Eat Up Rochester lays out a second round of special meals next week

Eat Up Rochester kicks off again on Monday, featuring 22 restaurants that are offering special menus at special prices.

eat-up-rochester-final-logo-jpgFrom a nationally known steakhouse (Morton’s) in the heart of downtown to casual Jamaican restaurants on both the east (Peppapot Flava) and west (Livvie’s) sides of the city, the second annual Rochester restaurant week offers considerable variety. The list of participating businesses includes eateries in business for generations, such as Antonetta’s, and two that would qualify as toddlers (Locals Only and Cafe Sol) in the restaurant scene.

“This city-wide event is the perfect way to visit a different neighborhood, try a restaurant, sample a new cuisine, and enjoy discounts at your favorite local spot,” said Heidi N. Zimmer-Meyer, president of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, which organized the event. “We’re excited to build on the success of our first Restaurant Week in 2018, and invite everyone to dine out and experience some of the most amazing food Rochester has to offer.”

The menus offer lunches for $10, and dinners for $20, $30 or $40. Some restaurants offer multiple price points on their Eat Up Rochester menu, while others stick with one. Most of the restaurants have posted their special menus on the Eat Up Rochester website.  The event last through Sunday, May 5.

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Eat Up Rochester is the newest incarnation of a local restaurant week

Rochester Downtown Development Corp. is launching a restaurant week in Rochester next week, hoping to bring more business to the city’s restaurants while encouraging local residents to try something new.

During “Eat Up Rochester,” which runs from Monday through Sunday, participating restaurants will offer special menus hitting previously-agreed-upon price points, such as a $10 lunch, $20 brunch, or dinners for $20, $30 or $40. Some restaurants offer multiple meal menus while others offer just one.

“We hope it celebrates the city of Rochester and all the different neighborhoods,” said Sydney Aspenleiter, marketing and communications coordinator for RDDC.  In its first year, 21 Rochester restaurants are participating. In Buffalo, where a biannual restaurant week has been going on for some time and is happening this week, more than 200 restaurants are included. Buffalo’s event includes restaurants beyond the city limits and deep into Erie and Niagara counties.

Rochester's local restaurant week is April 23-29.
Rochester’s local restaurant week is April 23-29.

In some cases in Rochester, the menus are quite a bargain. Morton’s the Steakhouse, for instance, is offering a four-course $40 dinner featuring either a pork chop, filet mignon, salmon or chicken.  The filet mignon normally sells for more than $40 on its own.

Aspenleiter said some restaurants weren’t familiar with the concept of a restaurant week and didn’t offer such a deep discount. The hope was scheduling the event in April, which is normally a slower month for eating establishments, would pick up business.

Participants can check out the menus online before deciding on where to go for an Eat Up Rochester meal.

Generally there are at least two choices for each category on the menus. For example, City Grill’s Eat Up Rochester menu allows diners to choose one each from a list of four appetizers, four entrees and three desserts. The price is $30 at that restaurant for the three-course dinner.

Morton’s general manager, Brandi Williams, said Morton’s has participated in restaurant weeks in other locations and gained new business. Therefore, it seemed like a good idea to participate in Eat Up Rochester, especially as Morton’s has only been open here since October.

“We find that being so new to the community, this would be a good way to expose ourselves to a variety of different demographics to Rochester,” she said. “It’s a way of marketing ourselves in a different kind of way.”  The special event encourages people to come in when they might not otherwise, and then get wowed, she said.

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