You Can Do Better Than Applebees (a.k.a. SJ Hot Chefs) is throwing a little autumn shin-dig of its own.
Fall Harvest Week offers four courses for either $35 or $25. Some 40-plus South Jersey restaurants are participating, but for the sake of this column, I’ll stay specific to the local boys and girls getting involved:
- Anthony’s Creative Italian Cuisine
- Da Soli
- Elements Cafe - (the kitchen of Patch blogger Fred Kellermann)
- Tre Famiglia
- Keg & Kitchen
- The Little Tuna
What I truly love about a restaurant week this time of year are the great autumn ingredients flourishing on these menus. Butternut squash, pumpkin, apples and sweet potatoes are being featured in both new and classic ways, and it’s truly an exciting time for the palate.
And hey, if you get word of updated menus are we get closer to the 14th, please share them in the comments section.
- ‘Tis the season to celebrate brats and beer! Oktoberfest has been a growing trend around these parts, and next week, I’ll be previewing Keg & Kitchen’s Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 13.
- Follow me on twitter: @davevaliante