The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau unveiled a plan Thursday for a summer "restaurant week" to encourage residents and visitors to try new eateries. The program will offer special promotions including a $25 fixed-price dinner menu.
The event, called "Beyond Grits: Lexington Restaurant Week," will be July 25 to Aug. 3.
The aroma of samples of sea bass dressed with West Sixth Brewing Co. amber vinaigrette wafted through the organization's headquarters in Victorian Square as bureau president Jim Browder talked about how restaurants from Windy Corner Market to Jonathan at Gratz Park have responded enthusiastically to the idea of showcasing local cuisine in the program.
The idea is to make it easier for potential patrons to try a variety of restaurants by making a fixed financial commitment: $25 a person to try out the restaurant's specialties and ambience.
The concept is popular across the country, including in New York, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., and Denver.
Already, Casanova Italian Restaurant, Cheapside Bar and Grill, Malone's and the Merrick Inn have signed on to participate in the Lexington program. Restaurants will offer a special $25 fixed-price dinner, excluding taxes, drinks and tip, in addition to their regular menus.
Ouita Michel, owner of Windy Corner Market, said the event will be "an opportunity to show people ... that this is Lexington's food community."
She praised chef Jonathan Lundy's menu at Jonathan at Gratz Park — which includes such offerings as Maker's 46 roasted salmon and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale-braised short ribs — as a menu that "couldn't be designed by someone who was not from this area."
Browder said that the convention and visitors bureau is overseeing the restaurant event during 2013, but he hopes that restaurants like the promotion so much that they will decide to hold it annually.
Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau: Visitlex.com.
Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau: Visitlex.com
Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.